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"JUST UNDER 14 THOUSAND FEET HIGH!" Mauna Kea Tip by heitzenrater

Mauna Kea, Hawaii (Big Island): 14 reviews and 21 photos

  Looks like the moon
by heitzenrater
  • Looks like the moon - Hawaii (Big Island)
      Looks like the moon
    by heitzenrater
  • I'M ON THE TOP OF THE WORLD - Hawaii (Big Island)
    by heitzenrater
  • View on the way up - Hawaii (Big Island)
      View on the way up
    by heitzenrater
  • Look at the long views - Hawaii (Big Island)
      Look at the long views
    by heitzenrater
  • The invaders are coming - Hawaii (Big Island)
      The invaders are coming
    by heitzenrater

So let me tell you how it is. First of you have to drive up saddle road, slow and steady you will make you way up to the visitor center. The visitor center is located at 9,000 feet of elevation. This station has bathrooms, and a drinking fountain. As you continue up the mountain there are warning sigh telling you that you are not allowed to continue unless you have 4-wheel drive. We had 6 people in a front wheel drive minni van and made it up. We even passed the ranger truck twice, they didn’t seem to care. Once you leave the ranger station you will be on a dirt road that is windy and curvy and steep. I could see why a 4-wheel drive is highly recommended. The only problem we had been keeping the engine temperature down so the car wouldn’t over heat. It was a rental so we revved it pretty hot. J This dirt road continues for like 4 to 5 miles, and then the road becomes paved again, and just steep. Ok, so you are at the top. Here you will see the NASA look out center, and some other star looking at thingies. It is cold and you may see snow. If there is now then don’t try and go up without 4-wheel drive. You will see a moon like terrain. It is very unique. I didn’t notice any vegetation at all. You may be able to see the terrain below or you may actually be above the clouds level. I recommend seeing a sunrise. It pretty sweet.

cost is free!


Address: Mauna Kea
Directions: Location: 19.8N, 155.5W
Elevation: 13,792 feet (4,205 m)


Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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