Maunakea Sunrise Experience
Start your Hawaiian day like never before… from the top of the tallest volcano on earth. See the morning sky light up in brilliant shades of red, orange, purple, and blue. Learn about the cultural and scientific significance of the mountain and the collection of research telescopes.
- We’ll acclimate at the Visitors Center at an elevation of 9,200
- View the night sky on the slopes of Maunakea before the day’s first light
- Our interpretive guide shares the night sky on a 5″ Celestron spotting scope
- Take in the sunrise at the summit near the research telescopes
- Enjoy a hot breakfast
Restrictions: Weather changes can occur quickly, and the access road to the summit can close without warning; therefore, we cannot guarantee access to the summit or favorable conditions. Guests should be able to walk on uneven or rocky terrain. The temperature can dip below freezing when at high elevation on the mountain. Guests should be able to walk on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cold, wet, or muddy conditions. Due to the high altitude, this tour is not advised for those with respiratory, circulatory or heart conditions, pregnancy, or poor health. If you plan to scuba dive, do not plan to go to the summit within 24 hours after you dive. No children under 16. Other tour restrictions may apply.
What to Bring & Wear: Guests are provided hooded parkas. Bring a sweater or jacket; wear long pants and covered walking shoes with warm socks.
- Are guests allowed to go into the observatories? There are currently no observatories open to the public during the time we are on the mountain.
- How cold is it at the summit of Maunakea? The average mean temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 Celsius
- Is the vehicle ride bumpy and windy? The access road to the summit of Maunakea is four-wheel drive only so that it can be bumpy. Our custom off-road motor coaches will get you to the top and back as comfortably as possible
- Will there be star gazing? You will have the opportunity to see the night’s sky before first light from the Visitor’s Center at 9,000 feet, Our interpretive guide shares the night sky on a 5″ Celestron spotting scope, To see an extended star show with our 11″ Celestron Telescope we recommend our Maunakea Summit and Stars Adventure.
- What is the guide to guest ratio? Our maximum guide to guest ratio is 1:14
- Are children allowed on this tour? Children under 16 are not permitted on this tour due to altitude.
- Is there much walking/hiking on this tour? There is minimal walking on this tour, the maximum being about 150 yards
- I would like to see a specific astronomical event from the summit. How can I arrange this? Check out Bishop Museum – Astronomy for upcoming celestial events, and whether they will be observable in the Hawaiian sky.
- Will there be snow on our trip? Snow is seasonal at Maunakea, with the heaviest snowfall occurring during the winter months
- What if it’s cloudy on Maunakea? The summit and visitor center areas of Maunakea usually are above the clouds. Due to our high demand for this experience and the constraints of our permit, we are often unable to reschedule guests when cancellations occur; therefore, we try to avoid canceling tours if we can safely reach the visitor’s center and/or summit. Conditions constantly change on the mountain, and the weather is part of the adventure!
- Where does the tour depart from? The tour departs from Kona & Waikoloa on the west side and on the eastside we offer pickups from Hilo.
Trips depart from Kona, Waikoloa and Hilo at select resort locations. 6-7 hours round trip.
Guests are provided hooded parkas, but should bring a sweater or jacket; wear long pants and covered walking shoes with warm socks.
- Adult (16+): $200.00 + taxes and fees
Availability and Schedule:
Available Wednesdays and Fridays
Approximate Pick-up Time:
Approximate Return Time: