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Mauna Loa Observatory

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 1437 Kilauea Ave, Room 102, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-4200
Phone Number:
+1 808-933-6965
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours

We are an atmospheric monitoring station that was established in 1956....

We are an atmospheric monitoring station that was established in 1956. Please visit our website to learn more about the atmospheric constituents that we monitor that can cause a forcing effect on our climate. We are a secure working facility with no unauthorized entry and we do not provide tours to the public. All Astronomy takes place on Mauna Kea and not on Mauna Loa so please make sure that your reviews are located under the correct attraction.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 96 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 53
  • 18
    Very good
  • 6
  • 3
  • 0
Less traveled but a better view

After driving up to Mauna Kea and waiting for the clouds to open up for some photo opportunities that never materialized, we headed back down to Hwy 200. A short distance SE on... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Michael N
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96 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 80: English reviews
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
1 review
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Aloha! I live on the Big Island and came across this to see people are accidently posting reviews here when they actually mean to post for MAUNA KEA! Mauna Kea has a visitor center and is a famous tourist attraction for stargazing. Mauna Loa is just a big mountain (crater) with no visitor center etc. It is more for extreme... More 

Thank 808HawaiiTraveller
Level Contributor
76 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

After driving up to Mauna Kea and waiting for the clouds to open up for some photo opportunities that never materialized, we headed back down to Hwy 200. A short distance SE on Hwy 200 is the north access road to Mauna Loa observatories. Not knowing what to expect we were pleasantly surprised with a newer paved single lane road... More 

Thank Michael N
Level Contributor
94 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2017

long winding drive on poorly maintained road to reach observation area and found view that was less rewarding than what you will find at other locations. if you're into extreme hiking, there's a trail that you can reach at the observation level.

1 Thank Tourista50
Traverse City, Michigan
Level Contributor
493 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 189 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2017

Mauna Kea is where tours take you to the multiple observatory area. Mauna Loa is a paved one lane, 20 MPH access road to a weather obsevatory. I took the drive just to do it. It's a good condition roller coaster road that tricks you into not realizing you are gaining altitude. Terminates at a trail head parking lot by... More 

3 Thank Bill H
Olympia, Washington
Level Contributor
424 reviews
153 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2017

The stars are stunning here. But, there are SO MANY TOURISTS that it takes away from the experience. Car headlights are blinding while waiting in lines to look at telescopes. There was someone "pointing out the constellations" with a laser but it was more uninteresting stories that education.

Thank LaLunaStella
Bellevue, Washington
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2017

I went on a tour of the Mauna Loa Observatory for approximately $220. We left the hotel at approximately 2:30 from the hotel in Waikola. They drove us to a place where we had a box lunch and then drove up the mountain. Its a very rough drive and nice to have a specially built vehicle. I would not go... More 

2 Thank Tom D
Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2017

Be sure to "Get Involved" with the gorgeous area of Hilo. Plan on hiking and walking a little at each site. Incredible, just incredible. :)

2 Thank dixon6333
Castle Rock, Colorado
Level Contributor
141 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2016

We were lucky enough to see the lava erupting. They had several rangers available to answer questions and had camera's set up so you could get a close up view. Many interesting displays set up.

1 Thank lovescolorado2
Odessa, Ukraine
Level Contributor
1,055 reviews
197 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,543 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 December 2016

Where on earth can you visit a beach for surfing and a location with natural snow within two hours? We took the Mauna Loa Scenic Road until the Observatory where the street ends. But that's not it! In case you do have a 4WD-JEEP (not an AWD car) you might go further towards the summit - which we did. The... More 

1 Thank HONkiev
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2016 via mobile

The Mauna Loa observatory on the Big island of Hawaii is something you should not miss! It offers great views a different perspective and scale of the island. I suggest driving up before sunset, and staying at the visitors centre after for some stargazing.

5 Thank Keith L

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Questions & Answers

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Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
2 months ago

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