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Mauna Kea Summit & Stars
About Your Tour
Join us for an intriguing and provocative journey through space and time. On your way to the summit you will learn about the remarkable evolution and changes our island’s natural world has experienced. Our dinner stop at a historic ranch outpost features a hot, picnic style dinner. After dinner we make our way to the summit of the world’s tallest volcano for a sensational sunset view. Stand in awe amidst the largest collection of telescopes on earth witnessing some of the most dramatic scenery you’ll ever experience. And then, at a lower elevation, your Interpretive Naturalist Guide will reveal the wonders and world-class clarity of our Hawaiian night skies.
The location: The drive to the summit of Mauna Kea is one you’ll never forget. It’s hard to believe you’re in Hawaii as you climb to 13,796′ elevation above sea level. Once at the summit we are afforded spectacular views of the horizon, Haleakala on Maui, Mauna Loa and Hualalai, and Mauna Kea’s world-class array of telescopes. Mauna Kea is the world’s tallest mountain, rising over 32,000 feet from the ocean floor to its summit, which is considered by many Hawaiians to be the most sacred place in all the islands. In your hooded parka you’ll stand in awe at both nature’s sublime creation and man’s astonishing technological achievements.
The drive: A half hour from HFT Headquarters to Kings’ Shops. Kings’ Shops to Parker Ranch dinner stop. As we make our way up, you’ll be fascinated by your Naturalist Guide’s interpretation of Hawaii’s remarkable natural, cultural, and geologic history.
The hike: After sunset we descend to the Visitor’s Information Station at 9000′ elevation. Here we set up our own telescope and have a star gazing party. Wrapped warm in Arctic parkas, enjoying hot beverages and chocolate macadamia nut cookies, you will marvel at the brilliance of the Hawaiian night sky. Your Interpretive Guide will share with you stories of the world of the observable universe, and offer you a personal and educational look at the heavens.