We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Great little side trip across from Mauna Kea”

Mauna Loa Observatory
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Big Island Air Tour by Cessna Plane
Ranked #28 of 80 things to do in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: 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.
Wayne, New Jersey
Level Contributor
40 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great little side trip across from Mauna Kea”
Reviewed 18 July 2014

Like driving up a long driveway. One tiny section is unpaved in the middle. By the way you can walk in past the gate. The is a very clean out house just inside the gate. Great veiw of the lava fields and valley. When your done drive up to Mouna Kea for sunset. It will takeat least an hour to get to summit of Mauna Kea for sunset so give yourself pleanty of time.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Vic I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

96 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
61 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Kids Had Fun”
Reviewed 22 June 2014

The observatory is an interesting place to learn the history of immigration to Hawaii from Asia.
The shows that were ON were mainly for the kids but I had fun as an adult too because I did not know most of the stuff they were talking about. We even tried looking up in the sky in Goa to find the star constellation they were talking about.
Very informative and fun. Lots of activities for everyone in the displays.
Food is a bit scarce due to various parties that happen at the restaurant.
Keep a few hours to enjoy the establishment fully.

Visited May 2014
Thank tarahblahsiv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Mauna Loa Observatory...”
Reviewed 14 May 2014

is a 1 lane, paved 18 mile road, with possibly sharp lava on the sides, take it real slow driving...
to a working weather facility (pre-arranged tours only) and a remote trailhead through cairned raw lava towards the Mauna Loa summit... I had Mauna Loa to myself the weekday I went! Spectacular day hike to the North Pit lava lake and back! best take a GPS to not get lost up there or take a buddy for a backpack (which register w NPS to do)

Visited May 2014
2 Thank bertcat64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
39 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Excellent dining”
Reviewed 14 May 2014

Service was fantastic and food was very good. Can choose between buffet style luncheon or set menu items. Very large meals.

Visited April 2014
Thank Debbie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gresham, Oregon
Level Contributor
40 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Take your time”
Reviewed 9 April 2014

Spend at least 45 minutes at the Visitor's Center (at 9200 ft) adjusting to the elevation before heading to the top.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank Bill77Oregon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Mauna Loa Observatory also viewed

Hilo, Island of Hawaii

Been to Mauna Loa Observatory? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing