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Mauna Loa Observatory: Tours & Tickets

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  • Excellent65%
  • Very good25%
  • Average8%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible0%
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“wheel drive”(8 reviews)
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...more
Suggested duration: 2-3 hours
1437 Kilauea Ave, Suite 102, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-4200
+1 808-933-6965
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Mauna Loa Observatory Tours and Tickets
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Reviews (124)
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All reviews wheel drive lane paved road visitor center wind chill lava fields open to the public amazing sights sea level milky way an adventure long drive altitude clouds sky hikers cars vehicle
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1 - 10 of 103 reviews
Reviewed 7 August 2019

A must visit, rented a SUV, filled the gas tank at Cosco's, preceded to Mauna Loa, a steep incline going up at a steddy pace. There was markers, at different intervals monitoring Mauna Loa. Construction was being done at the base of where an encampment...More

Date of experience: June 2019
2  Thank Armando G
Reviewed 7 May 2019

As has been noted here, this is NOT the astronomical observatory, it's a weather observatory and is not open to the public, although their website does offer that if you want a tour, you can call them. We didn't have time for that, as our...More

Date of experience: April 2019
4  Thank Mark C
Reviewed 23 March 2019

This is a tough activity. You climb from sea level to 14,000+ft within 1 hour so expect problems with acclimatisation (head ache, serious breathlessness etc). You get to the top at sunset, then it gets very cold. There is ice at the top around the...More

Date of experience: November 2018
4  Thank Rajkathane
Reviewed 13 March 2019

It was closed because of snow and fog so it was a nice drive up to talk to the girls working in the shop. Maybe next time

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank cheribree2016
Reviewed 9 March 2019

Great experience suggested by new friends in a hot tub. Long drive from Kona area (1 1/2) with a 1/2 hour stop to climatize due to elevation. 13,000 feet above elevation...worth going for sunset shots....

Date of experience: March 2019
1  Thank Gordon D
Reviewed 18 February 2019

This is a must drive in my books! The road snakes around multiple hills and mounds in an otherworldly lava world! Once at the observatory you can attempt to hike the summit. I've recorded the journey and got birds eye views of it, but can't...More

Date of experience: November 2018
1  Thank Dimox9
Reviewed 5 January 2019

Many of the reviews on this page are for the other mountain, Mauna Kea, which has several astronomical observatories and a visitor center open to the public at 9800' altitude. Mauna Loa is an atmospheric observatory, and has no facilities or visitors' center. THERE IS...More

Date of experience: December 2018
10  Thank PhineusJWhoopee
Reviewed 5 January 2019

Even though a REAL 4-wheel drive is needed to get to the very top, this is a cool place to visit and the views are amazing. The guest services are very limited, but there is good information and a little museum at the visitor center....More

Date of experience: December 2018
2  Thank W6415LRpaulk
Reviewed 13 October 2018

It is up high enough to be above the weather - and COLD. It was probably 48 degrees F, so wear a coat. The views are unbelievable. We did not go all the way to the summit, as a 4 wheel drive is required.

Date of experience: October 2018
1  Thank Rob R
Reviewed 8 August 2018

We were lucky that the day was pretty clear so had great views. The observatory is not always open, but we managed to get inside a viewing room. I was with 2 engineers so they were quite thrilled with this experience.

Date of experience: August 2018
1  Thank Dancebuff
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Questions & Answers
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2 August 2019|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Rajkathane | Reviewed this property |
You will need to book the trip with a local company. They are well advertised. They pick you up from a pre determined spot in a local shopping area and then take you in their 4 X4 truck. You cannot hike up this road... More
Melia M
3 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from 89reneec | Reviewed this property |
NO!!! If you want to look through a telescope go to the astronomical observatory on Mauna KEA. Mauna Loa is a different mountain with an atmospheric observatory and no telescopes.
Tijil A
6 October 2017|
Response from Adventurer803262 | Reviewed this property |
There a good views from both mountains if it is a clear day but both are so different. From Mauna Loa you can see the observatories twinkling in the sunshine on Mauna Kea. You can only drive up to 11,000ft on Mauna Loa and... More