Maunakea Sunrise Adventure in Kailua-Kona, HI

Hawaii Forest & Trail73-5593 A Olowalu StreetKailua-Kona, HI 96740
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Overview

Hike to the top of the tallest volcano on Earth and see a sunrise of epic proportions. This 7-hour excursion includes breakfast at the Onizuka Visitors Center, transportation to the volcano, and parkas. Wake up early and dress warmly for this one-of-a-kind tour to the top of a volcano. Throughout your adventure, your knowledgeable tour guide will educate you on Hawaii’s history, culture, and more.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Kailua-Kona Travel Experts
  • A complimentary breakfast is included in the tour.
  • Tour duration: approximately 7 hours.
  • Dress warmly as temperatures in the early morning can be chilly.
  • Recommended for ages 16 and up.
  • Minimal walking happens on this tour. Transportation is bumpy, however.

Description

from Maunakea Sunrise Adventure
Start your Hawaiian day like never before...from the top of the tallest volcano on earth. Your journey begins early in the morning while the rest of the island sleeps. After a brief stop at the Ellison Onizuka Visitor's Information Station to acclimate and serve hot drinks, you then head to the summit to watch the first rays of dawn crawl across the landscape. See the morning sky light up in brilliant shades of red, orange, purple, and blue. On the way down, learn about the cultural and scientific significance of the mountain, as you past the wold's greatest collection of telescopes. You'll drop back down to 9,000 feet elevation where a tasty continental breakfast will be served before you have the opportunity to walk the endangered Mauna Kea Silversword enclosure, and view the exhibits of the visitor's center.

Highlights:
- See the night sky on the slope of Maunakea before the day's first light
- Take in the sunrise at the top of Maunakea, amidst the world's largest collection of research telescopes
- Enjoy breakfast at Onizuka visitors center followed by a short walk through the Maunakea Silversword enclosure.

Continental Breakfast: Assorted sliced fresh fruit, fresh baked banana bread, croissants, boiled egg, yogurt, granola, 100% Kona Coffee, Hot Cocoa & Assorted teas.

Tour Duration: 7 hours

Restrictions & Recommendations: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Because of high altitude this tour is not advised for those with respiratory, circulatory or heart conditions, pregnancy or poor health. Scuba divers should be aware of altitude dangers. No children under 16. Other tour restrictions may apply.

Guests are provided hooded parkas, but should bring a sweater or jacket; wear long pants and covered walking shoes with warm socks.

Big Island Hawaii Customer Reviews

Have you been to Maunakea Sunrise Adventure? Share your knowledge and be the first to review this.
TripAdvisor Reviews
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Camper15341197481
Rochester, New York
"View from top"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 25, 2019 NEW
Growing up I always wanted to be an astronomer, but I ended up with a very different career. What a treat to see the world’s preeminent viewing venue, all the telescopes, and, oh yes, a uniquely stunning panorama!
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Mobile46188070143
Chicago, Illinois
"Chicago's Finest Tours"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 24, 2019 NEW
I chose the Riverwalk Tour of Chicago's Finest Tours as close to the groupon expiration date that I could to maximize the chances of a good weather. Unfortunately, Chicago as usual, disappointed, and we started off on a cold, blustery, afternoon in front of Peet's in the Wrigley building. Even before the small group tour started, we were treated to a hot beverage or a bottle of water before starting off exactly on time. The tour guide, Cindy, was extremely knowledgeable and obviously felt passionate about Chicago. Rather than a recitation of facts, she wove her intricate knowledge into memorable stories of person, places, and events that made you feel that you were there. After an informative introduction, the tour started off with a river taxi ride to the Lyric Opera bridge. The focus was on more than the Chicago Riverwalk, and despite being a Chicagoan, I heard tidbits of the city that were totally new and outside the normal tourist spiel that other tours regurgitate. There wasn't a question asked that Cindy didn't have an answer too. Would recommend this tour without reservation. Be aware that there were stairs and a lot of walking and standing, so this would not be the tour for anyone with motility limitations.
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Joseph M
"Very interesting tour!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 24, 2019 NEW
We took the Sunrise Maunakea tour, and the itinerary and quality of the planning, equipment, and logistics were all very good. However our guide, Matt, was the best part- he was knowledgeable, articulate, competent, diligent, and pleasant. In my experience, this is a rare combination, and in this tour he really made everyone feel safe and comfortable while at the same time conveying a wealth of knowledge about Hawaiian geology, biology, history, and culture, and astronomy to boot. The view of the sunrise is not to be missed. Great experience!
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Trek40124177384
Houston, Texas
"Matt Was Spectacular"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 23, 2019 NEW
Matt was our guide for the sunrise mountain tour. He was extremely knowledgeable, passionate, charismatic, friendly, and patient. He maintained a pleasant volume of conversation, allowing for anyone too sleepy to rest peacefully. He provided a huge amount of context for cultural, historical, astonomical, and biological features seen on the tour and present on other parts of the island. Highly recommend, would go again in a heartbeat despite 2am start time.
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ahmenduh
Waterloo, Canada
"Amazing experience and wonderful guide"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 23, 2019 NEW
If you have the opportunity to go on the Mauna Kea Sunrise tour with Hawaii Forest and Trail, I would highly recommend it!! Melanie was an amazing guide. She was so friendly, knowledgeable and respectful of the land, the people, their history and culture. She had so much energy and made it fun even at 2AM in the morning! It was amazing seeing the stars without any light pollution, hints of the milky way and the rays of first light as it came up above the clouds. It is truly an unforgettable experience. It realigns your perspective on life...absolutely beautiful.
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Maunakea Sunrise Adventure is located at Hawaii Forest & Trail73-5593 A Olowalu StreetKailua-Kona, HI 96740
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Frequently Asked Questions about Maunakea Sunrise Adventure

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? 
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 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 the first light from the visitor's center at 9,000 feet, your guide will point out some points of interest, but we will not be viewing stars with a telescope.

What is the guide to guest ratio? 
Our maximum guide to guest ratio is 1:14

Are children allowed on this tour? 
Children under 13 are not permitted on this tour due to altitude. Children 13 to 15 require an additional waiver signed by their parents.

Is there much walking/hiking on this tour? 
There is minimal walking on this tour, the maximum being about 150 yards

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 of Maunakea is normally above the clouds. We cannot always predict the weather however, if the weather (clouds, snow, ice or high winds) cause us to cancel the tour, you will not be charged.

Is food included?
Yes. Guests enjoy a continental breakfast at the Onizuka Visitors Center. Breakfast includes assorted sliced fresh fruit, fresh baked banana bread , croissants, boiled egg, yogurt, granola, 100% Kona Coffee, Hot Cocoa & Assorted Teas.

Are guests provided with any gear?
Guests are provided with hooded parkas.

What should I wear/bring on this tour?
It is recommended that guests bring a sweater or jacket and wear long pants and covered walking shoes with warm socks.

Are there any health restrictions for this tour?
Yes. Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Because of high altitude this tour is not advised for those with respiratory, circulatory or heart conditions, pregnancy or poor health. Scuba divers should be aware of altitude dangers.