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  • Excellent66%
  • Very good24%
  • Average8%
  • Poor2%
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“saddle road”(8 reviews)
“single lane”(2 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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Reviews (112)
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All reviewssaddle roadresearch facilitysingle lanelava fieldssharp lavavisitor centerhiking trailsthe big islandobservation areaaccess roadwatch the sunsetfour wheel drivean adventurebucket listactive volcanoshort hikelava tube
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1 - 10 of 93 reviews
Reviewed 18 May 2018

Must go if you are up for the trek. Get acclimated first, then drive safely and enjoy the sights not many people will ever see

Thank Mikchief
Reviewed 6 May 2018 via mobile

As noted there isn’t much to see at the top and no facilities. If you are a hiker it’s another six mile walk to the summit after an 18 mile slow, windy drive through lava fields But we liked the drive as an adventure in...More

Thank BHorst
Reviewed 1 April 2018 via mobile

As other reviewers have said, Mauna Loa is the other, less talked about very tall mountain on the island. The observatory is an atmospheric research facility, nothing to do with stars, and no public access. The reason to go here is the views from the...More

1  Thank Renee C
Reviewed 6 March 2018 via mobile

The observatory is on Mauna Kea. The other mountain south of Mauna Kea is Mauna Loa. From the Saddle Road, which goes from the eastern side of Hawaii to the western side of the island, there is a road up to Mauna Kea. Along the...More

1  Thank IJS-64
Reviewed 26 February 2018

This is an experience you don't want to miss. The drive up to the observatory is challenging for the vehicle as your ascending from about 3500 feet above sea level to 9200 feet. But the drive is worth it. Make sure you have enough gas...More

1  Thank Dennis K
Reviewed 8 February 2018 via mobile

Mauna Loa is a different Volcano from Mauna Kea or Kīlauea (by Volcano) so many of these reviews are confused. Most tourists do visit Kīlauea and some visit Mauna Kea and few Mauna Loa. That’s a pretty good order of their attraction and ease of...More

Thank PaulGCalifornia
Reviewed 5 February 2018 via mobile

This was a hilarious (and sort of dangerous) curvy drive that I would only recommend if you are looking to fill a spare 1.5- 2 hours before or after Mauna Kea. Don't make a special trip here. That being said, we really enjoyed the drive!...More

Thank anjnovotny
Reviewed 22 January 2018

This is the other summit of the island, at the south of Mauna Kea, and there is a single lane road that gets you there. The ascent is fairly long and we found a few geocaches along the way. It doesn't get to the top...More

2  Thank Taqulik
Reviewed 13 October 2017

Unfortunately, it was voggy (fog + volcanic stuff) when we arrived at the foot of the drive up to the observatory -- which is a mile or so before the drive up to Mauna Kea on the other side of the road when going East...More

1  Thank garbagecollector
Reviewed 14 September 2017

The drive to the top of Mauna Kea is long and bumpy; parts of it not paved, but it is so worth it. The views along the drive of the clouds below are remarkable. It is extremely windy at the top, so we took some...More

Thank AuntFifi
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Questions & Answers
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Pamela B
3 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Renee C | 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 Mr&MrsAdventure | 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
dan h
20 March 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from dan h | Reviewed this property |
Again,you guys are talking about wrong mountain. You all drove to Mauna Kea. This post is about Mauna Loa. I actually just made it up to Mauna Loa yesterday, it was several hours trip. Anyone can drive up to Kea, but Loa is... More