Mauna Kea (Hawaii) Astrophotography advice?

Started Sep 27, 2017 | Discussions thread
JakeInChicago Regular Member • Posts: 421
Re: Mauna Kea (Hawaii) Astrophotography advice?

Hi Jerry,

My wife and I did the *stargazing* tour through Hawaii Forest and Trail back in 2012 and it was fantastic. Based on their TripAdvisor reviews, they're still doing a great job. You can find the details regarding it here:

I'd probably call them up, or another similar operator, and see if they could accommodate your request, or put you in contact with a local group who can. The summit is freezing cold and the tour did provide parkas and gloves, so that was a plus. After viewing sunset from the summit, the tour returned back down to the visitor center level for some hot chocolate and stargazing through some pretty impressive telescopes.

Note that even if you were to rent a vehicle to do it on your own, be sure to read the contract. We rented a little Chevy Aveo and it explicitly forbade driving past the visitor center:

Driving restrictions: No off-road driving is permitted. Driving is permitted on Saddle Road but not past Mauna Kea Visitor Centre since it is not paved.

With that said, we actually did see some rentals up there, and they definitely weren't 4x4; would not recommend doing that, especially now 5 years later when they probably all have GPS tracking builtin.

Finally, if you'll be able to spend more time on the Big Island, I'd highly recommend this guide book:

We were there for 10 days back in 2012 and never had a dull day - green/red/black sand beaches, Volcano national park, botanic gardens, waterfalls, Kona brewing, etc etc.

Here's some cell phone snaps from the top of the summit:

That's Maui peaking up through the clouds in the distance.

Let me know if I can be of any further help.


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