||VISITOR INFORMATION STATION
(9,200 ft. elevation)
|| LILIUOKALANI PARK EXIT
||Approx. 37.2 Miles / 1 Hour
||Mile Marker 28 on the Saddle Road
At the Visitor Information Station (VIS) there are informational panels,
interactive displays, information handouts, a video program, and the First Light Bookstore
containing many books about astronomy and Hawaiian culture. There is food for sale, hot
water containers and a microwave for your convenience.
- Exit Liliuokalani Gardens & turn left onto Banyan Drive
- Go 0.9 mile to end of Banyan Drive at intersection of Kamehameha
Ave. & Kanoelehua Ave. (traffic light)
- Cross intersection & go 1.9 mile on Kanoelehua Ave. to W. Puainako
Street (traffic light - right side)
- Turn Right onto Puainako Street & go 1.6 mile to end of Puainako
Street (Stop Light)
- Turn Right at stop light and immediately get into left lane
- Make an immediate left turn which puts you onto the Saddle Road
- Stay on the Saddle Road & go 26.6 miles to Mauna Kea Access
Road (just before Mile Marker 28)
- Turn Right onto the Access Road & go 6.2 miles to the Visitor
Note: Open 9-10 daily all year, tel. 961-2180. From 10-10, there are telescopes ready
for public use at the station. During the daytime, there is a solar telescope available
for viewing that is pointed at the sun and equipped with protective filters. The Stargazing
program is conducted daily from 6-10.There are special programs on Saturday night and a
public Escorted Summit Tour conducted every Saturday and Sunday (see below).
The Park Ranger Escorted Summit Tour Program:
to the effects of high elevation, it is strongly advised that persons in the following categories
not travel beyond the VIS to the summit of Mauna Kea: persons under 16 years of age; pregnant
women; anyone with high blood pressure, heart or respiratory conditions; scuba divers with
less than 24 hours after their last dive; anyone who has been drinking alcohol.
- All participants must have their own 4-wheel drive transportation
to the summit.
- Everyone must be at least 16 years of age
- No one may be pregnant.
- Persons who are extremely over-weight, in poor health, and those
with a history of heart or respiratory problems should check with their personal physician
before planning a trip to the summit of Mauna Kea.
- No one should have been SCUBA diving in the previous 24 hours.
- All of these regulations are strictly enforced! Please call the
road report number, 935-6268, to hear a recording of the current road conditions on
the summit. The summit tour will happen as long as the road is open.
- Participants must arrive at the VIS by 1:00 PM on Saturday or Sunday.
After the orientation, there will be a caravan up to the summit which takes about 1/2
hour up the graded gravel road and the speed limit is 25 miles an hour. The tour will
go into at least one of the Keck I telescope and the University of Hawaii 2.2 meter
telescope and will end between 4:15 and 4:30 pm.
- Those wishing to stay at the summit may do so, but the rangers
will escort people off the summit a half-hour after sunset. Be sure that you have a
full tank of fuel in the vehicle you are driving to Mauna Kea. The steep grade combined
with the lower oxygen level makes internal combustion engines run inefficiently. Fuel
is NOT available for purchase on Mauna Kea!