Mauna Kea; the Tallest Mountain on Earth at 33,000ft. I recently stopped by the Visitors Information Station at 9,200ft and it was the coolest thing ever!
The visit was on a recent trip to Hawaii for a wedding. If you go to the Big Island and you do one thing, this is the thing you should do; the Star Gazing Program on Mauna Kea. It was amazing. I was starstruck…see what I did there? 😉
We drove up the 9,200ft in a regular rental car, as we did not go to the summit. This IS something you may want to do, so find that information here. It is said to be one of the best places on Earth to see astronomical observations. Alas, we didn’t have the proper vehicle and after getting up to the Information Station, the nerd in me was already loving it! AND it was FREE to visit the info station…going to the summit with a tour was a little out of our price range for the day.
We were lucky enough to visit during the Star Gazing Program on a Friday night and it was packed. I recommend getting there early, as the parking lot fills up fast. And when it’s recommended to bring sweaters, you really should. I retrieved all the layers of clothing I had in the car just to keep warm. The temperature dropped as soon as the sun was gone.
When we arrived they were setting up the telescopes for everyone to use. The volunteers helped us recognize exactly what we were looking at. On the other side of the station, a student from the university was giving tales and information about the constellations. Definitely a win for all the geeks out there that night!
We stayed at the site for a few hours and really gave ourselves time to enjoy the vastness of the sky. It’s amazing how small you can feel so fast. There’s so much out there that we don’t know about. It was a humbling experience.
Unfortunately, my camera didn’t pick up the greatness of the night sky. So, it will forever be embedded in my memories.
Photo Credits: Simply Living