The unique beauty and heritage of majestic Maunakea draws an increasing number of visitors from around the world. We strive to be good stewards by helping strike a balance between visitor traffic and preserving this special place.

Take this virtual 360 tour of our telescope facility in lieu of a summit visit. Limiting traffic helps to maintain the delicate ecological and cultural well-being of the mountain. 

Planning Your Visit

Important Health and Safety Information

Please exercise caution when driving to the nearly 14,000 foot summit of Maunakea and adhere to the following health and safety guidance:

  • Check the weather and road conditions prior to your visit by calling: (808) 935-6268
  • Make sure your vehicle is clean to prevent the spread of invasive species on Maunakea’s precious environment.
  • Acclimate for 30 minutes at the Maunakea Visitor Information Station (VIS) located at the 9,200-foot level before continuing up to the summit.
  • A 4-wheel drive vehicle is required above the 9,200-foot level as the road to the summit is unpaved, rough, and steep; use 4WD Low Range.
  • Bring warm clothing; temperatures atop Maunakea can drop to 20 degrees Fahrenheit and winds can reach 150 mph.
  • Wear sturdy footgear that can withstand the elements should your vehicle break down.
  • Due to high altitude hazards, it is not recommended to drive above the VIS if you are pregnant, under age 13 or have a heart or respiratory problem.
  • Do not ride your brakes on the drive down to avoid brake failure and overheating.
  • Note that medical and auto help is a minimum of two hours away

For detailed health and safety guidance, please visit these useful links:

Upcoming Events

Join us!

Kamaʻāina Observatory Experience

Note: This event is canceled until further notice.
Free tour of the Maunakea Observatories for up to 48 Hawaiʻi residents per month. Offers an opportunity to visit the summit, see telescopes, and learn about Maunakea.

Protect Hawaii’s Precious Dark Skies

Dark night skies are valued by professional and amateur astronomers, not to mention lovers of starry skies in general. Recent changes in lighting, including widespread use of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), threaten dark night skies over Maunakea and Haleakalā. The Institute for Astronomy is making an effort to protect Hawaii’s dark night skies from light pollution.

Send a Donation

Thank you for your generous support of W. M. Keck Observatory and for becoming a valued champion of our mission to advance the frontiers of astronomy and share our discoveries to inspire the imagination of all.

Donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Keck Observatory is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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