mauna kea self guided tour
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mauna kea self guided tour

mauna kea self guided tour

Start Junction of Saddle and Mauna Kea Access Rds, Length 15 miles; 1½ hours, plus exploration time. Monte “Pat” Wright- Owner/guide, © 2018 Mauna Kea Summit Adventures.

Ways to Experience Mauna Kea Observatories, Mountains, Volcanos, Observatories & Planetariums. Glaciers as thick as 560ft covered Mauna Kea as recently as 13,000 years ago, creating some unique geological features not usually associated with Hawaiʻi volcanoes. Don't forget to reset your odometer; the mile markings start over here and we'll go by those. It typically takes five hours to reach the summit, half as long coming down, and you'll want some time to explore in between. Keep along the access road until you reach Mile 5.6. When eruptions occur underneath ice, the rapid cooling can result in a dense, fine-grained basalt forming. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. There was a talk given by the center about the stars. Guide recommendations are also welcome. We had gotten up there early enough to go into the Keck building before it closed. The original Sunset and Stargazing Tour. Though the road is 2 miles longer, it’s smoother walking and easier to follow as sunlight fades. The tight grained, dense basalt formed when lava from eruptions under glaciers cooled almost instantly against the ice. We prefer to go right which zig-zags up the final 1.2 miles to the parking area beside the UH 2.2m Telescope where you'll have commanding views of the summit caldera and beyond. © 2020 Lonely Planet. At Mile 4.4 you pass a gravel turnout, and just to the east is a gray gravelly wash nicknamed Apollo Valley.

We drove back down to the visitors' center, where we hiked up a cinder cone to watch the sunset from there. Journey to the top of this spectacular mountain in our 4X4 vans, enjoy a hearty meal, watch the breathtaking sunset and stargaze at the heavens. We invite you to experience what is quite possibly the most dramatic and stimulating scenery to be found anywhere, either on or off planet earth. If you are lucky, you might find unusual striping on the top of some lava flows, a testament to a battle between liquid rock and solid water. (Reset your odometer; the mile markings start over here and we'll go by those.). This epic drive to the lofty 13,776ft summit of Hawaiʻi starts at an already respectable 6578ft. The road begins the big climb almost immediately beyond the center. The hardest, steepest part of the trail is now behind you. But they also sell packets if you forget. Altitude can affect anyone, and impair driving. The access road splits at Mile 7.4, and either way will take you around the partially-paved summit loop to each of the observatories. 10 comments. Tour Summary: See the sunrise from the Mauna Kea summit amidst the world’s greatest collection of astronomy equipment. Look for blobs of pillow lava which forms in underwater eruptions, indicating the water once was likely much deeper. Altitude can affect anyone, and impair driving. Also watch for darker, almost black outcroppings. Where the pavement ends, go left on the dirt road, following several 'Humuʻula Trail' signs to the trail proper. If you want a closer look, there's a parking lot at Mile 5.1. To the west you may be able to see outcroppings of black rock – from here it's hard to appreciate the scale of the Mauna Kea Adz Quarry, the source of the island's hardest rock. We prefer to take the right, which zigzags up the final 1.2 miles to the parking area beside the UH 2.2m Telescope where you'll have commanding views of the summit caldera and beyond. When lava erupts under ice, the rapid cooling can form dense, fine-grained blocks of basalt which ancient Hawaiians prized for making adz heads. My husband has a lot of experience driving on gravel in his home state of Oklahoma, so we didn't think this was out of our league.

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