Welcome to MKVIS
Aloha! The Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Station is located on Maunakea, at 19°45′33″N Latitude and 155°27′22″W Longitude.
Open every day of the year from 9AM until 10PM at the 9,200 foot (2,800 meter) level, we provide health and safety information and education about Maunakea, and we hold Free stargazing programs at the Visitor Station every night. Our Calendar of Events lists upcoming outreach events and the Saturday program schedule.
Due to the hazards of altitude sickness, pregnant women, persons in poor health, and children under 16 should NOT venture above the Visitor Information Station. Drivers are cautioned to use 4-wheel drive vehicles above the VIS because the road to the summit is unpaved, rough, and quite steep. Those traveling to the summit should always used 4WD Low Range to reduce brake failure and overheating.
Please note that those traveling in groups of 10 or more require an approved special request from the VIS.
We often experience both insufficient parking and crowding on our Stargazing deck. Please be aware before you arrive of the possibility of long lines and very limited parking available at the Visitor Information Station. These situations can occur on any evening until about 1-1/2 hours after sunset (check the bottom of the Maunakea Weather Center page for current sunset times). We are unable to predict volume on any particular day but can expect large crowds on a daily basis, so please do not call to inquire about current parking conditions. Mahalo for your patience and understanding.
Summit Access Road conditions: Maunakea weather varies widely. A calm sunny day may quickly become treacherous with hurricane force winds and blizzard conditions. Summit winds above 120 mph are not uncommon. Snowstorms have even occurred during the summer months.
When conditions are too dangerous due to ice, snow, and/or high winds, the Summit Access road is closed to ensure everyone's safety. The road is re-opened as soon as the weather and the roads are safe again.
Traffic delays and road closures on the summit access road may also occur due to the use and transport of heavy equipment, slow vehicle movements, deliveries, road maintenance, stalled or abandoned vehicles, hikers and bikers. Remember that dust, fog or snow can reduce visibility and slow traffic.
The latest road and weather information, as well as road closure criteria, are available at the "Current Summit & Road Conditions" section on the right side of this page, or go to the "Road Conditions" section of the Maunakea Weather Center website; http://mkwc.ifa.hawaii.edu/ . Or you can call 935-6268 for a recorded phone message (updated as conditions change).
Mahalo for your understanding.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)