Star Gazing Program

Nightly Star Gazing Program!

The Visitor Information Station (VIS), at the 9,200 foot (2,800 m) level of Maunakea, has a free nightly stargazing program held every night of the year from 6:00 pm until 10:00 pm. Reservations are not needed

The program begins at 6:00 pm with the showing of First Light, a documentary about Maunakea made by PBS Hawaii about the history of the mountain from both astronomical and cultural perspectives. You can come any time, however, and stay as long as you like.  

After the video, telescopes are set up for viewing, operated by our staff and volunteers. 

As soon as it's dark enough, a star tour will be given, using a laser pointer to point out the objects visible that night.  Description of the Stargazing Program (reprinted with permission from Hawaii Magazine.)

  • Please note that we often experience near-freezing night time temperatures at the VIS. Please, dress warmly!  (But just in case, warm clothing is available for sale at the Visitor Information Station's First Light Bookstore.)  Also, a red-filtered flashlight will help you navigate safely from the parking lot.
  • Also, please make sure there is a full tank of gas in your vehicle before making the trip up to the Visitor Station. Fuel is NOT available for purchase on Maunakea, and the nearest gas stations are about 35 miles/50 km away in either Hilo or Waimea.
  • Currently we are experiencing both insufficient parking and crowding on our Stargazing deck. Be aware before you arrive of the possibility of long lines and no parking available at the Visitor Information Station. Thank you for your patience.

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MKVIS Hours: 9am - 10pm every day.

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