Star Gazing Program


 Stargazing Program Update 


The free, public Stargazing event is now held on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings (weather permitting). Parking is available for up to 115-vehicles on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the parking lots are full, all vehicles will be turned away.


Star Gazing Program!  

The Visitor Information Station (VIS), at the 9,200 foot (2,800 m) level of Maunakea, offering a free Star Gazing program on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 7:00 pm until 10:00 pm, weather permitting.

The program begins at 7:00 pm when telescopes are set up for viewing, supported by 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.
  • Please note that the Visitor Information Station does not allow privately owned telescopes to be set up at the Visitor Information Station (in the parking lot or on the patio) during public star gazing evenings which takes place on Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday and Saturday evenings.  On non-public star gazing evenings privately owned telescopes are welcome to setup in the Visitor Information Station parking lot area. Please check in with the Visitor Information Station staff prior to setting up private telescopes to receive a safety briefing.

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MKVIS Hours: 12 noon - 10pm every day.

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