Visitor Information Station
***PARKING ALERT: Visitor Center parking is limited to approximately 110 vehicles, once this limit is reached all vehicles will be turned away. There are no parking areas along the road or in the surrounding DLNR property. Please plan accordingly. Mahalo!!! ***PARKING ALERT***
The Visitor Information Station (VIS) is open from 12 pm to 10 pm, 365 days a year, with Interpretive Guides and Maunakea Rangers to answer questions. Restrooms are open twenty-four hours daily. Telescopes are available to the public daily. During the day, a solar telescope is available for viewing the sun. The Stargazing program is currently conducted on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 6pm to 10pm, weather permitting. There is no stargazing program on Sunday, Monday and Thursday evenings. We also have special programs on Saturday night.
The VIS has informational panels, interactive displays, handouts, a video program, and the First Light Bookstore, with books about astronomy and Hawaiian culture, food (snacks, soup, hot & cold drinks) for sale. Outside are hot water dispensers and a microwave for your convenience.
If you have any questions, contact us at (808) 961-2180. For questions about the weather and road conditions, please visit the Mauna Kea Weather Center webpage or call (808) 935-6268. If there are any sudden changes in the weather and/or road conditions, the Rangers will update the message shortly thereafter.
Directions to MKVIS:
From Hilo, take the Puainako Extension (Hwy 2000) which merges with Saddle Road (Hwy 200). At Mile Marker 8 Highway 200 transitions seamlessly into the new Daniel K Inouye Highway. Just before Mile Marker 28, look for a road to the right and a street sign that reads Maunakea Access Road. Make the right turn. The station is about 6 miles up the road on the right side of the road. The drive from Hilo takes approximately 1 hour.
From the Kona side of the island, take Highway 190, driving north from Kona or south from Waimea. At Mile Marker 14 is the intersection for the new Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Hwy 200). Make the turn and take this road eastward until Mile Marker 28. Turn left onto the Maunakea Access Road. The station is about 6 miles up the road on the right side of the road. From Waimea, the trip takes about 1 hour; from Waikoloa Resorts, the trip takes about 1-1/4 hours, and from Kona, the trip takes about 1-1/2 hours.