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Mauna Kea Climber's Log

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climberbenRoute Climbed: Drove Date Climbed: 2 May 2005  Sucess!


We walked out that short little bit with high winds. I feel stupid signing this since we drove up.
Posted Dec 26, 2005 5:31 am

Joseph BulloughRoute Climbed: Humu'ula Trail from Onizuka Visitor Center  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Nov 6, 2005

Joseph Bullough

A clear and excellent day, surprisingly warm (45-ish?) at the summit. Saw a number of cars driving up the summit road, but no other hikers on the trail that day. Saddle Road from Kona was no where near as bad as I expected.
Posted Nov 14, 2005 8:38 am

edlRoute Climbed: Mauna Kea Trail Date Climbed: April, 2000  Sucess!
Most surrealistic hike I've ever done. Topping out among those huge telescope domes is a unique experience. The crux of the climb is driving the Saddle Road.
Posted Sep 23, 2005 4:19 pm

Ed FRoute Climbed: Trail from Visitor's Center Date Climbed: August 25, 2005  Sucess!

Ed F

This is an otherworldly experience. We started the day at our hotel on the ocean, and climbed to almost 14000 feet. The landscape here is truly amazing. The clouds hung at about 6000 feet the entire day, so looking out over the clouds was stunning.

15 miles round trip to the summit, and a start at 9000 feet makes it a long day. Well worth it, though. The altitude didn't really affect me much - I guess I climbed it while I was still acclimated from Colorado.

The only downside is that the final 1.5 miles forces you to hike on the road, which is kind of a bummer after having perfect solitude for 6 miles.

Trip Report: Sea to Sky
Posted Aug 28, 2005 5:45 pm

ireyesRe: Route Climbed: Trail from Visitor's Center Date Climbed: August 25, 2005


Did you go on foot the entire way from sea level?
Posted Oct 14, 2006 11:49 am

shknbkeRoute Climbed: from visitors center Date Climbed: July 24, 2005  Sucess!


climbed this unique volcano from the visitor's center. I felt the altitude even though I am from CO. Very out of this world experience although the trail isn't too much fun. Met my wife on top.
Posted Jul 31, 2005 6:01 pm

Shane MichelleRoute Climbed: Humu'ula Trail Date Climbed: 6/26/2005  Sucess!
My friend Michelle came up with the bright idea to "hike to the summit!" ... and me being almost equaly crazy said "let's go for it!" We got to the visitor's center and hung out for an hour then began the Humu'ula trail hike at 12:30 pm wanting to make summit by sunset and hitch a ride down, and it was an absolutely beautiful day for the "trek." We both are in pretty good shape, for 47 (me) and 20 (her) year olds, but the trail ascent (steepness) and thin air made it clear that we would "never do this again!" But we did it, hiked to the summit of Mauna Kea in just under 5 hours, watched an amazing sunset and hitched a ride down with 4 crazy englishmen, and it will live in us for the rest of our lives. Thank You Michelle, because if it wasn't for your "bright idea" i would never have gone there, even living here for almost all my life. Having a fear of heights i couldn't drive up there, so hiking it was the ONLY WAY i would experience something so incredible. Now, for Mauna Loa!
Posted Jun 29, 2005 6:28 pm

fortaz107Route Climbed: Main Road Date Climbed: 2001  Sucess!
I've driven up this mountain several times. It's strange to go from sea level to 14,000 in one hour. Getting up there and hiking the remaining few feet to the summit is really tough when youre not used to the altitude. I like the little Hawaiian display of arts and crafts on the summit.

The views from the summit are great. When its clear, you can see Maui and all of the Big Island. Most times the clouds are way below the summit. The last time I was up there, it was the middle of June and it was snowing!

The most popular time of day people go is around sunset so they can catch the day views and then see crystal clear night sky with no city lights.
Posted Jun 27, 2005 8:25 pm

annaleiserabinekDate Climbed: November 20, 2004  Sucess!


Route Climbed: Da road.

Date Climbed: November 20, 2004

Date Signed: Nov 24, 2004 01:14 AM

Big props and much love to Cornvallis for making this a must do on our things to do in Hawaii list. Absolutely beautiful sunset. I'm ready to go back!
Posted Jun 7, 2005 7:06 pm

leedog12Route Climbed: Mauna Kea Trail Date Climbed: May 18th, 2005  Sucess!
Drove up from the west side, Waikaloa beach area for a quick climb of the highest point in the Pacific. Started climb at the Onizuka Visitor's Center at 9200 feet. Nice day with little wind. Watch thermometer showed 57 degrees at the Visitor's Center and 49 degrees on the summit. I was the only climber on the entire trail. From rental car to summit and back to rental car was 6 hours and 30 minutes. Set a personal high altitude record, that is until I do Shasta next month. I was glad to be back at the beach by 2 PM to resume my relaxing vacation!
Posted May 25, 2005 3:21 pm

jdavies212Route Climbed: Road end to summit Date Climbed: July 1996  Sucess!


Yup, did that 100-ft. elevation gain thing from the parking lot (equipment: rental car/Avis map). But I redeemed myself on Mauna Loa.
Posted Apr 24, 2005 11:57 pm

sufferjoyRoute Climbed: mostly on trail, with a deviation onto Pu'u Hau Kea (13441 ft), then up the road to observatory, then onto the main summit Date Climbed: March 31, 2004  Sucess!


It was a great day (clear still weather, not hot, not cold).

Ascent (or two ascents if you count the satellite summit of Pu'u Hau Kea) and descent went pretty smooth. After about 2-3 hours of being in the summit region I started feeling altitude sickness, and by the time I got to the main summit I was ready to puke... Which I did on the summit to celebrate the ascent.

I liked the experience of Mauna Kea and Hawaii in general. At times things look unreal in this part of the world.

See my photo-report on this at


Posted Mar 18, 2005 10:39 am

PikesPeak14110Route Climbed: Road Date Climbed: 3-17-04  Sucess!
1st highpoint summited with dad partly cloudy very windy too windy to hike to true summit. I think im going to go back someday when im old enough and hike out to the true summit

Posted Feb 26, 2005 9:36 pm

Steve GruhnRoute Climbed: Walked from Parking Lot Date Climbed: November 30, 2003  Sucess!
Easy walk from parking lot, but altitude was noticeable.
Posted Jan 26, 2005 10:13 pm

CornvallisRoute Climbed: Da road. Date Climbed: November 20, 2004  Sucess!


Took a break from snorkeling and body surfing (more like getting beat by the surf) on the 85 degree Kona coast to catch one of the world’s best sunsets. Simply amazing mountain, island, and sunset. If driving to the top is cheating, well then we cheated. Still hiked/climbed the last .2 miles to the true summit though! The Big Island is spectacular, where else can you swim with huge green sea turtles and tropical fish and in less than three hours be on a snow-capped mountain. Best sunset I have ever experienced, surreal experience. Hard to leave the Island, can't wait to go back.
Posted Nov 24, 2004 1:14 am

syncDate Climbed: August 26, 2002  Sucess!


Well, we drove up to the top first, but I did walk the trail out to the true summit, which is no easy feat, considering it's almost 14,000 feet and we started at sea level. Take it each step at a time.
Posted Aug 12, 2004 11:03 am

mmullaRoute Climbed: Hilo to Mauna Kea trail to summit Date Climbed: April 18, 2003  Sucess!
Walked from the ocean to the summit. Started at 5am on April 17th, walked to 7000 feet in about 11 hours, covered 32 miles. Rested over night, started at sunrise on April 18th, walked to the vistor center and then took the trail to the summit, took about 6 hours. A friend supported me most of the trip and drove me down from the top. Walking beside the road was a little scary when there was traffic. This was my 50th State highpoint. Happy to be done.
Posted Jul 27, 2004 11:36 pm

rob_runkleRoute Climbed: Mauna Kea Trail Date Climbed: July 4, 2004  Sucess!


My main motivation for visiting the big island during our vacation in Hawaii was to bag this peak. I started around 7am at the visitors center. The trail was very easy to follow the whole way. I was at the top in just under 3 hours. I spent about 20 minutes on top. I was surprised that I was comfortable in shorts and a T-shirt (poly, of course) on top. My watch said that it was 63 degrees. I scampered back to the bottom in just over 1 hour; stopping at the lake on the way down. I wiped out once on the way down.. :) I was surprised that I had no ill affects from the altitude; no headaches, and only moderate fatigue and loss of appetite. Overall, the hike was pretty boring, but it was great to get in such a workout during my trip to the islands...
Posted Jul 12, 2004 5:25 pm

jstrolinRoute Climbed: Summit Road Date Climbed: March 5, 2004  Sucess!
Not many places in the world where you can drive up a volcano to 13,700 feet! Two of us, my wife and I, took the Mauna Kea Road to the observatories at the top, then walked the short trail to the actual summit high point. The place is truely otherworldly, and the colors looking down on the tops of the clouds at sunset were spectacular. At one place along the road, the snow plow had cut through drifts 6 feet high (although the road itself was clear), and there was considerable snow coverage on various cinder cones that dot the summit. A couple of folks were snowboarding (having driven up to the top after a morning of surfing!).
Posted Mar 8, 2004 10:25 pm

JoeyrooRoute Climbed: Auto road Date Climbed: January 31, 2004  Sucess!


Yes, it can snow in Hawaii. Now I have a photo of myself on the summit to show to my city-folk friends who laughed at me when I spoke of snow in Hawaii.
Posted Feb 12, 2004 6:15 pm

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