74.4 F
Amy Fujimotohttps://alohawithlove.com
I grew up in Hawaii and when I'm not traveling the islands, I write down my Mom's recipes, hike with Daisy the waddling rescue, work on my 200+ gallon aquaponics system, and dream about my future van conversion so I can do some more traveling.

Comment below so we can discuss!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links to buy something I may earn a commission with no additional cost to you. This helps keep Aloha With Love running, thank you! Learn More.

What You Need To Know For Your Mauna Kea Ascent

Most Mauna Kea visitors make their way up this dormant volcano on a 4×4 vehicle, which is bumpy but a relatively easy drive. But, if you have the time, the energy and the equipment, you may want to attempt this by foot because the views are amazing and very few people go by foot (you just might be the only one around)- a perfect way to experience Hawaii without the crowd!


This is an all day summit hike so you need to bring everything you can think of when doing this hike: light, good hiking shoes, long pants, long shirt, jacket, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and extra water (1 – 2 gallons).

Optional: Rain gear, hiking poles, compass, etc. are all good items to bring just in case.

Extra Tip: I’d highly recommend bringing enough gear to keep you alive overnight just in case.

The Hike

If you’re experienced, the full hike will take you about 8 hours – expect to be out there longer. You’ll begin the hike on a roadway that will soon head to the left. Although trail signs are visible only in the beginning, the trail will be obvious until about a mile before the summit. For the last mile, walk along the roadway to reach the top.

Extra Tip: Begin and end your hike by signing in and out at the Visitor Information Station.


Be aware of AMS, HACE, HAPE symptoms that could be serious and even fatal. If you’ve been diving within the past 24 hours, don’t go up Mauna Kea to avoid the “bends”. Children under 16, pregnant women, severely overweight and those with extreme health problems should not be doing this hike.

Breaking The Law

Don’t remove, take, damage, disturb or alter the natural landscape in anyway. Making rock piles are especially frowned upon culturally.

Extra Tip: If you find some litter, pick it up. Mahalo!

A Bunch Of Exta Tips

  • Keep a lookout for the Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve’s archeological sites.
  • Keep Aspirin on you in case of a mild headache.
  • Do not disturb any religious offerings around Lake Waiau as this place is culturally significant to Hawaiians.
  • Avoid shortcuts off the trail or you’ll cause rock slides and erosion.
  • Cell phone reception is spotty.

Not An Extreme Hiker? No Problem.

No Hiking Necessary: A wonderful, hot meal for dinner, a flight up to Mauna Kea in cozy parkas and a night sky viewing with a telescope and Hawaiian Heaven storytelling. Oh, and hot chocolate and brownies, of course.

Check out more free local Hawaii tips to really make the most of your trip to Hawaii. My personal favorites are Maui’s Turtle Town, the Lanikai and Kailua Parking Secret and the ever-popular Kauai’s Tubing Tips!


Weather In Hawaii In April: Travel, Events And The Best Time To Go

Despite what you may think, Hawaii in April is not the rainiest month to visit Hawaii. By the time April hits, the rainy season is at the end of its run and the warmer days of May are already...

Hawaii In May: Weather, Travel, Events And The Best Time To Visit

Hawaii in May is one of the best times to visit the islands. The weather in Hawaii in May is fantastic, ticket prices and hotel prices are down, and there are typically less tourists this time of year since...

Hawaii In July: Best Time To Visit Hawaii

Hawaii in July is a beautiful time to visit the islands. The days are hot and sunny and spending your Hawaii vacation at the beach snorkeling, swimming, and learning to surf sounds like a really great idea. The July...

Best Hawaiian Island To Visit And The Best Time To Go

Choosing the best Hawaiian Island to visit is so difficult, isn't it? It's tough for me, too...and I live here! I know you want an easy answer so you can start booking your tickets, but the honest answer is...

20+ Things To Do In Oahu’s North Shore: The Best Of North Shore

I've got you covered if you're looking for the best things to do in Oahu's North Shore. As one of Oahu's biggest attractions, the North Shore of Oahu has something for everyone. Gorgeous beaches, Oahu's best snorkeling spots, amazing...

Where To Swim With Turtles In Hawaii And How To Find Them

Swimming with turtles in Hawaii is amazing! My heartbeat kicks up but at the same time I feel so calm. There's a sense of peace in me when I see them drift from rock to rock, relying on the...

Real. Local. Non-touristy.

My emails will make you smile!

I'm all about living life in Hawaii with passion, honesty, and respect. So if you like legal hikes, authentic experiences, and a kind and humble personality, I'm your local girl!

You'll love reading my fun and down-to-earth emails from a local perspective. I'll send you my personal tips, travel suggestions, and DIY project ideas that are perfect for Hawaii living.

Sign up below and you'll be added to my email list!

Aloha with love, Amy

Top Tips To Mauna Kea Summit