Visitor Information

Maunakea Visitor Information Station

The Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Station (VIS) is located on the Maunakea Access Road at 19°45'33"N Latitude, 155°27′22″W Longitude, and 9,200ft (2,804m) Elevation. Take the Daniel K Inouye Highway (Saddle Road) and turn onto Maunakea Access Road (Milepost 28). For accurate GPS directions, search for Onizuka Center for International Astronomy.

Daily hours: 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

VIS Phone: (808) 934-4550

The Visitor Information Center is located below Hale Pohaku on MaunakeaThe Visitor Information Center is at 9,200 ft elevation on the Maunakea Access Road

See Visiting Maunakea Safely and Responsibly for important safety information. Due to the hazards of altitude sickness, pregnant women, persons in poor health, and children under 13 should not venture above the Visitor Information Station. Drivers are required to use 4-wheel drive vehicles above the VIS because the road to the summit is unpaved, rough, and quite steep. Those traveling to the summit should always use 4WD Low Range to reduce brake failure and overheating. It is recommended to have at least 1/2 a tank of gas before proceeding to the summit. Make sure your vehicle and any items taken to Maunakea are clean to prevent the spread of invasive species.

Things to do at VIS

A shirt that is available at the Fist Light storeA shirt that is available at the First Light Store

  • Star-gazing
  • Short hiking routes around VIS

VIS First Light Store (and the online E-Store) has souvenirs related to Maunakea. The newly renovated parking areas provide a safe place to acclimate before going up to the summit.

Summit Access Road conditions: Maunakea weather varies widely and sometimes very quickly. The latest road and weather information are available at the upper right corner of this page.

Kamaʻāina Observatory Experience: The Kama‘āina Observatory Experience is currently suspended due to COVID 19. When it is in operation, it is a monthly community event that welcomes Hawaiʻi residents to the science reserve atop Maunakea to see world-class telescopes and learn about the cultural and environmental importance of the mountain. For more information about the event or to reserve a spot for an upcoming tour,

call ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center at (808) 969-9703.

A student looking into a telescope at the VIS The Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Station on Maunakea prides itself on its free public educational programs.

Your generous, tax deductible donations allow us to make all of these free programs possible, including all of the telescopes used in our free nightly stargazing programs!


Mail donations:

Please make checks payable to:

UH Foundation #12045164
Maunakea Observatories Visitor Program

and mail to:

Maunakea Shared Services
640 North Aʻohoku Place
Hilo, HI 96720-5108