Stargazing at Mauna Kea

During our recent trip to Hawaii, we decided to do a trip up the mountain of Mauna Kea to do some stargazing and a small hike over to Lake Waiau. Mauna Kea is where some of the best observatories in the world are located because of the fantastic conditions. Up at the top, you’re looking at 13,000 to 14,000 feet above sea level. That’s way above the clouds and perfect for stargazing with zero light pollution. Lake Waiau is up near the top at 13,500 feet. It’s a small lake that presents an Arctic micro-climate to people deciding to visit. When we arrived in Hawaii, we were shown a photo from one of the staff (Nick) at the Four Seasons resort that epitomized the beauty of the place – a perfect shot of the Milky Way and the stars in the sky, reflected in a still and tranquil Lake Waiau. We wanted to see that! And so our adventure began. We hadn’t planned our hike or stargazing in advance. It was spur of the moment, and so all of the pre-made tours for stargazing were already fully booked. But we had a car. How hard could it be?

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