- If you can get to Mauna Kea at night, you can enjoy some of the world's best stargazing. However, no one ever said it was easy to get there. The place is located 35 miles inland of Hilo inside the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve. Not only is it 6,500 feet above sea level, it is also only accessible by a winding, bumpy mountain road that is strictly off-limits for most rental cars. Spring for a 4x4 and a camping permit (get it ahead of time) and do it right. Alternatively, book a place on one of the many guided tours that head up the mountain. By day, you can hike and explore. At night, observe the glory of the night sky.
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