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Mauna Kea Stargazing Experience & Photos

Waimea, United States

Experience hosted by James

2 hoursHosted in English
Committed to safety
This host committed to Airbnb’s COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Up to 8 people
Includes drinks, tickets, transportation, and equipment

What you'll do

Your adventure with me (James, a former Analog Astronaut) will take you to a remote location for a unique stargazing experience unlike any other.

We will explore the mountains of Mauna Kea or Mauna Loa, which ever area has the best weather. Our spots won't be touristy with lots of people around.

You’ll have the option of following behind in your own vehicle or riding in the van (4x4 vehicles aren’t necessary most of the time).

When we get to the stargazing location, you'll be greeted to the darkest sky in Hawaii. I will use a green laser pointer to show you constellations, nebulas, galaxies and star clusters. I'll also be sharing my experiences as an Analog Astronaut and other adventures under the stars.
During this time I will also take tracked Milky Way astrophotography mosaics and create composite astro-photography.

After that, all guests get 2-3 professional photos taken of them under the stars and one bonus composite Milky Way image of them for free as part of the tour, they are around 1MB each and work well for social media as well as small prints. You’ll receive your digital photos in under 5 days.

A $75 photo upgrade is available to receive all of your groups photos in high resolution within 3-24 hours after your experience. You will be refunded the upgrade price when you refer guests in the future. :)
Your adventure with me (James, a former Analog Astronaut) will take you to a remote location for a unique stargazing experience unlike any other.

We will explore the mountains of Mauna Kea or Mauna Loa, which ever area has the best weather. Our spots won't be touristy with lots of people around.

You’ll have the option of following behind in your own vehicle or riding in the van (4x4 vehicles aren’t necessary most of the…

What's included

  • Drinks
    All of these refreshments including hot chocolate are available upon reques...
  • Tickets
    Your "Ticket" to Free Photos -
    Within 5 days, your photos will be edi...
  • Transportation
    We will be taking a 4x4 van to a remote Mars-like location for an out-of-th...
  • Equipment
    Grab one of our parka jackets and I'll take photos of your group at unique...

Meet your host, James

Host on Airbnb since 2012
  • 208 Reviews
  • Identity verified
Aloha friends!

I'm an Analog Astronaut, Astro-Photographer, Mission Control Operator for The International MoonBase Alliance and the owner of Epic Tours Hawaii.

For the past 8 years i've been guiding small-group tours to see lava up close and photographing the wonders of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Currently working in association with NASA as an Analog Astronaut and Mission Control for the HI-SEAS Moon and Mars simulation training facility.
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From $219
/ person
Fri, Apr 16
$259 per person
4:00 AM - 6:00 AM
Join 1 other guest
$259 per person
Sat, Apr 17
$259 per person
$259 per person
Sat, Apr 17
$229 per person
$229 per person

Where you'll be

We will either explore a secluded stargazing spot on the slopes of Mauna Kea or Mauna Loa (basically, we want to avoid the clouds, so I'll find the best spot.) Please note, stargazing at the summit has never been allowed for any individual or tour company. All tour companies stargaze on the side of a busy road below the summit...except our group. :) We will go to private property, owned by Epic Tours or miles away from the nearest highway.
Kelli
April 2021
Authentic, specialized experiences make traveling more valuable than finding places to take pics for the ‘gram. James gives you both in one trip for a lasting life long memory. I would recommended this unique experience to anyone coming to Hawai’i.
Authentic, specialized experiences make traveling more valuable than finding places to take pics for the ‘gram. James gives you both in one trip for a lasting life long memory. I w…
Leah
April 2021
If you have a bit of photography or photoshop knowledge already, this tour is not for you. Photo quality is alright. No hot beverages were offered in extremely cold temperature weather. It felt a bit amateurish tour for the price.
Tyler
April 2021
Awesome experience up on Mauna Kea. If on the big island would definitely recommend! James is great and takes stunning photos. Dress warm!
Stephanie
March 2021
James did everything he could to find clear skies during our adventure, and his stories and knowledge of the skies above, did not disappoint. Thank you James!!
Staphania
March 2021
This experience is worth it for the photos alone. I’ve never really been into astronomy but being to see the stars with that much clarity is definitely unforgettable and worth staying up late/getting up early for. James provided great insight and was able answer all of our questions. I would absolutely recommend!
This experience is worth it for the photos alone. I’ve never really been into astronomy but being to see the stars with that much clarity is definitely unforgettable and worth stay…
Caitlin
March 2021
This was an unforgettable experience. My boyfriend and I had such a great time just being in the location that James picked. We loved being able to see the Milky Way and learning about different planets and stars. The photos were also incredible. Thank you!
This was an unforgettable experience. My boyfriend and I had such a great time just being in the location that James picked. We loved being able to see the Milky Way and learning a…

Choose from available dates

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Things to know

Cancellation policy

Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.

Guest requirements

Up to 8 guests of all ages can attend.

What to bring

Comfortable walking or hiking shoes. The temperature is typically around 40°F or higher.

Pants