Awaiting Sunset on Top of the World
13,700 feet above sea level is the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii. Several companies offer tours for sunset viewing from the summit, followed by stargazing down at the visitors center at about 9000 feet. Incredible experience! You are usually above the clouds, but can often glimpse the Pacific coast down below. The night sky is incredible due to the elevation and the latitude and also thanks to the great efforts taken to minimize light pollution (if you have been to the Big Island you know that there are not a lot of street lights and they are all yellow light). A really unique place. We were fortunate to experience this at a time of year that we could see both the North Star and the Southern Cross in the same night sky! We used Hawaii Forest and Trail, who I would recommend. Don't worry...you don't have to pack the parka. They will provide one for you with most of the tours.
By Liz Galpin
Waimea, HI 96743, USA