Limited Dining Options for Mauna Kea Summit
There Are No Dining Options at Mauna Kea, so Bring A Picnic or Book a Tour
For all its splendor and beauty, the experience of venturing up the slopes of Mauna Kea, the largest mountain in Hawaii, isn’t for everyone. Those seeking out a Hawaiian vacation filled with sunshine, tropical cocktails, and water activities won’t take well to the cold temperatures found at the top of the summit, let alone the lack of amenities and opportunities for an excellent meal. But anyone who ventures up the mountain is rewarded with unbelievable views of the heavens and a remarkable opportunity to experience some basic astronomy from one of the world’s best observation sites.
That said, there are no gas stations or restaurants within a short distance of the summit, meaning you’ll need to plan ahead to keep your car and your bellies full. From our experience, aside from eating before you leave, you have two options:
Pack a Picnic
Whether you hit the grocery store and make your own meals for your trip up the mountain or order takeout from some of the Big Island’s finest restaurants, it’s hard to beat the feeling that comes with eating a great meal outside. If you’re planning to go the takeout route, we’d recommend finding something that holds up well for traveling fresher until you’re ready to chow down. Either way, you’ll likely want to invest in a cooler or insulated travel bag to keep your cold stuff cold and warm things warm.
Book a Tour that Includes Meals
Thankfully, some of the tours that take you through various points around the Big Island provide home-cooked meals as part of the tour, leaving you nothing to worry about during your volcano adventure. These tour companies offer the best bang for your buck and ensure your party is well-fed and informed throughout the entirety of the tour to Mauna Kea.
Fully-customizable and flexible to your desired features and budget, Jack’s Hawaii is one of the longest-operating tour companies on the Big Island. Whether you’re a party of 4 or 50, Jack’s can accommodate and ensure your entire transportation needs during your Big Island stay are handled with professionalism and close attention to detail.
A small and friendly tour company that specializes in trips up Mauna Kea, Mauna Kea Summit Adventures keeps things simple and safe throughout the entirety of the volcano adventure. With large, oversized windows, you’ll be able to see stunning volcanic formations, beautiful sunsets, and stargaze atop the summit at the conclusion of the tour. Parkas are provided, as are a filling hot meal and beverages throughout the trip.