I’ve been on tons of hikes in my 25 years of living but I’ve never actually been on a summit. When I heard about Mauna Kea being the tallest mountain in the world, I had to somehow hike it. Fast forward 3 months later and you don’t have to hike it at all. I was kind of disappointed I didn’t but I was with a friend and driving was much easier for them. You will need a 4 wheel drive if you plan on going to the top. The roads are so narrow and curvy, it could be very easy to have an accident if not in the proper car. You want to first stop at the visitor center about 9000 ft up just so you can get adjusted to the elevation and they are also super helpful. They let you know about every trail and the proper times to leave the top and come back to the visitor center and get a star-gazing tour.
We started driving up the summit around 115! When I told my friends what I was doing that weekend, they all said to leave later and I was thinking how crazy they are for thinking that. You don’t want to miss the sunset! We finally trekked up to the top of Mauna Kea and I was surprised how many roads there were up there. I mean I feel like they always say to take care of the land but if you really think about it, making so many roads is actually hurting the land that was there before. We didn’t get a chance to look inside the telescopes but from the outside, they looked like it was some 2020 life. I honestly thought I was on Mars. So when we finally did reach the top it was around 3 pm so what else were se supposed to after gawking at all the views? DRINK. We brought beer and wine. Let me tell you, beer + wine + negative oxygen = quick drunk.
We finally got to Lake Waiau and it is honestly the most sacred peaceful place you will ever go. I felt such a calming energy when I was up there. it’s a whole different experience. The tale comes that true Hawaiian chiefs would take the cord from their newborn son and hike Mauna Kea barefoot to drop the cord in the ocean to give good luck to the son and his future family. I don’t know if its true or not but we definitely didn’t touch any of the water or step in it because that would’ve been so disrespectful. It will probably be one of my favorite views for a long time.