Visit the Top of Mauna Kea Mountain

Mauna Kea is a place that holds great spiritual significance to the Hawaiian people. There are five peaks on Hawaii Island, simply known as "Five Mountains" all sacred, and as the highest peak, Mauna Kea is one of the most sacred. It is also known as Mauna O Wakea- the mountain of the god Wakea, from whom all things in Hawaiian are descended. The summit of Mauna Kea was seen as the region of the gods, a place where benevolent spirits reside. An ancient kapu- law- allowed only high-ranking tribal chiefs to visit its peak. Mauna Kea was a landmark for ancient navigators and has been, and continues to be a place of prayer and reflection for Hawaiians, who go to Mauna Kea in search of their mana- divine power- and to understand those ancient spiritual connections between heaven and earth. This is symbolized by the stone and wood lele- the altar- at the summit. It is a place to show your appreciation for all that Mauna Kea means and to remember to malama the aina- take care of the land. There has been, and continues to be, great debate among Hawaiians over human constructions, such as the telescopes, at the summit- many feel this is a desecration of their beliefs. The Office of Mauna Kea Management is advised on such matters by a council called Kahu Ku Mauna, which aims to preserve the spiritual and cultural perspectives of the Hawaiians during any development on the mountain. There are telescopes from around the world who study our night skies. For information about visiting the top of this beautiful mountain (almost 14,000' high): Recommended Websites: Mauna Kea Visitor Information Center Website - Current weather conditions on Mauna Kea Website for the Office of Mauna Kea Management- information on the cultural preservation of Mauna Kea.