On Hawaii’s Big Island, there is a volcanic mountain right in the middle called Mauna Kea. Technically the tallest mountain the world if you measure it from seafloor to summit, Mauna Kea is a focal point from pretty much anywhere on the island. On clear days without vog (i.e. volcanic smog) and if clouds haven’t gotten stuck at the summit, you can see right to the top.
Best part is, anyone with 4 wheel drive can make their way to the summit for amazing sunsets and night sky views! In fact, the night sky is so clear from the top of Mauna Kea that there are some pretty awesome observatories there where you can take tours and look through telescopes to get a closer glimpse at stars and planets.
Fun fact: The astronomy work going on at Mauna Kea is so important that in Hilo (the city where David and I lived for a little while in college), most of the street lights are actually tinted yellow to avoid causing light pollution.
The evening that I shot this photo, David and I went up to the summit with David’s brother (cameo in the pic above!) and his wife. And it was soooo cold. I think I had like three layers of pants on and was still freezing. No one expects to be that cold in Hawaii! Did you know it snows there sometimes? Cause I sure didn’t.
If you’re ever on the Big Island, I’d definitely recommend checking out Mauna Kea for amazing views above the clouds and the chance to get up close and personal with the night sky. Plus, if you’re lucky you’ll get to say you played in snow and went to the beach all in the same day!