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Go Star Gazing on Top of Hawaii's Highest Mountain

As much fun as lounging on the beach can be, no trip to the Hawaiian islands would be complete without taking in all the amazing scenery the state has to offer.

Most of us may picture the endless plains of crystal blue water, warm sun, and white beaches but the state is just as famous for its beaches as it is for its mighty volcanos and mountainous scenery. Compared with a lot of other landmasses on earth, Hawaii was formed relatively recently following several major underwater volcanic eruptions.

The state’s volcanoes are just as iconic for many tourists as the large white sand beaches and millions of visitors pack into Volcanoes National Park each year to witness the drama of lava flows. Perhaps the most dramatic of all Hawaiian scenery is the large mountains that rise out of the waves and tower endlessly into the sky. To ancient Hawaiians, these mountains were revered as sacred places only accessible to the highest members of their society.

Mauna Kea

Of all these mountains five were singled out as the holiest and Mauna Kea was the most important. Mauna Kea means “white mountain” in Hawaiian and its peak towers over everything else in the state. When measured from its base to its height the giant is nearly double the height of Everest; however, most of the mountain lies below the waves. Although climbing to the summit of Mauna Kea was forbidden by the ancients, its rich fertile soil and welcoming environment helped the civilization to flourish for many centuries.

As European colonialism reached the archipelago in the nineteenth century many explorers and mountaineers began to make expeditions to the summit. The first recorded ascent up the mountain was made by American missionary Joseph F Goodrich in 1823. Upon reaching the top he observed numerous intricate piles of stones suggesting numerous previous climbs were made by Hawaiians who kept shrines near the top of the summit. Numerous other climbs were made following in Goodrich’s footsteps and the beautiful views only accessible from its summit continued to draw thrillseekers from around the world.

Panoramic Views

Hawaii has certainly changed through its complex and intricate history but the reverence the ancients had for Mauna Kea still remains today. Mauna Kea is one of the state’s most iconic landmarks and is a must-do activity for anyone looking for adventure. The mountain is legendary for its dramatic sunrises, sunsets, and panoramic views of the night sky. The high altitude combined with the large summit makes it the ideal place for astronomical observation. Numerous observatories have been placed on top of the mountain and scientists work around the clock to capture important astronomical data.

The dramatic scenery and sacred aura of Mauna Kea almost make visiting it feel otherworldly. Numerous companies offer sunrise tours to guests who marvel as the sun slowly climbs over the horizon turning the dark world into a landscape of fiery light. These tours certainly have their advantages and can be a beautiful way to start any day on your vacation but for those looking for a little more adventure, Mauna Kea Summit Adventures offers an experience like no other. If you choose to embark on this tour you’ll take a ride in a 4x4 vehicle up the slope. Along the way, your expert guide will tell you all about the natural and historical importance of the mountain. You’ll see plenty of wildlife and dramatic views so be sure to bring along your camera.

As you continue your ascent the landscape will get more dramatic and it will feel as if you’ve arrived on another planet. You’ll ascend through low-hanging clouds before making a stop at a historical ranch to enjoy a meal. You may notice a sudden drop in temperature as the sun begins to rapidly set. Unlike the rest of the landscape known for its stable tropical climate, the temperature on top of the mountain can easily dip to below freezing. Your guide will provide you with an arctic parka that will keep you insulated as you begin the next phase of your adventure. Perhaps just as stunning as the beautiful scenery is the night sky. The company provides a high-quality state-of-the-art telescope and the small group sizes allow for intimate and lingering views of the stars. Your guide will teach you about different constellations before you make a descent back down the mountain.

Mauna Kea Summit Adventures

style="margin-bottom:20px;"If you’re looking to make that truly spectacular vacation memory then look no further than Mauna Kea Summit Adventures. Just be advised if you plan on booking this excursion to be open for rescheduling as extreme weather will make safely ascending impossible. Although the arctic parkas provide plenty of protection against freezing temperatures the lack of oxygen and air pressure may make this trip difficult if you suffer from lung and heart problems. From start to finish this trip can last anywhere between seven and nine hours so allow for plenty of time within your schedule. There are plenty of beautiful beaches and mountain trails to explore in this beautiful state but you’ll never find scenery or spectacular views quite like Mauna Kea anywhere else in the world. If you plan on joining us for any of our primary care CME conferences in Hawaii, don’t miss your chance and book a tour to visit one of the most beautiful mountains on earth.

Upcoming CME Conferences & Online Learning

Want to attend a live CME conference in a beautiful locale or complete an online course from the comforts of home?

At Continuing Education Company, we provide you with options to make your medical continuing education fun, engaging, and relevant. Check out our conference calendar to view the dates and locations of upcoming conferences as well as the online learning courses and live streaming that are currently available. And, for a limited period of time, take advantage of our Special Offer! Attend one of our LIVE conferences in person and you will receive a FREE online 15 credit CME course from CME365™.

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