Maui News

Coronavirus Anxiety Prompts Temporary Closure of Maunakea Visitor Center

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This panoramic view of the 1935 Humuʻula flow (black lava) on both sides of the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, which runs east to west in the saddle between Mauna Loa (snow-capped shield volcano at far left) and Maunakea (distant right), was taken from the top of Puʻuhuluhulu. View is to the northwest. The top of Hualālai is visible in far distance (center). USGS photo by J. Kauahikaua, Jan. 1, 2017.

The Maunakea Visitor Information Station (VIS) on Hawaiʻi Island will suspend operations starting Sunday in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We understand that the Visitor Information Center is helpful to those who visit Maunakea,” General Manager of Maunakea Observatory Support Services Stewart Hunter said in a press release.

“However, we want to be prudent for the welfare of our visitors and our staff during this extraordinary time. We appreciate the understanding of the public.”

The parking lot will remain open as well as the portable toilets.

While the mountain remains open to the public, officials encourage everyone to follow health department recommendations on social distancing and protection.


VIS administrators will continue to meet and discuss the latest developments to determine when they should reopen and resume operations.


The closure is effective as of 6 p.m. on Sunday.

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