Road to Mauna Kea summit On 1500m above the sea level  theres a large area of  arid nature , looks like a desert <div class="order-link"><a href="/galleries/photo/419/arid-nature" target="_top"><img src="/rsrc/images/btn-order.jpg" alt="Order print" /></a></div>On 2000 m  theres a mixture of fog and water dust that couldn't be called rain because the water drops looks more like stem 2500m above the sea level , theres apparently no life 2500m above the sea level , theres apparently no lifeMauna Kea visitor center on 2800m , Must stop here to check visible signs of possible altitude sickness . Only 4WD cars could go further this point<div class="order-link"><a href="/galleries/photo/423/mauna-kea-visitor-center" target="_top"><img src="/rsrc/images/btn-order.jpg" alt="Order print" /></a></div>Above this sign only 4WD cars are allowed . It is not forbidden to use the 2WD cars but no assurance will cover damages here; the gravel is so thin that the 2WD will just start drifting<div class="order-link"><a href="/galleries/photo/424/4wd-only" target="_top"><img src="/rsrc/images/btn-order.jpg" alt="Order print" /></a></div>3200 m , no snow yet , just black and red rocks and gravel <div class="order-link"><a href="/galleries/photo/425/3200-m" target="_top"><img src="/rsrc/images/btn-order.jpg" alt="Order print" /></a></div>Locals  are  driving for about one and half hour one way on 3500m to fill up their trucks with snow and sell it to the resorts on the coast as an attraction for tourists. On 3800 m you can enjoy the snow on Hawaii<div class="order-link"><a href="/galleries/photo/427" target="_top"><img src="/rsrc/images/btn-order.jpg" alt="Order print" /></a></div>Unfortunately here on 3500 m I felt the first signs of altitude sickness but those werent so bad to make me go back<div class="order-link"><a href="/galleries/photo/428" target="_top"><img src="/rsrc/images/btn-order.jpg" alt="Order print" /></a></div>That was almost the summit of Mauna Kea volcano on 4100m ,  what a breathtaking view , unfortunately those photos aren't big enough to give you a better idea of that amazing landscape<div class="order-link"><a href="/galleries/photo/430" target="_top"><img src="/rsrc/images/btn-order.jpg" alt="Order print" /></a></div>My altitude sickness were going worser , on 4100 m you fell the air pressure changing every 5-10 , steps. From here only 100 m more and I would be on the real top of the mountain . <div class="order-link"><a href="/galleries/photo/431/close-to-the-clouds" target="_top"><img src="/rsrc/images/btn-order.jpg" alt="Order print" /></a></div>The last 100m walk were the most difficult , because of the altitude sickness I couldn't do more than 10 steps without a break, I just could' breath after a few steps like  somebody were strangling me<div class="order-link"><a href="/galleries/photo/432/the-summit-4207m" target="_top"><img src="/rsrc/images/btn-order.jpg" alt="Order print" /></a></div>The Mauna Kea is an active  dormant volcano . It doesn't have a visible caldera but contains a number of small cinder and pumice cones near its summit.<div class="order-link"><a href="/galleries/photo/433/the-cinder" target="_top"><img src="/rsrc/images/btn-order.jpg" alt="Order print" /></a></div>Much of Mauna Kea is below sea level; when measured from its oceanic base, its height is  10,200 m , its peak on 4207m is the highest in the US<div class="order-link"><a href="/galleries/photo/434/the-cinder-2" target="_top"><img src="/rsrc/images/btn-order.jpg" alt="Order print" /></a></div>Mauna Kea is one of the most sacred places on the Hawaiian islands , the hawaiian word word "Mauna Kea" meaning is "white mountain" <div class="order-link"><a href="/galleries/photo/435" target="_top"><img src="/rsrc/images/btn-order.jpg" alt="Order print" /></a></div>Mauna Kea's summit is one of the best sites in the world for astronomical observation.The atmosphere above the volcano is extremely dry that with some other factors create favorable observing conditions.<div class="order-link"><a href="/galleries/photo/436/the-observatory" target="_top"><img src="/rsrc/images/btn-order.jpg" alt="Order print" /></a></div>In case somebody of you will visit the hawaiian islands in future , don't miss to enjoy  the beautiful sunsets on 4200m above the sea level.<div class="order-link"><a href="/galleries/photo/437/the-sunset" target="_top"><img src="/rsrc/images/btn-order.jpg" alt="Order print" /></a></div>