The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation hosts a world-class, 3.6 meter optical/infrared telescope. The observatory is located atop the summit of Maunakea, a 4200 meter, dormant volcano located on the island of Hawaii. CFHT became operational in 1979. The mission of CFHT is to provide for its user community a versatile and state-of-the-art astronomical observing facility which is well matched to the scientific goals of that community and which fully exploits the potential of the Mauna Kea site.
The Observatory headquarters are located in Waimea (also known as Kamuela by the Post Office), where CFHT has been part of the community since 1977. Waimea is a small country town of a little less than 10000 people nested at 2,500 feet in the saddle between the Mauna Kea dormant volcano and the Kohala mountains. Named by the 2000 Robb Report as one of the 10 most desirable places to live in the United States, it has retained its 150-year old Paniolo (cowboy) culture but also offers many conveniences of modern life. Along with its green pastures grazed by cows, horses, sheep, and goats, Waimea hosts excellent schools, a modern hospital, the Kahilu Theater, shopping centers, over a dozen restaurants, and more!