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Haleakalā Sunrise Viewing Reservation System Begins Feb. 1

Posted January 10, 2017, 08:21 AM HST
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Sunrise at Haleakalā. Photo by Wendy Osher.

The public is reminded that the National Park Service will begin implementing a sunrise viewing reservation system on Feb. 1, 2017.

Visitors in personal or rental vehicles wishing to view sunrise at Haleakalā National Park will need to make an online reservation ahead of time.

The system is being implemented to ensure safety, protect natural and cultural resources, and provide a quality visitor experience between 3 and 7 a.m.

The cost is $1.50 per car, and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. This is in addition to the park entrance fee.

The reservation is only sold online and is available up to 60 days ahead of the visit. Due to limited parking, visitors without a sunrise viewing reservation will have to wait until after 7am to enter the park.

The four summit parking lots serving sunrise viewing hold approximately 150 vehicles, but often exceed 300 during sunrise hours.

Rangers report vehicles parks on road shoulders and in the up-bound lane of Crater Road, blocking emergency access and resulting in damage to park infrastructure, vegetation and critical habitat for endangered species.

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Crowds at sunrise viewpoints often number over 1,000, with accidents also reported, resulting from visitors moving off trail and climbing cliff sides in the dark.

There is no change to the National Park Service’s current policy regarding Kanaka Maoli who wish to conduct traditional practices in the park. There is no change to the park’s current Commercial Use Authorization policy regarding sunrise tours.

The park entrance fee is separate and payable by credit card or park pass on the day of visit. The entrance fee is good for three days, with receipt.

Registration through Recreation.gov will ensure that reservation holders can access the summit and safely view sunrise.

In summer 2016 the park gathered public input on options regarding sunrise visitor management. This interim reservation system was deemed the best short-term option.

In 2017, the park will begin developing a long-term Sunrise Summit Visitor Management Plan (Environmental Assessment), and will again welcome public comments. The long term plan will begin after the Environmental Assessment process is completed, in late 2018 or early 2019.

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