Lonely Planet Writer

This sunrise in Hawaii is so beautiful that now you need a reservation to see it

Travellers come from all over to catch a glimpse of a spectacular sunrise from the top of Maui’s highest peak in Haleakalā National Park. But now the Hawaiian hot spot has announced, that due to the incredible demand, the park will start taking reservations for those wanting to see the sunrise from the summit.

Sunset on Haleakala. Hawaii sunrise reservation
Sunset on Haleakala. Image by ©Joseph Pecora/Lonely Planet

The National Park Service announced that starting at the beginning of February sunrise viewing reservations are required. Guests can make a reservation at www.recreation.gov and must pay $1.50 per car.

The move comes after the site experienced heavy overcrowding as tourists flocked to enjoy the beautiful sunrises in the park. The Maui News reports that some days saw more than 300 vehicles and 1000 people at the summit, while the new reservation system allows for 150 cars and an estimated 375 people. It is hoped that by booking ahead, the parks service can mitigate the crowds and keep guests safe. However, the weather changes constantly at the top of Haleakalā, and there will be no refunds or exchanges if the weather is bad.

The sunsire at Haleakala’s summit. Hawaii sunrise reservation
Sunrise at Haleakala’s summit. Image by Dylan Parker / CC BY-SA 2.0

Travellers visiting the site can make a reservation up to 60 days before they plan to visit. Reservation holders can use the parking areas close to the summit between 3 am and 7 am and the reservation holder must be present and in possession of a one-day sunrise ticket. Entrance to the park is separate, and can be paid by credit card on the day of the visit.

Haleakala Silversword grove. Hawaii sunrise reservation
Haleakala Silversword grove. Image by ©Photograph by Michael Schwab/Getty Images/Moment RF

Haleakalā National Park is known for its incredible views and endemic species.

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