Special Use Permits

sunrise reservation flyover

Photo Credit:
Elizabeth Havelin

Haleakalā Sunrise Reservations

Beginning on February 1, 2017, visitors in personal or rental vehicles wishing to view sunrise at Haleakalā National Park will need to make sunrise viewing reservations ahead of time at recreation.gov. The reservation system will go live on December 1, 2016. The cost is $1.50 per car. Before February 1, 2017, sunrise viewing parking spaces will continue to be available without advanced reservation, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please note:

The reservation fee is not part of the entrance fee. Entrance fees will be collected upon entry to the park. Visitors with national park passes, please have your pass and ID ready to present at the gate for entry.

Reservations are only for sunrise and can only be used on the day that was reserved.

Weather is constantly changing at the summit of Haleakalā and we can’t predict whether a sunrise is going to be clear or cloudy. There will be no refunds or exchanging reservations for a different day.

For more information about sunrise reservations, Please click here.

Individuals or groups requesting a Special Park Use Permit (SPU) for sunrise beginning February 1, 2017 will need a sunrise reservation. Proof of reservation will need to be submitted with your SPU application. If you do not have a sunrise reservation, a Special Park Use Permit will not be issued. Sunrise reservations can be made 60 days in advance of your visit. To make a reservation, please visit www.recreation.gov.

The Special Park Use Permits (SPU) authorizes activities that benefit an individual, group or organization, rather than the public at large: and that require written authorization and management control in order to protect park resources and the public interest.

Examples include weddings, scattering of ashes, commercial filming and/or photography, First Amendment activities, athletic and other special events, collecting resource materials, and commercial vehicle access to "Science City".

Applications for Special Park Use Permits MUST be received by the park no less than two weeks prior to your proposed event date. The only exception to this is for First Amendment activities. Do allow at least two days for processing of these permits.

Any commercial activity, other than commercial filming/photography, requires a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA).


Commercial Filming/Photography

Commercial filming and photography is defined as digital or film recording of a visual image, or sound recording, by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience, such as for a documentary, television or feature film, advertisement, or similar project. Under Public Law 106-206 all commercial filming and photography requires a permit and is subject to a location fee and cost recovery.

In Public Law 106-206, Congress expressed the importance of resource protection and directed that the permit request should be denied if:

 there is the likelihood that resource damage would occur that cannot be mitigated or restored under the terms and conditions of a permit;

 there is the likelihood of unreasonable disruption of or conflict with the public’s use/enjoyment of the site;

 there is the likelihood that the activity poses health or safety risks to the public;

 there is the likelihood that the activity would result in the impairment of park resources or values; or

 the required activity would violate any other applicable Federal, State, or local law or regulation.

If the project is such that it is indistinguishable from the activity of the average visitor, a permit may not be required. If this might pertain to your project, please contact the Permits Coordinator at 808-572-4440 to discuss.

Permits are NOT generally required for:

  • Visitors engaged in filming/photography intended for their personal use and enjoyment.
  • The filming of breaking news (an event that cannot be covered at any other time or location) by news crews.
  • Filming that is conducted pursuant to a cooperative agreement or contract with the National Park Service.


The wilderness area of Haleakalā National Park encompasses 24,719 acres and countless microclimates. Only educational filming is permitted within Wilderness areas.


Due to ever-changing workloads, we must receive your application and application fee no less than two weeks prior to the start of your proposed activity. Requests that are complex in nature or requests to film in the wilderness area or in closed areas will require, at a minimum, four weeks to process as they must be reviewed for environmental and cultural compliance.

Once an application is approved, a permit will be written and the permittee will have to review and sign it confirming their intent to adhere to all permit conditions. Once the permittee has signed the permit, the Park Superintendent will authorize the permit with his/her signature.


The submission of a Special Use Permit application starts the process. The application form may be requested from our office or can be found online at:


If your project involves film/video or any complexity (multiple locations, talent, props, sets, etc), please use the long form. For stills, you may use the short form but more information may be required as necessary. When in doubt, use the long form.

Please fill out the application completely; incomplete applications will not be considered. Provide as much detail as you can regarding your project; you may attach narratives, story boards, or other documentation that will help explain your project.

Along with your application, you must submit the non-refundable $150 application fee. We will accept a check or money order made payable to the National Park Service or you can make a notation on the application stating that you will contact our office with your credit card information. Applications will not be reviewed until payment is received.

Applications can be sent via the postal service, UPS, email, or fax:


Haleakalā National Park

Business and Revenue Office

Post Office Box 369 Mile

Makawao, HI 96768-0369


Haleakalā National Park

Business and Revenue Office

Mile Marker 11, Crater Road

Kula, HI 96790

Email: HALE_Commercial_Manager@nps.gov

Fax: 808-572-4438

Please note that only UPS delivers to the park; we cannot receive packages via FedEx, Airborne Express or DHL.

Performance Deposit:

Dependent upon the complexity and scope of project, a performance deposit may be required to ensure that the area used is returned to the same state as prior to filming activities. If monitoring of the activity is required, a performance deposit will be required.

Fees and Charges:

Application Fee: A $150 non-refundable application fee is required. This covers the first two hours of time spent on the permit to include initial communications, site visits, compliance review, and writing of permit conditions.

Administrative Charges: Permits/projects that require more than two hours of administrative time for review, site visits, meetings, or permit processing will be charged at the rate of $50 per hour.

Monitoring Charges: All permitted activity will be monitored in order to ensure full compliance with the terms and conditions of the permit. This is based on actual time spent (including travel time) and is charged at the rate of $50 per hour (in quarter hour increments). In most cases, this will be charged up front as part of your performance deposit. Any credit due the permittee for time charged but not worked will be refunded after the permitted activity is completed.

Location Fee:

These fees are charged per day. These are standard for all NPS sites and are non-negotiable. Location fees may not apply for very small projects involving 1-2 people with no cast, props, sets, or special needs.

Size of Cast/Crew



1-10 people



11-29 people



30-49 people



Over 50 people




General commercial liability insurance is required in the minimum amount of $1,000,000. Complex projects or projects with large cast/crew numbers may require higher insurance levels.

All insurance certificates must be issued by an insurance company operation in the United States. The United States Government will be named as additional insured on the insurance certificate and it should read as follows: United States Government, Haleakalā National Park, P O Box 369, Makawao, HI 96768.

The name on the certificate of insurance must match your business name, including any names used as DBAs (doing business as). The certificate can be mailed, shipped, emailed, or faxed using the contact information listed above.

A copy of the insurance certificate must be received before the permit will be approved by the Superintendent.

Filming Locations:

Possible locations include any road, front country trail, and overlook that can be used by any park visitor. Approval may be given for backcountry/wilderness trails but only after an environmental and cultural compliance review. Areas that are closed to the public are rarely permitted for commercial filming and photography.

The following activities will not be permitted under any circumstance:

 Filming off trail.

 Filming of any cast, crew or visitor swimming, playing or recreating in any water feature (predominately streams- e.g. Palikea, Pīīai,` Ohe `o Gulch) will not be permitted.

 Commercial activity, including filming/photography, is not permitted in the Ka`āpahu section of the park (including Lelekea, Alelele, and Kalepa streams).

Filming of water features is allowed provided no people are in the frame. The best time for this is prior to 9:00 a.m. Do note that if streams are closed due to flash flooding, high water, or fast stream flow, crews will not be permitted in the streambed or beyond closure signs/gates/barricades.


The permitted activity must be well planned and scheduled. Notification to the Permits Coordinator regarding changes is imperative. Last minute changes will not be accommodated unless the changes are contingent upon weather or other emergency conditions and approved by the Permits Coordinator or onsite representative.

You may want to consider including alternate "weather dates" in your application in case weather would hamper your project. The weather within the park changes constantly and cannot be predicted. Keep in mind that you are still required to contact the Permits Coordinator if you choose to use your rain dates. You will be charged for monitoring time if you choose not to use your original permit date and fail to notify the Permits Coordinator.

Additional Information:

Additional information about Haleakalā National Park may be found on our website at https://www.nps.gov/hale.

Additional information on filming outside of the park may be found at the Maui Film Commission website at http://www.filmmaui.com.


Still Photography (PDF)

Commercial Filming (PDF)

Scattering of Ashes
A Special Use Permit is required to scatter cremated ashes.

Application fee: $25.00.

Details on getting a permit to scatter ashes (pdf)
Application for permit: Scattering Ashes (pdf)

Wedding Ceremony
A Special Use Permit is required for all weddings, regardless of group size.

Application fee: $150.00.

Details on getting a wedding permit (pdf)
Application for wedding permit (pdf)

Commercial and Construction Vehicles
Commercial vehicles utilizing the Park Road are required to obtain a Special Use Permit pursuant to 36 CFR Part 5 Section 5.6.

Application Fee: $150.00

Special Conditions for permit
Application for permit (pdf fillable)

Original must be mailed in.

Special Park Uses

Permits are required for First Amendment activities, large group activities, and sporting events

Application fee for First Amendment: No Fee

Application fee for other SUPs: $150.00

Details for Special Park Use Permits (pdf)
Application for Permit (pdf)


Contact Information
Contact information for Special Park Uses Click Here

Last updated: May 16, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Haleakalā National Park
PO Box 369

Makawao, HI 96768


(808) 572-4400

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