Make Your Sunrise Reservation
Beginning 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.
Step-by-step guidance on booking through recreation.gov:
Haleakalā NP Sunrise Reservation System FAQs
Why is the park doing this? To ensure visitor and employee safety, protect natural and cultural resources, and provide a quality visitor experience at the Summit during sunrise hours at the Summit (3am to 7am).
Can I pick where I want to park or will I be directed to a particular parking lot? You will be directed by park staff to one of four open parking lots. All have great views of sunrise over the crater.
Why can’t we pay the entrance fee online when we buy our parking reservation? The recreation.gov website cannot currently accommodate purchases of both entrance fees and sunrise reservations at this time. If this changes, we may be able to accommodate online entrance pass purchases at a later time.
What if it is too cloudy to see the sunrise? Can I get a refund or exchange my parking reservation for a different day? No, your sunrise reservation is good for one day only. Weather is constantly changing at the summit of Haleakalā and we can’t predict whether a sunrise is going to be clear or cloudy.
Why 3am to 7am? This is when many of our visitors enter the Summit District to view sunrise and is our busiest time of day there.
I am going to camp at Hosmer Grove (in the summit district) and not go to the sunrise viewing areas. Do I need a sunrise reservation? If you enter the park to camp at Hosmer’s Grove outside of the 3-7 a.m. window and do not travel up to one of the four highest parking lots between 3 and 7 a.m., then you do not need a sunrise reservation. Vehicles in the 4 sunrise viewing parking lots (Summit, Haleakalā Visitor Center, Kalahaku and Leleiwi) between 3-7 a.m. must display their sunrise reservation printouts on their dashboards. In addition, everyone entering the Summit District of the park between 3 and 7 a.m. must have a sunrise reservation that is displayed on their vehicle dashboards, even if they do not plan on viewing sunrise.
I am going to hike into the crater at Halemau`u and not go to the sunrise viewing areas. Do I need a sunrise reservation? Everyone entering the Summit District of the park between 3 and 7 a.m. must have a sunrise reservation that is displayed on their vehicle dashboards, even if they do not plan on viewing sunrise. This is due to limited parking throughout the summit area.
Do you have plans to increase parking at the summit? In 2017-2018, the park will be developing a long term Sunrise Summit Visitor Management Plan, with public input. The plan is expected to be finalized and implemented in 2018. Many options to improve the visitor experience will be reviewed during this planning process.
What do we do if we drive up to the park for sunrise without a sunrise reservation? Visitors who come up to the park without a sunrise reservation will not be allowed to enter the Summit District until after 7a.m. They will be directed to turn around at the entrance.
What if I get up to the summit before 3am and don’t have a sunrise reservation? Will I be told to leave? If you don’t have a sunrise reservation you will be asked to leave the summit area and you risk being issued a citation.
Do commercial tours need a sunrise reservation? There is no change to the current Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) policy regarding sunrise tours. The new reservation system applies to noncommercial sunrise visitors only. CUA permit holders will continue to follow the procedures and limits required under the park’s Commercial Use Authorization.
Is it better for me to come up on my own or take a commercial tour? It depends on what kind of experience you are looking for and how far ahead of time you can plan your trip. Commercial tours park at Haleakalā Visitor Center, on the rim of the crater just below the summit. Private vehicles can park at one of four lots, as directed by park staff.
Who offers commercial sunrise tours? A list of current Commercial Use Authorizations is available at: https://www.nps.gov/hale/learn/management/currentcua.htm
What about Native Hawaiians who want to conduct cultural traditions at sunrise? Haleakalā National Park welcomes, and waives the entrance fee, for Native Hawaiians who wish to conduct their traditional cultural practices at sunrise or any other time of day under AIRFA, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. There will be no change to the National Park Service’s current policy regarding Kanaka Maoli who wish to conduct traditional cultural practices in the park.
How long will this new system last? This program is a “pilot” program designed to protect employee and visitor safety, natural and cultural resources, and provide a quality visitor experience at the Summit during sunrise hours. In 2017, the park will be developing a long term Sunrise Summit Visitor Management Plan, with public input. The plan is expected to be finalized and implemented in 2019.
How many spaces are available to sunrise visitors at the summit? 150 parking spaces serve the 4 sunrise viewing areas.
What about educational groups? They will be required to obtain a sunrise reservation via recreation.gov.
What about vehicles with handicap/disabled placards? All non-commercial visitors who comes up for sunrise will need to make an advanced reservation via recreation.gov. We will accommodate visitors with special needs to the best of our ability with our accessible parking spaces.
What if all the disabled spaces are full? Park staff will work with disabled visitors to accommodate their needs.
Can visitors walk or bike up without a reservation? Yes, however we do not recommend that people walk up the summit road since it is dark and crowded at that time of day.
Why are motorcycles charged the same amount as cars? During this interim reservation system, the sunrise viewing reservations are based on the number of parking spaces at the summit.
Under what authority are you allowed to restrict visitors to a national park? 36 CFR Section 1.5 restricts sunrise visitation as an emergency action to protect visitor and staff safety and park resources.
Last updated: May 12, 2018