Make Your Sunrise ReservationSince February 1, 2017, visitors in personal or rental vehicles coming up to view sunrise at Haleakalā National Park have been required to make sunrise viewing reservations in advance at recreation.gov.
Step-by-step guidance on booking through recreation.gov:
Haleakalā NP Sunrise Reservation System FAQsWhy 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 (3:00 AM to 7:00 AM)
What amenities will be available? In following CDC, and state and local public health guidance, the Visitor Centers, Red Hill Observatory, and campgrounds remain closed. Restrooms are available at both the Haleakalā Visitor Center and the Headquarters Visitor Center.
Visitors exploring the areas open in the Summit District should plan to be self-sufficient; it is recommended to bring a face mask, hand sanitizer, warm layers of clothing for changing weather conditions, and enough food and water for the duration of a visit to the park.
While areas are accessible for the public to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. Park users should follow local health orders from the Governor of Hawai‘i and Maui County, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding, and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.
How far in advance can I make my reservation? Reservations are available online seven days in advance, released at 7:00 AM HST. For example, go online on Sunday if you want to make a reservation for the following Sunday’s sunrise. The online inventory renews at 7:00 AM every day, but often sells out within fifteen minutes. Tickets are not available the day before, over the phone with the park, or in person.
What does a sunrise reservation cost? $1.00 per vehicle. The person whose name is on the sunrise reservation will need to present a paper copy of the reservation and their photo ID at the entrance station, on the day specified on the reservation.
How do I get into the park for sunrise? Make an online reservation via www.recreation.gov. The person whose name is on sunrise reservation will need to present it, with a photo ID, at the entrance station on the day specified on the reservation. Cars with sunrise reservations will need to display their reservation printouts on their dashboards. Also, be prepared to pay the entrance fee (or use a park pass) on the day of your visit. The entrance fee must be purchased with a credit card.
Do I need a sunrise reservation for any other time of day? No, you only need a sunrise reservation to access the summit during sunrise hours (3:00 AM to 7:00 AM). The sunrise reservation can only be used on the day specified on the reservation itself.
What is the difference between the sunrise reservation and the park entrance fee? The sunrise reservation allows access to the summit district between 3:00 AM and 7:00 AM on one specific day. The entrance fee provides entry into both districts of the park for three days—keep your receipt.
Can my sunrise reservation be used on a day other than the one specified? No. You can only enter the park between 3:00 AM and 7:00 AM on the date specified on your sunrise reservation.
Can my entrance fee be used on any days other than the day I arrive? Your entrance fee is good for three days, starting on the date of first entry, in both park districts. Keep your receipt to show at either entrance station.
Where are the four places to view sunrise? In order from highest to lowest elevation, the four viewpoints are: the Pu`u Ula ula or Red Hill summit (10,023 ft.); Haleakalā Visitor Center (9,740 ft.); Kalahaku Overlook (9,324 ft.); and Leleiwi Overlook (8,840ft). Leleiwi Overlook is accessed via a 10 minute hike from its parking lot. You are not guaranteed access to any specific parking lot; each parking lot will be closed when it is full.
What is the best place to view sunrise? All four overlooks have great views of sunrise over the crater, weather permitting.
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 3:00 AM to 7:00 AM? This is when many of our visitors enter the summit district to view sunrise and is our busiest time of day there.
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 7:00 AM They will be directed to turn around at the entrance.
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 many vehicles are allowed for sunrise? In accordance with physical distancing guidelines, 50 vehicles will be able to access the four sunrise viewing areas. Limiting the number of vehicles will reduce crowding at overlooks.
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: June 17, 2020