Arguably Maui’s most famous landmark, Haleakala is a massive volcano that forms more than three-quarters of the island of Maui. Its summit is over 10,000 feet high, and the nearby visitors’ center is a popular spot to view the sunrise.
In fact, Haleakala National Park is so popular that its daily sunrise crowds often top one thousand. This causes traffic snarls as well as dangerous accidents, due to tourists heading off the trails and scaling the cliffs in darkness.
As a result of this overcrowding, the National Park Service will be implementing a new sunrise reservation system to take effect February 1, 2017.
Visitors who wish to view the sunrise and enter the park between 3:00 AM – 7:00 AM will need to make reservations online ahead of time at http://www.recreation.gov/. The fee is $1.50 per car. This does not include the entrance fee to Haleakala National Park, which is an additional cost. For vehicles without a reservation, entry to the park will not be permitted until after 7:00 AM.
You can reserve your viewing spot up to 60 days prior. Make sure to bring a copy of your online reservation as well as a valid photo ID. Sunrise viewing reservations are only available online, and cannot be purchased at the park in-person.
As of December 1, 2016, the online reservation system is now open for sunrise visitors to Haleakala in 2017.