Let the Sunrise In!
The days of just up and deciding, on the spur of the moment, to go watch the sunrise from the top of Haleakala are over. (Given that it is, at best, a 90-minute drive from Kahului up to the summit, “spur of the moment” is a relative phrase, but still.) As of February 1, to enter the Summit District between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m., you need a parking reservation, which is available through recreation.gov up to two months in advance. (Even with four overlooks, and parking lots, the traffic was becoming unmanageable.) So, if you’re heading to Wailea any time soon for an adventure, make your reservation now at Wailea Beach Villas.
Five things to keep in mind:
- Although your park entrance fee ($20 per car) is valid for three days, your sunrise parking reservation ($1.50) is good for only one day.
- Yes, boarding passes and EventBrite tickets can be stored on your phone, but not your Haleakala sunrise reservation. Print out it. Really. And whoever made the reservation, bring a photo ID!
- If you’re on the island but couldn’t get a reservation, check recreation.gov at dawn every 24 hours—a handful of reservations are released daily for last-minute desperadoes.
- Although the park is open 24 hours a day, that doesn’t mean you can just drive up to the summit at 2:30 a.m. and expect to stay for the show. You will be told to leave.
- You know, sunset can be just as pretty as sunrise, and the weather is at least a little bit more predictable. And no parking reservations are required…yet.