Reservations will be required for Haleakala National Park sunrise viewers

A view of the crater at Haleakala (Photo: NPS)

A big change is being made at one of Maui’s top attractions.

Starting Feb. 1, 2017, anyone wanting to drive up to Haleakala National Park to see the sunrise will need to make a reservation ahead of time.

The National Park Service says the reservation system will go live this Thursday, Dec. 1.

There will be a reservation fee of $1.50 per vehicle in addition to the vehicle entrance fee, which will be collected upon entry to the park.

Officials say the change was implemented for safety concerns, and to protect natural and cultural resources.

“We’ve had lots of overcrowding at the summit. We’ve had safety concerns. We’ve had damage to endangered species and their habitats,” explained Polly Angelakis, chief of interpretation and education at Haleakala National Park. “All of these resources get damaged when people park in the wrong place or people wander off the designated trails.”

For now, parking spaces at Haleakala will still be available on a first-come, first-served basis, however, officials warn, visitors run the risk of being turned away once the parking lots fill up.

Park officials say there will be no refunds if the weather is bad.

Click here for more information.

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