HONOLULU (KHON2) — At one point, Ha’ena State Park on Kaua’i and Wai’anapanapa State Park on Maui were the only two parks in Hawaii that implemented a reservation system that required visitors to make reservations prior to visiting each park.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources added Diamond Head State Monument to that reservation list, and now it is the third state park to require reservations for out-of-state visitors beginning May 12.
We envision being able to modify this system for additional parks. The key element to crafting a reservation system, based on optimal capacity management, and improving the quality of experience, is to work closely with our parking vendors at park units where fee collection is already happening. These valued partners have accurate number’s and use patterns of visitors at these park units on a daily and seasonal basis.” Parks must have the ancillary contractors or sufficient staff to ensure patronage limits and payment requirements are honored.”
DLNR Division of State Parks Administrator Curt Cottrell
According to DLNR, the new reservation system is intended to reduce hiker congestion along the narrow and winding trail to the summit, reduce the load on the comfort station and reduce vehicle congestion entering and exiting the sole access tunnel at Diamond Head.
DLNR Division of State Parks hopes to reduce parking issues in neighborhoods outside of Diamond Head. Before the pandemic, the state recorded 6,000 people visiting the park during the 2019 winter holiday period, said DLNR.
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If capacity is full, visitors will need to plan their hikes in advance. DSP has increased its fees from $1 for walk-ins and $5 for vehicles to $10 for parking and $5 per person for entry, according to DLNR.
For more information go to DLNR’s website.