Car reservation

Diamond Head in Hawaii: visitors will soon have to book

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(CNN) — It’s one of the most popular places in Hawai’i, and soon anyone from out of state will need a reservation to visit.

The new system for the iconic Diamond Head State Monument – or Lē’ahi, for natives – will go into effect on May 12, the state’s Department of Lands and Natural Resources (DLNR) announced in a press release. Monday.

On the island of O’ahu, Diamond Head is one of the most visited sites in the state, DLNR said, and is renowned for the stunning views along its hiking trail.

The system should be activated on Thursday April 28 and will allow reservations starting 14 days in advance.

Beginning May 12, people without a driver’s license or Hawaiian ID must have obtained a reservation to enter the park, the press release said. State residents will have free access without a reservation, but entry may be subject to parking availability.

Why is this happening at Diamond Head?

Hawaii simply faces the same problem as some US national parks and Venice, Italy: too many people crowding into the same space at the same time.

Overcrowding can ruin the travel experience and damage the very things people want to see.

“The new reservation system will mitigate the environmental impacts of foot traffic, reduce vehicle congestion in the park and surrounding neighborhoods, improve the experience for kama’āina and visitors enjoying the monument,” the press release reads.

It is the third state park to require reservations, according to the release. The other two are Hā’ena State Park in Kaua’i and Waiʻānapanapa State Park in Maui.

Reservations are also required at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve on O’ahu.

“We commend DLNR for bringing this reservation system to fruition, supporting efforts to manage the flow of visitors and residents to Diamond Head State Monument, and making the experience more enjoyable for everyone,” said Noelani. Schilling-Wheeler, executive director of the O’ahu Visitors Bureau.

Top image: An aerial view shows Diamond Head crater on February 23, 2022. (Photo by Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty images)