Thick crowds of sunrise watchers pose risk at Haleakala

Thick crowds of sunrise watchers pose risk at Haleakala

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - The National Park Service wants to manage growing crowds of people competing for space to watch the sunrise at the Haleakala summit.

The Maui News reports ( private or rental vehicles have exceeded available parking 98 percent of the time so far this year, up from 83 percent in 2014 and 94 percent last year.

A Haleakala National Park official says some people park where they shouldn't and walk into endangered species habitat, cultural sites and protected areas.

Visitor safety is also a concern as people venture out to cliff faces or crumbling volcanic rocks for a better view.

The sunrise can draw as many as 850 people in one morning, with a daily average of 600.

People can submit comments on managing noncommercial crowds by June 6.

Information from: The Maui News,

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