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Tourists must make reservations to visit iconic Hawaii site

April 25, 2022 GMT

HONOLULU (AP) — Out-of-state visitors will soon need reservations to visit one of Hawaii’s most recognizable natural sites.

State land officials announced Monday the new policy for Diamond Head State Monument will take effect on May 12.

The iconic ancient volcanic crater stands at the end of Waikiki Beach on the island of Oahu.

Diamond Head is the third state park to have such a rule. Non-residents must also make reservations for Haena State Park on Kauai and Waianapanapa State Park on Maui. Reservations are required at certain times to visit Haleakala National Park on Maui.

Diamond Head can get thousands of visitors per day. The park attendance record was set in 2019 when about 6,000 people came to the site in one day.

State officials said the new rules are needed to control damage to the environment and infrastructure, congestion on hiking trails, heavy vehicle traffic and illegal parking.

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“We want to reduce the impact of visitors and really ensure that our residents have access to these desirable places,” Hawaii Gov. David Ige said during a visit to Diamond Head last week. “We can control the numbers of people who visit a particular place so they can more easily be spread out across the day.”

Hawaii residents do not need reservations to visit the monument, but parking is limited.