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Posted on May 12, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

(HONOLULU) – An estimated 40% of the people who showed up at Diamond Head State Monument early this morning did not have reservations. Today, is the first of a new “adaptive management” plan to improve visitor experiences at one of O‘ahu’s most popular natural attractions.

Before the park gates opened at 6 a.m. a long line of cars stretched from vehicle tunnel all the way to the park entrance at Diamond Head Road. This created a bottleneck at the tunnel as parking control staff on the other side checked the reservation status of people in cars and those walking or bicycling in.

The reservation system, months in development, is intended to spread visitation out over the entire day. One day, during the 2019 holiday season, some 6,000-people showed up in the park, a situation DLNR Division of State Parks (DSP) Interpretive Technician Cassandra Springer described as “like being in a mosh pit.”

“We hope to level the number of people who come throughout the day, especially during the peak hours between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.,” Springer said. The online system permits people to make reservations for both vehicle and pedestrian entrance, as well as parking at Diamond Head and is required of anyone who does not have a Hawai‘i driver’s license or State-issued identification. Members of the military must have one of those types of ID as one man discovered after walking to the entrance gate, without either. He was instructed to go on line and make a reservation for a later time slot.

After the initial morning rush to get into the park, after the first hour, ingress and egress was easy. Visitors, without reservations who were turned away, according to Springer were “pretty nice” and most immediately got on their phones to make one. However, she said, some were frustrated because this was their final day of vacation and they’d hoped to experience the famous landmark. State Parks staff were directing these folks to other nearby attractions and hikes.

Based on experience it’s expected to take months, for everyone to realize Diamond Head is the third unit in the state park system to require reservations. Despite the efforts of DSP and visitor industry partners to spread the word, not everyone, particularly mainland visitors have received the message. All morning DSP staff were passing out flyers with reservation instructions.

Entrance to all state parks is free to kamaʻāina and no reservations are required. DSP and its vendors plan to adapt the system in the coming months as necessary.

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(All images/video courtesy: DLNR)

HD video – Diamond Head State Monument (May 12, 2022):

(shot sheet/transcription attached)

Photographs – Diamond Head State Monument (May 12, 2022):

Media Contact:

Dan Dennison

Senior Communications Manager

(808) 587-0396

[email protected]