Gone are the days of a spontaneous morning stroll up one Hawaiian mountain, which now requires visitors to book ahead if they want to watch daybreak.

The authorities at Haleakala National Park in Maui have taken the extraordinary step of introducing sunrise reservations at the summit of its highest peak, in a bid to control overcrowding and prevent accidents.

Haleakala - Hawaiian for 'House of the Sun' - is renowned for its stunning vistas, particularly in the morning, when the sun rises over the ridge of a nearby volcanic crater.

However, the beauty spot has become a victim of its own success, according to the authorities, which claim its popularity is causing traffic jams, damaging vegetation and leading to an increase in accidents.

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The national park has become a victim of its own popularity. Photo / Getty Images
The national park has become a victim of its own popularity. Photo / Getty Images

So in a bid to control numbers the authorities have introduced a new reservations system; those wishing to visit the summit between 3 and 7am will now be required to book ahead and pay a small reservation fee of US$1.50 per car. That's on top of the existing US$20 park entrance fee.

According to park officials, rather than sitting back and enjoying the quiet beauty of daybreak at Haleakala, most visitors choose to broadcast it on social media, which has made the park even more popular.

"If you ever went up there, you would see that fully half to three-quarters of our visitors who are watching the sunrise are either taking photos that they immediately broadcast to their friends, or filming it," park superintendent, Natalie Gates, told the Associated Press.

While only 16 per cent of visitors come at sunrise, they account for 40 per cent of the park's emergency medical calls.

"It's a dark place. It's rocky. And when people are moving away from crowds and trying to go off trail, often frequently stumbling around on cliff sides in the dark, we see trauma cases, altitude cases," Gates said.

Reservations can be made up to two months in advance at the website recreation.gov. And they said spontaneity was dead.