I like to hike so I decided to do what pretty much every tourist does and walk up to the peak of Diamond Head crater. The views are pretty good and it makes for a short workout. If you are in good shape you won't find the hike very challenging. If you are old or in poor physical condition then you may find it quite strenuous. The route is obvious and with all the crowds it's next to impossible to lose your way (no route finding skills needed here). The experience was short, not challenging, but reasonably fun. I hiked up on a Monday morning and there were still a lot of folks on the trail so I can only imagine what it is like on the weekends.
The hike up to the top of Diamond Head is a moderate hike with two sets of stairs, one consisting of 99 steps. However, most people in fairly decent shape can make this hike. The view from the top is amazing. Check out the website below for the government brochure on Diamond Head!
Wear good hiking shoes, bring water and a flashlight!
I looked up the lighthouses I might see in Honolulu and found that Diamond Head actually had an active lighthouse. I thought I could get out there on one of the trolleys, but it turned out to be more expensive and less convenient to do it that way than just to take a taxi out. I also got a photo from the plane when we were leaving, but it was out of focus (photo 4)
The station was established in 1899 and the original lighthouse was similar to the present one, but it was an iron skeletal tower enclosed by coral rock walls. The lighthouse is a square pyramidal reinforced concrete tower, topped by a round watch room and lantern. It is an active lighthouse. The red sector warns boats about the nearby reefs. The present lighthouse is painted white; lantern roof is red. The 1-story wood keeper's house (1921) is the residence of the Coast Guard district commandant. The historic Coast Guard photo of the lighthouse is photo 5. Site and tower closed
The sign in photo 3 says in part:
Diamond Head Lighthouse is a prominent symbol of Hawaiian history to residents and visitors alike. The lighthouse rests aside a tuff-cone volcano formed by explosive eruptions thousands of years ago...
The first lighthouse on this site was built in 1899. It was rebuilt in 1917 when cracks developed in the earlier structure The Diamond Head Lighthouse still uses the original Fresnell Lens. The flash of a modern 1000-watt electric bulb is focused by the lens so it can be seen more than 18 miles out to sea.
My wife and I did the Diamond Head trail hike. We thoroughly enjoyed it. However, I agree with the advice of someone on this website and that is to start early. We started early (about 10am) but it was still fairly hot. However once you get to the top, there is a nice breeze as you overlook the city of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach. If you want more info, you can check out our review of our entire honeymoon at CentralBeat com.
This is my first time to be inside Diamond Head as the last visit here, there was no time to go here. The Monument is located off Diamond Head Rd. between Makapuu and 18th Ave. on the south shore of Oahu. It is right on the coast southeast of Waikiki. The Monument opens at 6:30 AM and closes at 6:00 PM year round. It costs $1.00 to walk in or $5.00 per car. There is ample parking. Diamond Head is a defining feature of the view known to residents and tourists of Waikîkî alike. The volcanic cone also serves as a United States State Monument. Its proximity to the resort hotels and beaches of the city make it a popular destination for people traveling to the city. A short hike leads to the edge of the crater's rim, from which point both the city of Waikîkî and the Pacific Ocean can be seen in breathtaking detail.
The most famous volcanic crater in the world unquestionably is Diamond Head, located on the South-east Coast of O'ahu at the end of Waikiki overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was originally named Laeahi by the ancient Hawaiians. The name meant "brow of the tuna" and looking at the silhouette of the crater from Waikiki, you can see the resemblance. The current name came was given to the crater by British sailors in the 1800's. When they first saw the crater at a great distance, the calcite crystals in the lava rock appeared to glimmer in the sunlight. The sailors mistakenly thought there must be diamonds in the soil. Diamond Head is a crater that has been extinct for 150,000 years. The crater is 3,520 feet in diameter with a 760-foot summit.
The Monument is located off Diamond Head Rd. between Makapuu and 18th Ave. on the south shore of Oahu. It is right on the coast southeast of Waikiki. The Monument opens at 6:30 AM and closes at 6:00 PM year round. It costs $1.00 to walk in or $5.00 per car. There is ample parking.
The only restroom is at the bottom and I would recommend using it. There is no visitor center, only a stand where you will pay and get a brochure.
Diamond Head is a defining feature of the view known to residents and tourists of Waikîkî alike. The volcanic cone also serves as a United States State Monument. Its proximity to the resort hotels and beaches of the city make it a popular destination for people traveling to the city. A short hike leads to the edge of the crater's rim, from which point both the city of Waikîkî and the Pacific Ocean can be seen in breathtaking detail.
You can get there by bus, car or taxi. I took a bus from Pearl Harbor. Then, do some walking to see Diamond Head. The trail up, can be kind of difficult for some people, but there are benches to sit on if you want a break. You must ascent 761 ft. Please wear comforble shoes. After climb a few levels, and stairs you will enjoy a beautiful view of Oahu. Don't forget your binoculars, camara, and water.
Entrance Fee: $5.00 per car or $1 per person for pedestrians. Commercial vehicles fees: $10.00 cars/vans, $20 mini-buses, $40 buses
The 230 metres Diamond Head at the end of Waikiki is one of the most famous volcanic craters on earth and since 1968 National Natural Landmark.
It is a now dormant volcano that has been extinct for more than hundred-thousand years. Its name was given by British sailors in the 1800's, who mistakenly thought, the calcite crystals in the lava rock must be diamonds.
We have intended to visit the Diamond Head Crater Park in its interior, but unfortunately there was not time enough to do so. By the way inside the crater there is nothing special thing, only the panoramic views of Waikiki and the south shore of Oahu. Do not forget to take water and flashlight ( tunnel!!)
Guided hiking tours are available from U$27.00, the trail to the rim is about 3 km and takes about one hour and a half. The trail is paved almost the entire way but can be steep in spots. At the end of the trip you get a a personalized "I Climbed Diamond Head" certificate that is suitable for framing.
Diamond Head Lighthouse is located on the slopes of the dormant volcano beside the Diamond Head Road from Waikiki to Kahala. It was built in 1918 and still retains its original Fresnel lens. There is no path leading to it, because is not open to the public ( Coast Guard facility! ), so you won't be able to approach it.
A walk from Waikiki Beach will take about one hour. By car, it is less than 10 minutes.
The lighthouse can be seen on the right side of the road. Distant views are also possible from atop of the crater.
Hiking Diamond Head Crater was definitely one of the highlights of visiting Honolulu because as crazy as it sounds sometimes the beach can get boring so having the option to do some hiking was nice. The hike itself is fairly mild so as long as your not pathetically out of shape you should be able to make it without a problem. The trail itself is a fun, though not anything out of the ordinary, that is until you get to the top.....what a view! The view from the top of Diamond Head is worth the hike. You will be treated to panoramic views of the beach, downtown Honolulu and more. Plan on staying up there awhile and appreciate the view because its something you won't soon forget. Or just sit on the beach like a slug the whole time instead...whatever.
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