Diamond Head, Honolulu

4.5 out of 5 stars 36 Reviews

Scenic; Hiking Trail

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  • Diamond head overview
    Diamond head overview
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    Stay on pathway
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    Waikiki side
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  • jdw7319's Profile Photo

    Hiking up Diamond Head

    by jdw7319 Written Feb 9, 2007

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    Walking up the path
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    Wow. For this slightly, OK very out of shape 47 year old, what a work out. You actually enter in your car the center of Diamond Head. They charge $5 per car, but what a deal. That is the complete cost. The trail is free. In the end it was all worth it as I feel they should have handed out badges of merit once you completed the walk/hike. It is .8 miles up with about a 600 foot vertical foot incline. You start off with a gently sloped path and it is very picturesque. It winds its way around the hills and then you start the steep part and the steps. There are two sets of steps with about 100 steps on each set. There are also two rather smallish tunnels you must navigate. Then you finally reach what you think is the top and then there is one last devilsh little torture for you as you must climb three rungs of a ladder and stoop to get under what once was a gun implacement. Once this is all accomplished, you will see the best view Honolulu has to offer. Advice: Brings lots of water and take your time !!

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  • April1985's Profile Photo

    See diamond head

    by April1985 Written Jan 17, 2007

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    Diamond head was hit with a huge meteor rock a long time ago , and that is what caused the huge crator ... or so ive been told.. It was very calming , and very nice to see , and we had a great view of this from our hotel toom as well. unfortunaly there was no parking so we could not hike up into it , but we did drive into the crator and take a few pics .

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  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    Diamond Head - a natural landmark

    by SLLiew Updated Oct 13, 2006

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    Diamond Head is a volcano cone visible from Waikiki beach, reminding we tourists that Hawaii is built from volcanoes rising from ocean floor in the middle of Pacific Ocean, very far from the closest land continents.

    Did not go up the top of Diamond Head where one can see from the rim into cone, Waikiki Beach and the big blue Pacific Ocean from above.

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  • HawaiianKukiniNui's Profile Photo

    Climb Diamond Head

    by HawaiianKukiniNui Updated Jan 8, 2006

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    Warren and Brother Mike Getting Ready to Climb
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    Diamond Head, one of the best-known volcanic craters in the world, can be seen from the southeast coast of O'ahu not far from Waikiki. The view from the summit of this 760-foot, extinct crater is well worth the climb. The steep trail to the top is mostly paved and defined by two sets of stairs-one, 99 steps, the other 76 steps. It leads through a 225-foot tunnel and ends with a spectacular view of the island's west side. This is also an excellent spot for whale watching during the winter. Known in Hawaiian as Le'ahi (brow of the ahi-yellowfin tun), Diamond Head was so named when Brttish seamen saw calcite crystals sparkling in the sunshine and thought they'd found diamonds. The volcanic crater, a major O'ahu landmark, has been extinct for 150,000 years. Admission to the park, which is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., is $1. Parking is $5. From Waikiki (Kapiolani Park) to the Diamond Head Entrance is about a 20-30 minute walk.

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  • Rixie's Profile Photo

    Climb An Extinct Volcano

    by Rixie Updated Jan 5, 2006

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    Diamond Head is the most recognizable landmark in Hawaii. The crater of an extinct volcano, it looms above almost every photo of Waikiki Beach, like the one on my Honolulu intro.

    I've seen the hike to the top described as "easy to moderate," but I didn't find that to be accurate. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the easiest and 10 being the hardest, I'd say that this is a 7.

    We started up the trail at 7:30 a.m., while it was still cool, but even so, I was sweating and out of breath by the time we reached the top. If I hadn't taken a puff off an asthma inhaler when we first started, I probably wouldn't have made it. I consider myself fit and am accustomed to walking long distances, but there was something about the combination of the heat, the altitude, and the steep climb that almost did me in.

    I was glad that I did it, though, as the view from the top was absolutely breathtaking. The only problem was that we had to share it with about 50 other people, with everyone jockeying for a good camera angle. I'd advise going very, very early in the morning or very, very late in the afternoon: it's open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The trail is paved for most of the way, and there are two sets of stairs: 76 and 99 steps, respectively.

    Guidebooks say to allow an hour for the ascent and 45 minutes for the descent, but it took us only about 30 minutes going up and 20 minutes coming down. Coming down was MUCH easier.

    Wear sturdy walking shoes, and bring a flashlight (there is a long, dark tunnel -- the only shade on the whole hike), bottled water, and of course, a camera.

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  • geeyook's Profile Photo

    Diamond Head

    by geeyook Written Jun 11, 2005
    Diamond Head

    The most famous landmark in Honolulu is Diamond Head. Locals use this landmark as a navigation reference point for the island. This summit of this extinct volcano is 760 ft. high. Hiking to the top is available via the Diamond Head Trail. The hike to the top is steep and arduous, so be proper hiking shoes and equipment is a must.

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  • sswagner's Profile Photo

    Hiking up Diamond Head

    by sswagner Written Feb 11, 2005

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    View from Diamond Head

    Diamond Head is perhaps the best known landmark in the city. This old volcanic crater rises above the nearby Waikiki district and is visible from much of the city. It is possible to drive into the crater through a tunnel and then park the car and hike up to the rim. The trail is not too long, but it can be steep in areas. There is a rewarding view of the city and a good portion of Oahu from the top. Notice that the crater itself is very dry while the mountains seem more lush. Weather can be very localized on the islands. The combination of topography, tradewinds, and the ocean can make a short distance very significant in terms of rainfall.

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  • K.Knight's Profile Photo

    Walk up Diamond Head.

    by K.Knight Written Dec 27, 2004

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    Diamond Head

    Diamond Head is Oahu's largest tuff cone formed over 100,000 years ago by an active bubbling volcano. Nineteenth century British sailors nicknamed the crater Diamond Head when they mistook the calcite crystals for diamonds. A well-graded trail leads you up the 760-feet summit to a World War II bunker with a bird's eye view of Honolulu.

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  • Redlats's Profile Photo

    Climb Diamond Head

    by Redlats Updated Oct 1, 2004

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    Waikiki from top of Diamond Head

    Diamond Head is an old (really old) volcano that you can climb. There is a pretty good view from the top (see picture). It is a moderately taxing hike, as it is a lot of climbing (probably 300 steps, a lot of hill and almost all in the hot sun).

    They tell you that you must have water and a flashlight to climb. You do need water and sunscreen (it's a desert up there), but unless you are claustraphobic or afraid of the dark, the flashlight is not worth renting.

    Cost in 2001 is $1/ person to enter the park, $2 to rent the flashlight. You can get to Diamond Head by taking The Bus (#22 or #58). If you are too wiped to walk down to the bus stop, there seems to be a good supply of taxis to drive you back to town.

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  • percy961's Profile Photo

    Breath taking views

    by percy961 Written Sep 19, 2004

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    View from Diamond Head.

    Probably the most famous landmark in Hawaii is Diamond Head, a 1.2 km wide tuff ring near the southeast end of the Island of Oahu. Early sailors mistakenly thought glistening calcite crystals inside the tuff rocks were diamonds, leading to the incorrect name.

    The hike to the peak is not for the faint hearted especially in the Hot weather. The trail is steep and uneven, the are a couple of tunnels to pass through and numerous steps.

    That said, the view onthe peak are sensational.

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  • Suet's Profile Photo

    Climbing Diamond Head

    by Suet Written Feb 22, 2004

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    stopping for a breather.....

    Ah well, having put on appropriate hiking gear, jeans and trainers, it was time to try and kill myself by climbing the hill.......

    A strenuous climb for one so unfit, I noted the distinct lack of cardiac resuscitation equipment along the way and the elegant sandals and shoes of the Japanese Tourists.... with frequent pauses (to admire the views) it is possible to climb it in about 45 minutes, going down was much easier....

    The path is sometimes rocky and uneven so good footwear is a must unless you want broken ankles, although I did see a rather fetching pair of high heeled glittery slingbacks on one fashion conscious girl, also a rather well dressed couple with elegant umbrellas..... so it seems it is possible to wear what you like.

    Take water and plenty of film, also a good pair of binoculars.... when you get to the top you can see for miles and it is also a good place for whale watching. One humpbacked jumped right out of the water.... magical. The sea is a deep blue, although not the royal blue of the Mediterranean and you can watch the paragliding surfers in action. Lots of helicopters flew by on sight seeing tours which looked like fun, if you don't get airsick.

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  • slabeaume's Profile Photo

    Diamond Head Crater Hike

    by slabeaume Written Aug 23, 2003

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    The obligatory picture

    Diamond Head State Monument is a tuff cone formed by subterranean explosions thousands of years ago. Long ago, Hawaiians used the summit for human sacrifices. In 1908 the United States built the trail to the summit as part of the U.S. Army Coastal Artillery defense system. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1968. Now it is open to the public as a hike that ends in an amazing view.
    If you take a bus there, it will drop you off near the tunnel going into the crater. If you drive in to the parking lot, there's a $5 day use/parking fee.

    I rated the level of difficulty here as beginner because of the good paths and steps. But there are hundreds of steps near the top that will give your heart a real work out, so keep that in mind. There are also a couple of long dark tunnels. They suggest that you take a flash light with you. We didn't, and got along ok. There are hand rails to guide you through the tunnels. I did take a bottle of water, though, and am very glad I did. It seemed to be more humid here then down in Waikiki.

    Once at the top, the views into the crater and towards Waikiki are amazing. If you plan to take pictures, I'd recommend going up there in the morning so you have better lighting.

    Give yourself at least 1.5 hours to make the roundtrip hike! The park closed at 6 when we were there in Aug. I'm not sure how they know everyone is down, or if they just lock you in. We didn't wait to find out.

    The first two times we went to Oahu, we didn't do this hike. I'm glad I finally got to. It was well worth the effort.

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  • msison's Profile Photo

    Diamond Head

    by msison Written Jul 24, 2003

    It's a great view from the top.

    Diamond head is a natural wonder, which used to be a volcano now that it has been dormant for 150,000 years. It's great to take a tour there. It will only take a day to see the sight and worth the time.

    Make sure to book a good tour or rent a car to get there.

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  • OrlandoBR's Profile Photo

    Diamond Head

    by OrlandoBR Updated Jul 20, 2003

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    Diamond Head is the dead volcano crater in the background of any Waikiki postcard. It took me some days to find out it was possible to get up there and catch a glimpse of half the island of Oahu. There are no trams or anything, and you must get up there by yourself if you wish so. The view from the top is breathtaking - of course anything would be breathtaking after climbing (walking) a mountain for over an hour, anyway. There are some tunnels on the narrow path that leads to the top which are in total, absolute darkness. Bring something to drink, wear comfortable shoes and make sure you're in good health condition. I loved it and definetly found it worth the exercise, but the girls hated it...

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  • Avryle's Profile Photo

    Diamondhead Volcano

    by Avryle Written Feb 25, 2003

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    The bowl of Diamond Head

    Its pretty much just a big pit but it offers a great view from the top.

    I've forgotten what the average time is to hike to the top, but if you're pissed off at your brother, you'll hike up it REALLY fast!

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