Diamond Head, Oahu
Diamond Head, or Leahi is it is known by Hawaiian's, is Hawaii's most recognizable landmark, an iconic fixture where all roads are measured by it's distance (jsut ask a local for directions, they will refrence distance from Diamond Head)
This volcanic cone was given it's English name by sailors who mistook its glitering calcite crystals for diamonds. The cone is part of a series of volcanic eruptions that also created Punchbowl Crater, Hanauma Bay, Koko Head and Manana Island.
Diamond head is famous for it's historic hiking trial, amazing seacoast views and its military history. The state park can be visited daily from 6-6 and the entrance fee is a $5 car park fee. You can hike up to the top of the crater where you'll be rewarded with some of the most spectacular views of Oahu.
The hike to the top of the crater is about 1 1/2 - 2 hours so bring water and a good pair of walking shoes. There are benches and places to rest if you have difficulting making the climb.
You must make it a point to climb to the top of Diamond Head. The Views of Waikiki Beach and further afeild is well worth the climb. I have done this climb twice and every single time I make it to the top I rejoice because of the sheer beauty of the island.
The climb is a bit strenous, so make sure to have plenty of water and stop if you get too tired. On my first trip my travel partner had to stop many times because he wasn't use to the steep climb and found himself quite tired only after a short climb. So please make sure to take your time.
Either you can ride the trolley, drive, bike to the Diamond's Head or you can walk. I saw a lot of people walking up to the crater. I did once when I was still young. With young children in tow, now way bradah! Bring lots of water when you hike up. There is a look out where you can take some pictures of the beaches.
In case you haven’t notice the mountain at the background of Waikiki beach is Diamond Head! The trail was built in 1908 as part of the US Army Coastal Artillery defense system with many tunnels, canon emplacements and observation posts at the top. Today Diamond Head is a state monument and has a luakini (temple) at the top. Some british sailors back in 1825 confused of some crystals that were sparkling and thought they were diamonds. That’s where the name Diamond Head came from!
Diamond Head is only 232 meters high and if you to enjoy a gorgeous panoramic view from the top you can hike its trail to the top. The trail is short, not more than 1,5 kilometer but it is not the easiest on earth because of many steep steps along the way to the top (of course it’s ok if you are in good shape). If you haven’t hike before dont forget to wear sneakers, a hat, sunscreen and water!
The first thing you have to do is to go early, so to avoid the heat. We took the bus 22 from Waikiki and the driver told us where to stop. From the bus stop we walked for 15‘ to the entrance of the park by crossing a tunnel that had no pavement (but the cars go slow anyway). After a while we reached the Information Center where you have to pay 1 dollar for entering the park (there are annual passes for $10) while the private cars pay $5 for entering the park (you will walk the same distance after the box office, dont worry). Signs warn you that the park closes at 18.00 daily and all entrances will be secured at that time (last time to start the hike is 16.30). They will provide you with a simple leaflet that has some basic info and a map with some points of interest along the trail.
We started walking on an easy concrete walkway with the summit in front of us (pic 1) and then the dirt trail (pic 2) with numerous switchbacks. We stopped for a while to take some breath and some pics of course. In general, take your time when you hike otherwise you will be excausted. Then, we reached and climped 74 concrete steps and entered a long and short dark tunnel (about 70m long) but not so dark to use a flashlight. I thought exiting the tunnel I would be at the end but no, now we had to climp a steep staircase (pic 3) with 99 steps :( I really hope you don’t have any problem with your knees. Pic 4 shows the steep staircase and the momument at the top. You may think that this staircase leads to the top, dont you? No! We were at a small tunnel again (much smaller though) and we climbed a small spiral staircase (52 steps) that brough us to a small bunker where a man gives a certificate that you made it (only $2 and funny enough). We climped up to the light (watch out your head!) and tried to find the panoramic view but a fellow hiker told me that I have to climb 54 more steps to the top!! I laughed and continued for some more metal stairs till I finally stepped on the top! I needed some minutes to rest before I realise the panoramic (360‘) view. We took a dozen of photos, the one you see here (pic 5) is above Waikiki, finally were higher than those highrise hotels!
On your way back you can stop at some of the lookouts for photos and watch the people that decided to come later and how they suffering from the sun that is already up in the sky. Next to the entrance of the park there are restrooms and many picnic tables.
Diamond Head ais a volcanis crater and theres alot for people to do here. There are trails to hike and many nice homes here.
The park area is opened from 6am to 6pm and its $5 per car or $1 if you walk in.
From here you will get some of the nicest views of Honolulu.
Diamond Head, a familiar icon of the Hawaiian islands, can be easily glimpsed from many parts of Waikiki. As we splashed in the waters of Kahana-moku Beach or traveled the highway to other destinations we could see this huge chunk of lava reposing above the city.
We were hoping to catch a cab to its interior, then hike the steep trail to the top but there were so many other sites we wanted to see that we never did it. However, here are some tips to remember if you DO have the opportunity--take plenty of water, begin your hike in the early morning and don't forget sunblock.
You should have a phenomenal view of Waikiki from this high perch!
FYI: This climb entails 0.8 miles each way--allow 1 1/2-2 hours. Wear sturdy shoes!
Yes, that same big mountain that you¡¦ll see from Waikiki is the Diamond Head and if you didn¡'t climb it you're not a "good tourist":) It's like being on Oahu and skip the Pearl Harbor. So, don't miss the stunning views from Waikiki's most famous lookout point.
Some people say that climbing up is not easy and too many stairs "attack" you on the way to the top. Well, I have to disagree. First, if you ever climbed those famous European church towers then the Diamond Head is piece of cake for you! Second, I saw some people going all the way up wearing flip-flops, no wonder they hardly move. A good pair of sneakers will definitely make your life easier. And third, remember that when you get to the top you'll get your chance to take one of these breathtaking shots of Waikiki.
Usually, they say that it takes about 1,5 hours to complete the hike, however, it took me less than 1 hour, including 20-25 pictures that I took from the top.
We had to wake up early to see the sun rise while going up diamond head. From the hotel, we just took a cab for about $10 and going back to the hotel, we shared a cab (minivan) with other tourists and paid $3/person.
This hike here on the south east corner of the island was one of those half day events we did before going to the airport our last day. The views up there are great and I highly recommend you take time for this.
You can hike in from the main parking lot and then as the climb reaches the top you realize you have many levels of stairs to climb. Still, this is worth it. Especially if you have a clear and semi windy day you'll be well relaxed and happy.
It takes about 30 minutes to hike to the top of the diamond head...but give yourself plenty of time to gaze at the wonder that is the view of the entire island of Oahu.
The entire park closes at 6pm, and they do mean it, as they have a sign that says 'all doors closed at 6pm'. So plan your trip accordingly.
Couldn't decide if this should go in tourist trap or not, although it is packed and hot and nuts all around it was worth it to see that view from the top. go early when the crowds aren't so large and the sun isn't beating down on you the whole trip up. Its uphill the whole way there, with some serious stair climbing at the top, nothing to crazy if your in descent shape, but dodging all those people who can barely make it gets tiring. The heat also makes it tougher but still it's a fun trip and worth the drink you can reward yourself with when you get down. Parking was nuts when we got there, there was zero parking in the upper lot so we had to park wayyyyy down the street and walk up to the beginning of the trail, they also charge you to get in, but it's not to expensive it's about $2/person or so. Bring lots and lots of water/gatorade, we drank 3 or waterbottles each.
The 760-foot summit of Diamond Head provides panoramic views from Waikiki to Koko Head. It is a relatively easy (and popular) 1.4 mile hike to the summit and a welcome diversion from the glitz of Waikiki.
Diamond Head is a volcanic crater at the end of Waikiki beach. You can get spectacular views from the top at 760 feet above sea level. Wear good walking shoes as there is no transport and although the tracks are well marked, they are also well worn.
Diamond Head was an important vantage point for the military during World War II because of its location. Today it attracts tourists who hike to the top to experience the wonderful views.
Diamond Head National Monument is a fun outing if you are in the Honolulu/Waikiki area. Just a short drive. The hike up to the top is about 1.75 miles. The way can be a bit rocky so it is best to wear good hiking shoes or at least sturdy tennis shoes. The view from the top is lovely. You can see out over Honolulu and it offers great views of the bay. It is a pretty easy hike apart from the long flights of steps near the top. Also, there is a long unlit tunnel you must pass through which is about 200 feet long. There is an observation area at the top which can get a bit crowded depending on the amount of people visiting. Restrooms are located at the bottom near the entrance to the trail. There is also a refreshment stand offering fresh fruit (Pineapple of course), water and smoothies. Plenty of parking. The cost last I checked was $1.00 per person to hike up. Park closes at 6pm.
Hiking to the top of the Diamond Head Summit it a fairly easy hike, the 100 steps being the most difficult. Parking/entry is $5 per carload; pedestrians pay $2.00. Bring water and a flashlight and wear comfortable walking shoes. You usually pass friendly hikers all along the way ... and once you reach the summit, the view is breathtaking! T-shirts, water, and flashlights are all available on sight for a fee. UPDATE: Flashlights are not really necessary now that they have put lighting along the tunnel.