Diamond Head, Oahu
If you don't mind walking and go up stairs nad pass through tunnels, the view from the top of Diamond Head is really worth the effort. Well, let's say it's not so hard to get there, but there are a couple of breath-taking stairs.
On a sunny day you can clearly see Waikiki and Honolulu, the coral reefs, the beatiful surroundings and the almost perfect circumference of the volcano.
If you want the best view of Honolulu, you have to climb Diamond Head. The climb is tough and steep. There are lots of uneven paths and steep stairs and even a dark tunnel to get through before you get to the top. It is definitely worth it. The view is great. you can see so far. You can get there by Bus, taxi or car and it costs $1 to get in. Bring lots of water to drink because you will need it. At the top you can get a certificate to prove that you made itto the top.
Laeáhi (the Hawaiian name for Diamond Head) was created approximately 300,000 years ago during a single brief eruption. Today, Diamond Head (761 ft. above sea level) is the most recognized landmark in Hawaií and in 1968, it was designated a National Landmark (as an excellent example of a tuff cone).
The trail to the summit was built in 1908 as part of the U.S. Army Coastal Artillery defense system. From the crater floor to the top is 560 ft., so bring some good walking shoes and plenty of water. There is a $5.00 fee to park your car and $1.00 guest fee to hike to the rim...but it's worth it not only for the exercise, but also the views. I would suggest going early in the morning or late afternoon to stay away from the heat and humidity.
Hike this incredible dormant volcano for the views. Early sailors who came here were fooled by this crater's calcite crystals, thought they were diamonds and named the crater Diamond Head.
Hawaiians once used the 761-foot summit as a platform to light navigational fires to direct canoes offshore. The military built an observation station on the summit in 1910 to spot ships off the southeastern coast of Oahu.
A steep but short (less than a mile) trail takes hikers to the summit of the crater and offers a spectacular 360-degree view of Honolulu and the coast. A flashlight is handy for the long, dark tunnel encountered partway up the trail.
The trail, built by the U.S. Army in 1906, includes 271 steps and a spiral staircase that leads to the observation post at the summit.
Make sure you bring water, a hat, your camera and sunscreen.
Diamond Head is an easy hike with a majectic view of Waikiki Beach and the surrounding area. It takes about half an hour to hike up Diamond Head, and there's a llittle booth right at the top where you can pay $2 for a certificate that says you have climbed Diamond Head and was rewarded by the fantastic views :)
Certain parts were steep little steps, and the viewing posts were quite crowded. It is best to go on a sunny day since you can catch really good pictures of Waikiki Beach and the surrounding area quite clearly.
Oh by the way, it cost $1 to enter. Very cheap.
If you're looking for a way to get your blood flowing on a lazy vacation morning in Honolulu, take a walk up Diamond Head. Bring sturdy shoes -- though there are lots of stairs on the trek, the path to the stairs could be ankle-twisting. Also bring sunscreen, as the path is mostly exposed. But other than that, almost anyone can make it to the top for some spectacular views of Waikiki, downtown Honolulu and the eastern part of Oahu. History buffs will enjoy the chance to look out of World War II era bunkers that wee used to spot enemy ships and planes.
The 475 acre Diamond Head State Monument has a 0.7 mile trail leading from the crater floor to the lookout at the top, 760 ft. up. The climb is a good workout too!
To look back down into the crater that is 3,520 ft. across is awesome. The views from the summit are wonderful as well.
The most famous and visible landmark and therefore a must see. An easy hike up the rim and offer you panaromic view of wakiki and the surrounding ocean. Make sure you bring some drinks in town before heading there as those on sell in the Diamond head are expensive. Easy hike ( we even saw some tourists go up on platform shoes) but wear comfortable shoes.
As hikes go, this is an easy one. But, it gives you one of the best views of Honolulu.
It's best to get up early in the morning and either walk or take a taxi to the base of the mountain and just start climbing up.
Also, you should probably take a long a bottle of water as you could be sweating your way up to the summit.
After you come down they may have a few people at the base selling a t-shirt (which makes for a good personal souvenir).
Actually, Hawaii was the last of the 50 States for me to visit. I was there to visit my son coming in off a cruise on the "USS Nimitz'. But I was mooching around one day driving; and saw the sign for Diamondhead. Sounded familiar, so I stopped in, followed the arrows. Hoooo boy; Didn't realize what I was in for 'til I was halfway up, and met some folks coming down. I was 6 weeks out of knee surgery and figured 'what the hey' need the exercise-right?' Well, I got it, sure enough. Worth it? You betcha! Photos later.
At 7 AM and the thermometer is already reaching 32 degrees Celsius. The brightness is uncredible. On Kuhio Avenue, take the bus 58 (tagged Waikiki Ala Moana) or the bus 22 (Waikiki Beach and hotels), for 1US$50, exact change asked because the drivers do not handle money. After a short ride of 15 minutes along the beach, you will be at Diamond Head. This volcano, Hawaii’s most recognisable landmark, is an extinct crater. British sailors named it like this after they took worthless calcite deposits for diamonds. Beautiful view all along the walk, very quiet and pretty steep, but kids do not seem to mind. From the top, unbeatable view on Honolulu and the coast. A perfect place for pictures. Atthe top you will probably meet a guide who will try to take you on walking tours. He tells the story of Diamond Head for free.
PS: Bring bottle of water or your thermos, hat and sun lotion, it is hot out there!!
Diamond Head - go early morning to beat the rush - running shoes , sunscreen, hat, and water needed - parking $5 for a carload, no other fees - tunnels are now lit - Real World Hawaii house visible from top - gray on left of red tiles when looking west on top of Daimond Head lookout.
The 360-degree view from atop Diamond Head Crater is worth the 560-foot ascent and is not to be missed. You can see all the way from the Koko Crater to Barbers Point and the Waianae Mountains. The 750-foot-tall volcano, which has become the symbol for Hawaii, is about 350,000 years old. The trail to the summit was built in 1910 to service the military installation along the crater; it's about a 30-minute hike to the top, but it's quite manageable by anyone of any age.
Diamond Head has always been considered a "sacred sight" by Hawaiians. According to legend, Hi'iaka, the sister to the volcano goddess Pele, named the mountain Leahi (meaning the "brow of the ahi") when she saw the resemblance to the yellowfin tuna (called "ahi" in Hawaiian). Kamehameha the Great built a "luakini heiau" on the top where human sacrifices were made to the god of war, Ku.
The name Diamond Head came into use around 1825 when a group of British sailors (some say they were slightly inebriated) found some rocks sparkling in the sun. Absolutely sure they had struck it rich, the sailors brought these "diamonds" back into Honolulu. Alas, the "diamonds" turned out to be calcite crystals. The sailors didn't become fabulously rich, but the name Diamond Head stuck.
I personally thought diamond head was overrated. Sure the view at the top is pretty but I thought the hike up was so long, ugly and plus I was dehydrated that it wasn't even worth it. If you don't have time to fit this one in, I wouldn't cry over it.
This is a wonderful hike and it can be done by the whole family .
The hike to the summit of Diamond Head Crater is a 0.8 mile or 1.3 km one way and itis a 560 feet or 171 meter climb from Crater floor up to the Summit..
You will have to deal with some steep stairways on your way up, one of them with 99 steps.There are also some dark tunnels to go through A flashlight is recommended through the tunnels.A step by step climb up to the top of Diamond Head is illustrated in the travelogues.