Diamond Head, Oahu
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 - 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.