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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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!
Climbing Diamond Head
This is about a 2 hour walk, that anyone can do, and It's well worth it. Make sure you get the bus that takes you to the foot of the mountain.
What is unique about this is the views you get when u reach the top. Take a camera
Diamond Head is unique for it's geology,natural
landscape,military history and scenic views.
It was declared a National Natural Landmark in
1968.Today, more than a million people visit the
crater each year.Most visitors hike the historic
.8 mile(1.3km) trail to the summit to enjoy the
spectacular views of Waikiki.
You should go to the top of Diamond Head! It's one of the best places you can go in the island for pictures. Advice.. don't stop at the fence (you will see it when you get there...) go on to the next 'house'... locals go and nobody will tell you not to. The fence is just to protect the county against liability.... (GO FOR IT!)
This is a tough climb so be prepared. But the views are really nice and well worth it. The path is rough so bring sturdy shoes.
The climb to the top of Diamond Head was well worth the effort... the view of Honolulu from up there was magnificent.
The famous Waikiki landmark recognized around the world. Called Mt. Leahi in Hawaiian, it was nicknamed Diamond Head when early explorers found olivine crystals here and mistook them for diamonds.