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.
One of the "must do's" when visiting Oahu is to hike to the top of Diamond Head (the dormant volcanic cone so associated with Hawaii). The park is open from 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and entry fees vary.
Hours: Daily 6:00 a.m. to 6:00p.m.
Entrance Fee: $5.00 per car or $1 per person for pedestrians. Commercial vehicles fees: $10.00 cars/vans, $20 mini-buses, $40 buses
You can't help but see the beautiful volcano overlooking the southern coast of Oahu. I am not one to hike up just to see the views but it is definatly pretty to look at from the ground.