2015-09-12

Hiking on Diamond Head

The view of Waikiki from Diamond Head's summit.
Climbing one of the steep
staircases.
Diamond Head—known as Lēʻahi in Hawaiian—is a prominent volcanic crater or tuff cone on O'ahu. The crater is part of a series of volcanic forms collectively known as the Honolulu Volcanic Series. Diamond Head is a well-known tourist attraction, especially because of its close proximity to Waikiki. The surrounding park and crater are open to the public between 6am and 6pm; however, visitors are prohibited from hiking Diamond Head after 4:30pm.

Although Diamond Head is steep (762ft), the hike is on the easier side, and one could make it both ways in under two hours. Nonetheless, the path is uneven at several points, and the stairs running up the crater are somewhat steep. If you're on the athletic side, you could definitely make the round trip to and from the crater summit in under 90 minutes. I imagine experienced hikers might think Diamond Head is a piece of cake. However, if you have an injury or disability, I'd take it easy. Additionally, I would advise those with small children to hold their hands at all times. It's easy for little feet to slip and fall at Diamond Head, and it's somewhat crowded, you don't want your little angels to get lost in the rush! Lastly, I suggest you bring a bottle of water with you and wear sports clothes; you're likely to get a workout!

Posing at one of the rockier sections
of the path.
Aside from providing an excuse to workout on vacation, I liked Diamond Head because of the cheap admission fee. Most of the sites in Honolulu are notoriously expensive, but Diamond Head is only $5 per car and $1 per pedestrian. My dad and I drove our rental car to Diamond Head, but parked somewhere outside the park in a rare free parking area, then walked to the crater. Therefore, we paid $1 each. Two dollars for a great hike and beautiful view at the top—definitely worth it!

At the base of the crater, there is a large rest area with several bathrooms; there are no bathrooms on the crater trail, so you might want to attend to your business before beginning your hike. Every inch of the trail is picturesque, and there is amble room to pose for and take pictures.

Taking one of many shots of the magnificent view.
The crowd at the summit.
Taking everything in.
It took us around 40 minutes to reach the summit of Diamond Head. At the top, there is an observation area where you can take in the Honolulu cityscape, especially Waikiki area, as well as the beautiful ocean.

I think hiking Diamond Head is a must-do for any visitor to Honolulu. It's a nice break from the commercialistic hustle-and-bustle of Waikiki, and a great physical activity for those of us who aren't keen on swimming.

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