Photographed more than perhaps any other scene on the islands, Diamond Head is a picturesque sight that you can get even closer to by hiking.
Rising above the Oahu coastline is Diamond Head, a natural wonder of the islands that has become a signature of Waikiki Beach.
If you’re staying in the Waikiki Beach/Honolulu area you can get to Diamond Head in around 10-15 minutes by car. The earlier you arrive the better, as parking is somewhat limited. Plus, the sun can really heat up quick in Hawaii so the weather will be cooler the earlier you go. Wear sunscreen too and bring water. The hike is 1.6 miles roundtrip, which doesn’t sound tiring, but as the first half is straight up Diamond Head it can tire one out. Stop at some of the rest areas if needed and stay hydrated! But, keep going. The sight at the top is worth it.
A small portion of the trail is paved at the outset, but soon enough switchbacks up the mountain begin. Ascending numerous stairways is the only way to climb Diamond Head, so be prepared. The steep mountain climb leads to lighted 225-foot tunnel entering into the Fire Control Station. Once this set of stairs is complete, you’ll have access to gorgeous panoramic views. Overlooking Waikiki, Honolulu and Oahu’s South Shore, the views from the top are postcard perfect. Take your time. Soak it in. Bring a camera. And snap away. You’ll want to remember this moment.
The climb down is rather quick and easy. With Diamond Head behind you, you’ve just experienced one of the islands top natural wonders.
Note: There is a $5.00 per car or $1 per person fee for pedestrians. Cash only. Diamond Head State Monument is open daily 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, with the last entrance to hike the trail at 4:30 pm.