Last Updated on April 29, 2021
Standing on the beach in Honolulu Diamond Head can be seen in the distance; it would be impossible for it to not catch your attention- it is huge!
You can get there by bus, car or taxi. Walking from our hotel room all the way up to diamond head, while a long trek, was totally worth it. It was a better experience than taking the bus (on the way back we did) as you could stop and admire the beautiful views on the way and get in a work-out at the same time. It also helped that the person we asked for advice on which way was best to go sent us on what ended up being the long way around.
“Diamond Head” refers to the volcanic tuff cone found on Oahu. Locals refer to this area as Lēʻahi. Diamond Head was formed largely in part by eruptions from the Ko’olau Volcano that happened long after the volcano had gone dormant, causing the complex cones and vents you will see today. Diamond Head State Monument encompasses over 475 acres, including both the interior and outer slopes of the crater.
The crater’s proximity to Honolulu’s resort hotels and beaches makes it a popular destination. Signs located near the trail-head state that the hike takes 1.5–2 hours round-trip on average; bring water.
The trail to the summit of Lēʻahi was built in 1908 as part of O’ahu’s coastal defense system. Although not a difficult trek, keep in mind that the mostly unpaved trail winds over uneven rock, ascends 74 steps, then through a tunnel and up another steep 99 steps. Next is another small lighted tunnel to a narrow spiral staircase (about 30 steps) inside a coastal artillery observation platform built in 1908. In other words, do not wear flip flops. We were amazed at how many people wore flip flops.
From the summit above the observation platform, a beautiful view of both Waikiki and the Pacific Ocean can be seen in detail. The views are absolutely stunning and are worth the trek to see the breathtaking, unparalleled view of the coastline. The view from up top is what draws thousands of visitors each year.
The observation posts were a bit crowded. We would recommend that you try to get there as early as possible. An earlier start will ensure you get to the top before the day really heats up. Make sure you bring some water and sunscreen because it will get hot.
What was a beautiful hike you took?