Today we wanted to hike along the Diamond Head Crater Trail, which is located in the middle of diamond head crater. From the summit you have a super beautiful view of Waikiki. We were already on our world tour on the crater in 2015 and we liked the view so much that we really wanted to do the hike again 🙂
Table of contents
Diamond Head Crater in Hawaii
Diamond Head (Hawaiian: Lo’ahi) is a 232-metre-high tufa crater and one of Oahu’s most famous landmarks. The silhouette of the crater is already visible from afar.
In In the 19th century, British sailors visited the crater and confused the calcite crystals in the rocks on the slope of the crater with diamonds. Thus, the term ‘Diamond Head’ became the common name for the crater. In the early In the 20th century, the crater rim was used as a strategic military lookout point and was registered as a national natural monument in 1958. Today, Diamond Head is a well-known and popular hiking destination with beautiful views of Waikiki, Honolulu and the south coast of Oahu.
Admission & Parking at Diamond Head
From Waikiki, it’s just a short drive by car or local bus to Diamond Head Crater. The entrance is located at the intersection of Diamond Head Road / 18th Avenue. After driving a little further through the Diamond Head Tunnel, you come to the cash register of the State Monument. If you are very lucky, you get one of the few parking spaces here for 5 US dollars per day ( GoogleMaps). Even though we were very early and it wasn’t even 9 o’clock, there was already a lot going on here and the chance to get a parking space went to 0. There was still a small queue on the side, but the lady in the cashier’s house said that we had to go out again. Even the queue was too long. Stupid. So we had no choice but to drive out through the tunnel again. At the end of the tunnel there is a small parking lot on the right side (at the Kahala Lookout), but even that was already full. So we went down diamond head road again and then sat down in a small parking lot next to the Leahi Millennium Peace Garden. From here we went on foot back to the entrance and the cash register in 15 minutes. Meanwhile, the car queue at the entrance was twice as long and we were glad that we had even found a parking space. As a pedestrian, you pay 1 US Dollar entrance fee to Diamond Head State Monument Park. The park is open every day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The last start for the hike is 4.30 p.m., because at 6 p.m. all visitors must be outside.
The hike to the observation deck
The hiking trail to the crater summit was built as early as 1908, because somehow the military had to come up to the military ice directions. The beginning of the trail is adjacent to the parking lot inside the Diamond Head State Monument. There is also a souvenir shop, toilet rooms, drinks vending machines and drinking water dispensers. One should not forget to replenish one’s beverage supplies, because in bright sunshine the hike can already be strenuous due to the ascent – even if the path with a simple length of 0.8 miles (1.3 kilometers) is not so insanely long. The path goes up in a serpentine manner and at the end the ascent continues over steep stairs, through an illuminated tunnel, over a spiral staircase and through military bunkers. It took us about 45 minutes to get there.
The view from Diamond Head via Honolulu & Waikiki
At the top is a viewing platformthat offers views over Waikiki and Honolulu. It can take a while to get a place right in front of the railing, because up here it is insanely full. The tourists flock here in droves and on the day we were here, the park had reopened for the first time after a week of renovations, so there was pure chaos here. But that didn’t bother us any further, because at some point we had secured our place at the front and were able to enjoy the view.
The view of the city, the ocean and the mountains in the background is truly breathtaking. We’ve seen a lot of cities from vantage points, but Diamond Head really offers us the most beautiful view of a city. We were back and forth and could have been up here forever. That was the effort definitely worth it.
All travelogues from HawaiiWe had already visited the islands of Hawaii during our trip around the world on the way from North America to Australia. Here we were on O'ahu, Kaua'i, Maui and Big Island. Because we were so enthusiastic about the different islands and the diversified nature, we were able to make up for all the things we had not been able to do last time or which were partly not even possible. In 2015, for example, you couldn't see flowing lava on Big Island, because it didn't flow towards the sea as usual, but towards an inhabited village. And this was closed for access for the safety of all. But since 2016 the lava of Kilauea is flowing towards the ocean again and so we could finally realize one of our biggest wishes: To stand very close to flowing lava. We also wanted to snorkel on O'ahu in Hanauma Bay, climb Koko Head Crater, see a hula show, marvel at the fireworks of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, enjoy the sunrise on the 3,055 meter high Haleakala and watch the turtles on the beach along the Road to Hana. So many things we didn't know about last time or didn't manage to do last time.
Hawaii: Things to know, Photo spots & Travel Guide for a holiday
O‘ahu: Waikiki – The neighborhood of Honolulu with Waikiki Beach
O‘ahu: Honolulu – Things to do & the most beautiful photo spots
O‘ahu: Honolulu – Hike to Manoa Falls & Tantalus Lookout
O‘ahu: An Island Tour & & the most beautiful photo spots
O‘ahu: Koko Crater – A hike on the old railway tracks in Oahu
O‘ahu: Hanauma Bay – One of the most beautiful snorkelspots on Oahu
O‘ahu: Diamond Head Crater – Stunning view over Honolulu
Big Island: Arrival in Hilo & Akaka Falls State Park
Big Island: Lava Hike on Big Island – Get close to flowing lava & feel the heat
Big Island: Hawaii Volcanoes NP – The Lava Viewing Area at Ocean Entry
Big Island: Lava Boat Tour – A boat trip to Ocean Entry on Big Island
Big Island: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – Things to do & Photo spots
Big Island: Hike to Papakolea Green Sand Beach
Maui: Lahaina, Nakalele Blowhole & the west coast of the island
Maui: Sunrise from the top of Haleakala Volcano
Maui: The panoramic Road to Hana & the Piilani Highway