A Hike up Diamond Head


Diamond Head is a dormant volcano that was once used as a military observation station but is now a state monument.  We knew Diamond Head would be crowded with both tourists and locals alike but we wanted to see the bird’s eye view of Waikiki.  The hiking distance is about 1.5 miles round trip and it can be done in about an hour or two depending on your level of physical strength.  You begin the hike up a walkway and then you will twist and turn up the crater.  Unfortunately, it isn’t the prettiest hike up.  I was amazed by the trash along the hiking path.  According to the state park website, there is a 1,000,000 dollar trail repair project in progress right now.


You will walk through a tunnel…


 and climb lots of stairs. 


Once you are almost to the top, you will have to climb a spiral staircase and then crawl through a lookout station. 


We saw lots of people running the trail for excercise as well as many women in heels.  My husband and I made the climb up and the return trip down in about 1.5 hours with stops at different lookout points.  Getting to the top was so worth it though…








A few things to know before you go:

  • There are lots of stairs and they can be exhausting!
  • Bring water with you.  If you forget, there is a small lunch truck where you can purchase water, snacks, and other food items.
  • According to the website, there is a trail restoration project in progress.  Be sure to check the state park website before you go to determine if the trail is open.
  • We saw lots of children of all ages making the hike.  I think that my kids could have easily made the trip but we might have heard some complaining. 
  • If you really want the “I hiked Diamond Head” tshirt that someone is selling about halfway down the crater, haggle.  They went very low in price trying to get us to buy a tshirt (which we didn’t).

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  1. 1

    Great advice! Shame about the litter. Hope the state can get it cleaned up!

  2. 2

    We weren’t able to take this hike during our visit because the parking lot was full! I’m so glad you shared pics from the trail. I hope to take the kids up some day. 🙂

  3. 3

    Spectacular views! And a nice little workout too.

  4. 4

    Yay! I’m going to Oahu for the first time in April. CAN’T WAIT. I’ll have to add this hike to our to-do list!

  5. 5

    What an amazing view! I wish I hiked up Diamond Head when I was in Oahu many years ago.

  6. 6

    “Crawl through a lookout station..” That’s where I would have had trouble…not a big fan of small spaces or places where I feel trapped. Eek!

    Thanks for sharing your photos! 🙂