Diamond Head Oahu is one of the top tourist attractions not to be missed. No longer active, it is a dormant volcano offering fantastic panoramic views of Waikiki, Koko Head crater to the east and the Waianae mountain range to the west.
You can also see the lighthouse and upscale luxurious beachfront estates of the gold coast down below. Formed over 300,000 years ago during a single eruption it sits on over 475 acres on the eastern edge of Waikiki. The trail to the summit was built in 1908 as part of Oahu's defense system.
At the base of the volcano on the ocean side of Diamond Head road there is a lighthouse which was built in 1917. These priceless views do come at a price. First of all admission is $1 to enter if you are walking and $5 per car if you are driving. Admission is free with the Go Oahu activity pass.
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Diamond Head on Oahu
Next there is a moderate hike to the top that on average takes most people 1 hour and 40 minutes to hike Diamond Head roundtrip..
This is factoring in stopping and smelling the roses.The 0.8 mile trail is rocky and gravel like with dirt mixed in. The terrain varies among these 3 mediums.
Also, there are stairs in some sections where it's steep and you'll have to take them through some tunnels. In fact, the last 1/10 mile is all stairs. On the way up is a scenic lookout before you reach the largest Diamond Head lookout deck at the top.
I suggest that you wear comfortable closed-toe shoes such as running shoes or sneakers although hiking sandals would be fine.Take a hat for sun protection, water and wear sunscreen if you burn easily.
This is not a shaded walk since you are hiking up an open-faced volcano. You really get the sense that you are in a volcano when you are in the parking lot at the start of the hike.
The canyon-like walls of Diamond Head surround you and you feel this immense sense of powerlessness and awe at what mother nature created millions of years ago.
I suggest going early in the morning before it gets too hot or windy.The park is open daily including holidays from 6am to 6pm with the last entrance available to do the hike at 4:30pm.
Diamond Head crater is located on Diamond Head Road between Makapuu Ave. and 18th Ave. across from Kapiolani Community College.
*Trail map provided courtesy of The Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of State Parks.
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