Diamond Head Crater Hike
Want to hike one of Hawai’i’s most visited and historical landmarks? The Diamond Head State Monument also known historically as Le’ahi is a great place for those wanting to do some hiking with excellent views of Waikiki and surrounding areas. Definitely make sure you stock up on some water, sunscreen and wear your hats and comfortable shoes before you battle this large dormant volcano. After passing through the Kahala tunnel and into the crater the weather can change very quickly. Winds and breeze are rarely felt inside the muggy crater. Before you start your hike you don’t want to miss taking your picture next to Diamond Head’s Monument sign with Diamond Head in the background to show those who may not believe you actually climbed this massive mountain. There are also places for rest here and to grab any last minute refreshments and take any breaks.
Once ready you will start your 0.8 mile hike on paved sidewalk with many herbs and shrubs on either side. The paved sidewalks quickly end as you head into the mountainous area of dirt paths and uneven rock, be very careful here as it can get real slippery depending on rainfall. As you get closer towards the top you will come to one last rest stop as you begin the climb up the first steep set of 74 stairs. Definitely take breaks as needed because that was just the beginning. Next you will follow a narrow lighted tunnel that winds around approximately 225 feet and breaks up the two largest staircases. Stairway number two immediately follows with a total of 99 very narrow steep steps. This is a tough one! Push your way through because if you stop on your way up you will definitely clog up traffic. Over top these set of steps you will notice metal beams that were meant for draping camouflage when it was used as the U.S. Army’s Coastal Artillery defense system. If you make it to the top you will notice another small tunnel that leads to yet again…another staircase! This one is a bit more fun as it spirals through the Fire Control Station and the best part is it being shorter with only 52 steps.
Emerging from the station you will walk around the outside of the summit to finally the last set of 54 stairs to the Observation Station. You made it! Hope you brought your camera, here you will see what seems like never ending views of O’ahu. The ocean reefs, Waikiki, Koko Head, Diamond Head Lighthouse and on a good clear day even Moloka’i, Lana’i and Maui are some of the many things you can see. After you have had plenty of time to rest and take in the views it’s now time to head back. Coming back the way you came in is an option or you may want to take the trail along the rim that will eventually take you back to the longer tunnel. This way stops some of the congestion that may be caused from those heading up to the deck. From here on it’s a smooth hike downhill and back to civilization. I highly recommend not missing out on visiting and hiking this attraction if you are ever visiting O’ahu. It is not recommended however for those weak of heart as it is a bit more than just a moderate hike. Book your Diamond Head Crater Adventure today!