Hiking Lēʻahi: Diamond Head Crater Hike
A Scenic View of Beautiful Honolulu to Wai'anae!
Fun fact: Of all the times I've visited Oahu, I have never once hiked Diamond Head!
Get outta here you say? No, I will not! I just got here! Ahehe...
Here are some facts about the Diamond Head State Monument that I learned from reading a nice little green brochure they hand out to you at the front gate:
The elevation at the trailhead on the crater floor is approximately 200 feet (61m) and the elevation at the crater summit is 761 feet (232 m).
The hike is 0.8 mile (1.3 km) one way and to reach the summit you have to climb 560 feet (171 m).
There are two flights of stairs to climb to reach the summit: one has 99 steps and a second one has 76 steps.
Diamond Head Crater measures 3,520 feet (1,073 m) across and 760 feet (232 m) in height.
The summit gives you a panoramic view from Koko Head to Wai'anae.
Allow 1.5 hours to comfortably hike the trail.
Last hike time is at 4:30 pm.
Tunnel gates close at 6:00 pm and reopens at 6:00 am. DON'T GET LOCKED IN!
Last Sunday morning, Bryce asked if had wanted to hike Diamond Head-something I had not yet done. Now that I live here, I figured, "hey, why not give it a try", right? So Bryce and I had a quick bite to eat at home, grabbed our water flasks, put on our slippas (flip-flops) and set out to hike the chill and pleasant hike up Lē'ahi!
On the way there, you'll pass by UH Manoa, a park, and a parking area for people who prefer to walk to the summit. Whether you choose to park inside or outside of the state monument, be aware that the tunnel gates close at 6:00 pm and does not reopen until 6:00 am. It costs $1 per person (walking) and $5 per car to enter the monument.
Once you're inside of the staging area, you'll see straight away the restrooms (which are the only ones you will come across so use it NOW before you have an accident on the trail!), the trail start, and to the right hand side, a pineapple and smoothie stand to help quench your thirst!
Bryce and I arrived at the staging area at around 4:00 pm and immediately began to hike up. From the YouTube videos that I watched just before heading out, I learned that the trail can get extremely crowded here and there since it's a popular tourist attraction, but since we came on a Sunday towards the end of the day, it was a fairly easy breezy hike.
There were many families and foreigners on the hike as well as a few people who probably should have brought up some water and come more better prepared... one poor girl was hyperventilating so bad off of the side of the trail that she was laughing hysterically. Poor thing... :( . Please also be aware that you will need to enter a lighted 225 foot-long tunnel.
We made a stop at a few scenic spots to take some photos that I thoroughly enjoyed! Here are a couple of shots from these spots (ooooh, I rhymed):
If you thought that these views were amazing, wait until I show you the view from the summit!
After climbing up the first set of stairs, going through the tunnel, and then tackling the last flight of stairs we finally reached the summit at 28 minutes. Boy, was it worth it. The winds were a-blowing, the sun was at a good spot in the sky, and I was spending this lovely day hiking with my honey? Oh, it was great!
We spent quite a bit of time at the top of the summit just talking, contemplating going over sections that were closed off (which we did NOT do, as to prevent erosion and respect the site) and just simply enjoying the amazing views.
Heading back down was much easier than going the other direction (although Bryce greatly disagrees with me!) and we made it back to the trail head in about 20 minutes. Altogether, it was a fairly easy hike for people of all ages! I saw quite a few families and many more lovely senior citizens enjoying the hike!
Before hiking please remember to drinks lots of water, wear comfortable clothes and shoes, bring lots more water, and lastly... drink LOTS of water! I cannot stress this enough.
I hope that you enjoyed reading about our hike up Diamond Head here on The Sagitaurus Collective! Please continue to follow along on our little life adventures by subscribing to our email updates and following us on our social media accounts. Until then, aloha and we'll see you soon!