While we were in Oahu, we wanted to check out the Diamond Head crater and do the hike to the top. We had never been to Oahu before but had heard how beautiful the view was. Here’s my Diamond Head hike experience:
Getting to Diamond Head
I wanted to watch the sunrise from the top of Diamond Head, but we were taking the courtesy trolley into Diamond Head, and the first pick up wasn’t until 7am. The park didn’t open until 6 and sunrise as at 6, so even if we could have gotten there right when it opened, there was no way we could hike to the top in time to watch the sunrise. We stayed at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort and as part of our stay, we could ride the trolley for free so it worked out for us. The trolley picked us up at the Duke Kahanamoku statue at Waikiki beach — about a 2 minute walk from our hotel. We got to Diamond Head by 7:20am and there were already quite a few people there.
The trolley dropped us off right inside Diamond Head, so we just needed to walk up to the pay station and pay the entrance fee. It cost $1/person for walk-ins (or $5 to drive in and park your car).
The hike itself was very easy; there were people of all ages and fitness levels walking up. I felt especially good about it since I’d been running on the treadmill and have recently lost a lot of weight. The trail wasn’t too rough and there was a railing along the side for safety.
What to wear to hike Diamond Head
We saw people wearing all types of clothes and footwear while hiking Diamond Head. I suggest wearing tennis shoes and clothes that you can move freely in. Also make sure to wear sunscreen and bring water to drink. Depending on what time of the day you go, the sun can be bright and direct for the majority of the hike. It feels hotter on Diamond Head because you are surrounded by the crater which blocks out a lot of the winds and humidity.
Hiking Diamond Head
There were little rest areas along the way that you could stop at or just use to take a quick photo. At the time we went, there were already quite a few people and some areas of the hike were very narrow. So if you wanted to pass some slower groups, you had to wait until there was more room.
The entire way up (one way) took about 30 minutes and the stairs were the only “difficult” part. We came up on this long flight of stairs that I looked at and wasn’t looking forward to, but it really wasn’t bad at all. After the stairs, there was a long dark tunnel and then a set of spiral stairs.
Diamond Head Views
Once we got to the top, the views were beautiful. You basically have 360 views of everything along Waikiki beach and into the city; it was super pretty. It was really clear on the day that we went, but I heard that clouds rolled in in the afternoon and the view wasn’t as good later in the day. So it can really just depend on the weather.
After the hike, we sat at one of the park benches at the base of the hike to wait for the trolley to pick us up. There is a little food truck over at the entrance and a little gift shop if you wanted to buy anything. We had a lot of fun and I would definitely recommend going on the hike if you are visiting in Oahu.
Hawaii has been so great and we’ve had so much fun. Of course I’ll be posting a full travel diary of our trip, so check back for that. Also, check out my instagram for more pictures.