Diamond Head State Monument, Honolulu

4.7
#1 of 1,464 in Outdoors in Hawaii
One of the first natural landmarks you see as you arrive in Honolulu, Diamond Head State Monument offers several vantage points with views of the entire island. Formed by volcanic eruptions more than 150,000 years ago, this tuff cone covers 141 hectares (350 acres). A well-beaten path leads partway to the top. Lengthy metal and concrete staircases make it easier to traverse the steepest sections, and the very narrow tunnels are illuminated. Climb to the summit if you feel fit, or enjoy the views from the lookouts along the way. Wear comfortable hiking shoes, and bring plenty of water and a snack. Add Diamond Head State Monument and other attractions to your Honolulu trip itinerary using our Honolulu trip planner .
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Diamond Head State Monument Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
19,965 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Were in Oahu 2 weeks ago and rented a house just over a mile from the entrance to the Park. We went about 10:30 in the morning and the parking lot was already full so we drove back to the house and wa...  more »
  • Plan to spend at least 2 hours there....but 3 is ideal. The hike is not for the easily discouraged. Take breaks and drink plenty of water!  more »
  • I’m not a hiker so this was a challenging trek at high noon on a hot day. However, it was very beautiful on the top, the way down was very easy, and encouraging birds sang every step of the hike. I’m ...  more »
Google
  • The hike is a lot of fun. The beginning of the trail is paved, after which it gradually becomes more rugged. Near the end of the trail there are a few sets of concrete stairs & a tunnel, immediately followed by more stairs which are metal and spiral upwards. Once you reach the top of the metal staircase you'll be inside an old military lookout spot and can then climb a small ladder. A few more sets of stairs and you'll reach the top where you can take in an unobstructed 360 degree view. Wear comfortable tennis shoes or hiking boots, be sure to bring at least one or two bottles of water, and use sunscreen. Best time for hike is during morning hours.
  • A more reasonable hike compared to others on the island. Excellent views. Only down side was the crowds at the top, it was packed and hard to move around. We parked outside the crater due to their lot being full. You can double the amount of hiking by parking outside.
  • Guests enter the crater through a narrow tunnel that doesn't seem wide enough for two cars much less a narrow walking path for those on foot, however it is possible, even though it feels like a tight fit. Inside the crater at the base is a bathroom, a large field, and a few shaded spots near the edge where you may be able to find a few trees to sit under if you chose to do so. There is also a food cart which sells smoothies and shaved ice, however it is cash only. Parking may take a little time as the parking lot isn't terribly spacious, however it is well organized with a line being managed by park employees who direct people to park on a first come first serve basis as spots become available. I found this to be much better than circling a lot with too few lanes and too many cars all competing for whichever spot opened, only to have a lucky person find a spot regardless of how long they've been waiting. The parking system at Diamond Head was fantastic and didn't take long. The hike itself is a lot of fun, however only the beginning of the trail is paved, after which it gradually becomes more rugged and is not suitable for strollers. Wear comfortable tennis shoes or hiking boots, be sure to bring at least one or two bottles of water, and use sunscreen. Unfortunately my day got off to a late start and I wasn't able to start the hike until around noon - try to avoid this if at all possible, and instead try to arrive either early or late in the day when the sun isn't as bad. Along the hiking trail there are a few shaded places with benches where you can rest, a handrail that follows the length of the trail, as well as several switchbacks and overlooks with scenic views. Near the end of the trail there are a few sets of concrete stairs as well as a tunnel, immediately followed by another set of stairs and at the top of those stairs are even more stairs which are metal and spiral upwards. Once you reach the top of the metal staircase you'll be inside an old military lookout spot and can then climb a small ladder while ducking to stand outside on a ledge overlooking Waikiki. A few more sets of stairs and you'll reach the top where you can take in an unobstructed 360 degree view. Overall the hike wasn't too bad, but the heat and rough stony trail certainly makes it a bit more challenging if you're not used to it - come prepared. Including a few stops to rest a minute and take photos, the entire hike up and down took a little over an hour.
  • At the eastern end of Oahu, amidst the beautiful Hawaiian Capital Honolulu is located one of the great American landmarks – Diamond Head. This is a part of the crater of the long-extinct volcano that is now visible from all parts of Honolulu. From the highest point of Diamond Head, which rises 231 meters reveals stunning view of the most populated and cosmopolitan city of Hawaii. Well, Diamond Head is far lower from the highest point of the island, but it owns its fame to its location in the city itself. Dry and devoid of vegetation slopes of the beige, rocky crater contrast from far away with the lush tropical vegetation of the island.
  • Great place to start your Honolulu trip. You get a nice birds eye view of Waikiki and it’s not a hard hike. There are a lot of stairs and hand rails to help get you to the top. It’s only a dollar to get in if you walk. The view from the top of the crater is amazing.

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