Diamond Head is easily one of Hawaii’s most recognizable landmarks. Known for its historic trail, beautiful coastal views, and military history, the state monument encompasses more than 745 acres, including the entire crater.
We had plans to try to get to Diamond Head earlier in the week, but our schedule ended up not allowing for it. That’s how we found ourselves getting up early the day our plane left to squeeze this hike in as our farewell to Oahu.
Although this is a relatively moderate hike, it is steep and uneven in areas, and the last 1/10 of a mile is ALL stairs. Hawaii’s Division of State Parks recommends allowing 1.5 to 2 hours to complete the hike. If you’re an avid hiker and on a time-crunch, like us, you can do it less. We were up and down within 45-50 minutes.
The Fire Control Station at the summit, built in 1911, directed artillery fire from batteries in Waikiki and Fort Ruger outside Diamond Head crater. Also at the summit are bunkers and a huge navigational lighthouse built in 1917. Diamond Head offers beautiful 360-degree views.
Even though it meant getting up early, practically sprinting up the trail and back down, and rushing “home” to shower and take care of last-minute packing before our flight back to SoCal, we’re really glad we decided to squeeze this in.
Distance: 1.5 miles, roundtrip (2.4 km.)
Elevation: 560 ft. gain (52 m.) // 762 ft. total (70 m.)
Terrain: Somewhat steep; includes many switchbacks, a steep staircase, and a lighted tunnel
Difficulty Level: Moderate, suitable for most ages