Diamond Head: Hawaii’s Crown Jewel
Hawaii’s Crown Jewel
Diamond Head is known as the state’s crown jewel for many beautiful and impressive reasons. If you’ve been there, you know exactly why. If you haven’t, well, you’re in for a real treat. As the world’s most recognized volcanic crater, Diamond Head is a true icon of Hawaii. You can hike this monster, but it’s best to go early in the morning to avoid the crowds and heat. Hiking up the side of this extinct volcano is sure to give you a thrill unmatched by any other hike.
It measures about 3,500 in diameter, boasting a towering 760-foot summit. Located in Waikiki, Diamond Head is all that remains of a volcanic explosion that happened 500,000 years in the past. It’s known as Laeahi to Hawaiians, which means “brow of the tuna.” It was dubbed “Diamond Head” back in the 1800s by sailors who said it looked like diamonds peppered in the lava rock. Actually, the diamonds they thought they saw were actually calcite crystals. No less impressive, of course!
Nice Hike Up
The climb to the top is less than a mile — .7 miles to be exact. You’ll be there in about an hour if you go at a moderate pace. Going back down takes about 30 minutes, as it’s a fairly easy descent. Follow the switchback trail that features the mountain on one side of you and a railing for support on the other. Take a rest at the lookout point and take some pictures. The view is breath taking from here, as one would imagine. From there, the trail climbs up steeply via stairs and tunnels. You’ll need to gather some additional strength for the last stretch of 99 steps, where you’ll come in contact with an authentic World War II bunker. Once you hit the top, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Oahu. There is no limit to how far you can see when the day is clear with no clouds. The waves crash below you with a slight breeze off the ocean, showing you exactly why Hawaii is a unique, beautiful place on the planet.
Once at the Top
Find the legend at the top that illustrates landmarks in and around Oahu, such as Koolau Range, Kahala Area, Lanai Island, Koko Head and Maui Island. Park hours here are from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., so plan accordingly. You won’t find any restrooms at the summit, either. That said. It’s important to drink plenty of water for the hike, and don’t forget the sunscreen.
Plan Your Trip to Hawaii
Look to Hoku Hawaii Tours to help you set up this excursion and many others like it. We can plan your whole day out so you don’t have to! Make it a point to visit Diamond Head, Hawaii’s crown jewel.