Whether you are visiting Diamond Head for the workout or for the 360 view of the South Shore of Oahu, the Waikiki Trolley has 7 Tips for Hiking Diamond Head. Diamond Head is an extinct Tuff Volcano that towers over Waikiki. It’s one of the most defining landmarks in Honolulu, Hawaii. With its recent renovations, hiking Diamond Head has never been so easy. The Waikiki Trolley’s Green Line will take you inside the crater of Diamond Head.
1. It’s all about the footwear
Bring good hiking shoes, they don’t need to be boots. You will see people wearing flip flops and sandals (in Hawaii we call them slippers) but we advise against that. The trail is unpaved and uneven and the best way to stay safe is with good shoes.
2. Time prep
The whole hike is less than a mile but it gains 560 feet, so parts of the hike are very steep and strenuous. You should expect to take 30 minutes if you are more athletic or 45 minutes if you are less athletic to make it up Diamond Head. Once you get up to the summit, enjoy the view and hike down at your leisure. There is no time restraint for your hike up and down Diamond Head. However, the latest time to start the hike is 4:30 pm.
3. Bring Sunscreen
One of the best tips for hiking Diamond Head is to wear sunscreen. Hawaii is below the Tropic of Cancer and the sun is stronger than back on the mainland. Apply it every 80 minutes and wear at least an SPF of 30. Make sure that your sunscreen is reef safe to protect our beautiful beaches, reefs and wildlife.
4. Bring Water
Bring a reusable water bottle when you hike Diamond Head. There are water fountains at the base of the crater but not at the top. When you bring your own reusable water bottle you are helping out our planet (aina in Hawaiian).
5. Diamond Head is not ADA compliant
Diamond Head is a great hike for most people. It is not ADA compliant so those in a wheelchair can only go about on third of the way up. The whole area is very hot, there are not a lot of trees to provide shade and because the sides of the volcano are so steep the breezy trade winds cannot be felt inside the crater. As you climb up higher the breeze gets better, at the top sometimes it’s very windy.
6. There are no bathrooms at the top
Bathrooms and water are only at the bottom of the volcano. Make sure you go before you start your hike.
7. Enjoy the view
At the top you can see a 360 degree view of Oahu’s south shore. You can see all of Waikiki, the airport, Pearl Harbor (Purple Line) and all the way to Kapolei to your West. Facing east you can see all the way to Hawaii Kai and Koko Head Crater (another dormant volcano). To the North you can check out the mountains and the neighborhoods that seem to cascade down the mountain. Towards the South is the vast azul waters of the Pacific Ocean, along the ocean are reefs, surfers and even a lighthouse that was built in 1900’s. During the winter months you can even spot Humpback Whales!