How Long To Hike Diamond Head In Oahu, Hawaii

There are many amazing things to do and places to explore when visiting Hawaii. Without a doubt, Diamond Head should be on your to-do list when in Honolulu. This is among the most popular hiking trails for visitors and has a fascinating history. At the top of Diamond Head, you will have a spectacular view of Honolulu. How long does it take one to hike up Diamond Head, you may ask?

Diamond Head in Oahu is a 1.5 mile out and back trail that should take roughly two hours to complete. This hiking trail has many steep sections and some narrow stairs to climb at the top. Regardless, this trail is suitable for people of any age and fitness level with an elevation gain of 760 feet.

Diamond Head is a safe hiking trail. The most challenging part of hiking Diamond head is the steep stairs near the summit. However, if you wear the right shoes and clothing, this hike should be doable for anyone, regardless of your fitness level. Pets are not allowed on this hike. There is a fee of $1 per pedestrian and $5 per vehicle to hike Diamond Head.

How Long Does It Take To Hike Diamond Head In Oahu, Hawaii?

The Diamond Head Trail will take about two hours to complete. The trail is 1.5 miles long and has an elevation gain of 760 feet. While hiking Diamond Head, you will have clear views of the ocean and the crater. Diamond head is part of a group of dormant volcano craters.

To hike Diamond Head, you must head to Oahu, Honolulu. Then, drive to Diamond Head Road, located between Makapuu Avenue and 18th Avenue. The trail is open daily from 6 am to 6 pm. However, the best time to hike Diamond Head is early in the morning.

Honolulu is known to get quite warm during the day. Due to its popularity, Diamond Head attracts many hikers every day. Therefore, going early is the best way of ensuring you miss the heat and crowds. Alternatively, you can hike Diamond Head to see the sunset. In this case, you must start hiking at 4:30 pm at the latest to ensure you return before the trail closes. You will also have to park outside.

Regardless of when you choose to visit Diamond Head, you are sure to have incredible 360° views of the island. If you are in Hawaii during the winter, you might even be able to see humpback whales in the ocean.

Furthermore, you can see the Diamond Head Crater, Waikiki, the Waianae Mountains, and the Koolau Mountains. On a cloudless day, you may also be able to see all the way to Lanai, Molokai, and Maui. No matter when you visit Honolulu, Hawaii, you are sure to have a wonderful experience hiking up Diamond Head.

How To Prepare For Diamond Head In Oahu, Hawaii

There isn’t much preparation needed for Diamond Head as this is a relatively easy hike that can be completed within a morning’s time. But there are a few ways you prepare for the hike to ensure you have the best possible experience.

  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothes. Although some people hike Diamond Head in sandals, this is not advisable. There are some loose rocks and slippery parts on the Diamond Head trail. Therefore, you should wear closed, supportive shoes and comfortable clothes.
  • Pack a hat, sunscreen, and a jacket. The weather in Hawaii can change without notice. If you are hiking to Diamond Head on a sunny day, you must pack a hat and sunscreen. However, always take a jacket along if the weather on the peak is cooler or you are caught in the rain while hiking.
  • Pack snacks and water. There are no food stalls along the hiking trail. Therefore, you must pack some snacks to eat along the way. Also, be sure to take at least one bottle for each hiker. On a hot day, you might get heatstroke if you don’t have enough water.
  • Take your camera. Although it is not a necessity, you are sure to regret not taking your camera. With the fantastic views along the path and the breathtaking sights from the top, you will surely want to take some pictures.
  • Judge your fitness level. Although this hike is suitable for most people, your health and fitness level might make Diamond Head a tough climb. For example, if you have trouble with climbing steep stairs or have a fear of heights, Diamond Head might not be the best hike for you.

Once you are prepared, you can now take on the Diamond Head hike. This will surely be a great experience that you will remember for years to come. Diamond Head has a fascinating history, not only for the Hawaiian people but also for other reasons.

Interesting Facts About Diamond Head in Oahu, Hawaii

The name Diamond Head comes from the shiny appearance of the crater head from the ocean. Long ago, sailors thought there to be diamonds in the crater. Although no diamonds were found, the name stuck. In Hawaiian, Diamond Head is known as Le’Ahi, which means Ahi Tuna brow. So the crater head got its name for resembling the brow of a Tuna fish.

During WWII, Diamond Head was used as a military base. You will pass through some of these buildings while hiking to Diamond Hill. It was the military who built the official Diamond Head hiking trail. Today, the Diamond Head hiking trail is part of a national state park.

Diamond Head also has historical significance for native Hawaiians. A ceremonial structure known as a Luakini Heiau was built on Diamond Head. This structure was used to honor the war god Ku and was used for worship and human sacrifice.

Therefore, you must approach the Diamond Head hiking trail with sufficient respect. Don’t litter and don’t cause damage to the natural environment or structures you pass through while hiking up Diamond Head. 

Conclusion

Diamond Head is an extremely popular hiking trail in Oahu, Honolulu. The trail was officially created during the second world war when the USA used the crater head as a military base. Native Hawaiians also used the crater for worship and sacrifice.

Diamond Head trail is not too difficult if you wear proper clothing and go early in the morning. The trail is 1.5 miles in total and should take about two or three hours to complete. There are many steep stairs and narrow paths when hiking Diamond Head. Remember to pack snacks, water, and your camera, of course!