Diamond Head Crater
Our most popular hiking excursion here at Kaimana Tours is definitely the Diamond Head Crater trail. This month we’re learning a little bit more about one of Hawaii’s natural wonders, as well as how you can experience the Lēʻahi magic with our help!
Diamond Head may be Oahu’s most iconic landmark. The volcanic crater is a defining feature of Waikiki, found on countless postcards, and on the list of U.S. National Natural Monuments. Lēʻahi, as the Hawaiians call it, was given the name “Diamond Hill” by British sailors in the early 1800s. They discovered sparkling calcite crystals in the slope’s lava rocks and mistook them for diamonds. “Diamond Hill” translated into Hawaiian is Kaimana Hila, which now also serves as a local name for the extinct volcano.
Diamond Head Crater is roughly 3,520 feet in diameter and 760 feet to the summit. The breathtaking and unparalleled view of Oahu’s south side coastline, Waianae to Kahala, is a must-see. While part of the site is closed to the public, and serves as a platform for U.S. government antennas, the landmark’s proximity to Honolulu’s hotels and beaches make it a popular destination for both visitors and kamaʻāina alike.
There are mixed ratings as far as hike difficulty goes. Here at Kaimana Tours, we consider the Diamond Head trail easy to moderate in exertion. The beginning and middle of the trail slowly ascends to the top with a succession of switchbacks, its near the end that is considered a bit challenging. For hikers who are not in peak shape, the last section of stairs might leave you breathless for a minute or two, but fear not! The tingling quads and heavy breathing comes with great company — a killer view of Oahu’s south shore. We promise that the hike is well worth the effort!
We definitely suggest an early to mid morning hike as opposed to an afternoon jaunt. We know, we get it — the last thing anyone wants to do on vacation is be up at the rising of dawn; but, TRUST us when we say that when that sweet Hawaiian sun hits the middle of the sky, you do not want to be anywhere near hiking. The heat will only make the hike more strenuous and less enjoyable. An early start also ensures that the crowds stay to a minimum. Like we mentioned before, Diamond Head is one of Oahu’s most popular destinations.
We recommend this 1.6 mile, family-friendly hike to all of our visitors here on Oahu (provided you do not have any serious health issues, are not pregnant, and do not suffer from a severe fear of heights). Here at Kaimana Tours we provide packages that include transportation to and from, bottles of water, park fees and a map/brochure of the monument. We suggest wearing a comfortable pair of shoes, sunscreen, a hat and even sunglasses. Come prepared with a few snacks that you can either pack yourself or purchase at the site.
We are obvious fans of this paradise we’re blessed enough to call home. We hope you are as pumped about the Diamond Head Crater Hike as we are. Oahu houses a handful of natural wonders and we hope you’re able to one day visit them all. Let us know if you have any questions about our tour packages or tour combos, and feel free to browse the site for anything we may have left out. Aloha!