The beginning of the trail crosses over a footbridge and then crosses a small stream through a grove of Eucalyptus trees. The 0.8 mile trail gradually ascends through a lush rainforest ending at a viewing area set back from the base of the falls. There is a low rock wall and suspended cable with signs indicating the danger of landslide and instructing hikers to not go beyond that point. Approximately 50 feet from the viewing area there is a marked trail to the left. This is Aihualama Trail, which switchbacks up the ridge, through bamboo, offering views of Honolulu and Manoa Valley. Aihualama Trail is not suitable for novice hikers. There was a landslide next to the waterfall in January of 2002. A viewing area with a bench has been established that restricts access to the pool and waterfall, and from the side of the stream where the landslide occured. Signs are posted informing users of the trail terminus and of the potential danger of the area beyond. The trail ends at the viewing area. DO NOT GO BEYOND POSTED SIGNS AND CABLE AT THE END OF THE TRAIL- violators may be prosecuted.
Trail Length: 0.8 mi.
Terrain: Rainforest. Lush Valley
Elevation Gain: 800 ft
Park Name: NaAlaHele
In the early 1800s, British sailors mistakenly thought the calcite crystals in the lava rocks they saw glimmering from a distance were diamonds, hence the name. Diamond Head is a volcano that has been extinct for 150,000 years. The crater is 3,520 feet in diameter with a 760 foot summit.
The hike led by Kaimana Tours is considered easy to moderate in exertion. It is certainly worth it for the breathtaking, unparalleled view of the coastline. A must-see for any visitor!
This moderate hike ascends to the top of Diamond Head via a series of switchbacks. Although Kaimana Tours rates it as an easy to moderate hike, the staircases at the end are challenging for visitors not in peak shape and might leave you breathless even before you get a look at the gorgeous views from the top. But the rave reviews are nearly universal—this hike is well worth the effort!
Even if rising at dawn is the last thing you want to do on vacation, definitely consider the earliest departure times for the Diamond Head Crater Hike. It doesn't take long before the day heats up and makes the hike even more strenuous. And because it's such a popular destination, it can get crowded at the narrower stretches of the path as more visitors arrive throughout the day.