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Hiking Diamond Head Crater, Oahu

So, you want to hike Diamond Head Crater? Let me commend you on an excellent choice! Climbing Diamond Head Crater is certainly one of the most popular things to do when visiting the island of Oahu, and with good reason.  Not only are the views on the way to the top are incredible, the hike is an awesome way to get some fresh air, get an invigorating workout and experience the natural beauty of the island! 

The Ascent

Hiking Diamond Head was first on our itinerary during a family trip to Hawaii in the Summer of 2019. Our guide Ken, from Oahu Nature Tours (www.OahuNatureTours.com) was a wonderful tour guide. He kept us laughing the entire time; from picking us up at Seaside Avenue near our hotel in Honolulu, through the hike and back again. 

For some helpful tips to keep in mind when visiting Diamond Head, please see below for some frequently asked questions:

Diamond Head FAQ’s

Is a Tour Guide necessary?

Certainly not. It is entirely possible to explore Diamond Head National Park on your own if you are driving in a rental car. Hiring a tour guide was something that felt right for my family and I on this trip, and this was especially so since we were not renting a car while visiting Oahu. If you decide to hire a guide however, I do recommend Oahu Nature Tours, as we had a wonderful experience with them.

How much is the entrance fee to the park?

The entrance fee to the park is a mere $1 per person. An affordable option indeed if you are an outdoor and nature lover like myself and are interested in being active, seeing a 300, 000 year old landmark and having a blast without “breaking the bank”.

The Entrance to Diamond Head State Monument

Do I need to be physically fit before doing the hike?

You should be in moderately decent shape before attempting this hike. It is by no means the most rigorous of hikes. I would describe it as “easy to moderate”. There were certainly folks that one would generally consider “out of shape” who were attempting this hike and were “huffing and puffing” quite a bit. 

If you are generally an active person, then this hike will be a breeze for you.

Of note, there are different routes on the hike that you can take to challenge yourself a bit more, with bit more steepness in ascension, if you are looking to “break a sweat”.

What type of shoes should I wear for this hike?

Since this was the first time that I hiked Diamond Head, I wasn’t entirely sure if I should wear my sturdy hiking boots or if good ole sneakers would suffice. I opted for wearing sneakers on that day and I’m sure glad that I did.

The path up the crater is actually paved for most of the way with concrete, including the steps: no hiking boots necessary. I think I saw only one person among the throngs of hikers there, wearing hiking boots. And it wasn’t really needed. Too bad I lugged my heavy hiking boots all the way to Hawaii for nothing.

Definitely bring yours though if you plan on doing some more rigorous hikes elsewhere on the island.

What if I get tired? Do I have to do the entire hike?

If you somehow cannot make it to the top, there are a few “lookout” points along the way to the top with such stunning views, you will feel as if the hike was worth your while, even if you do not make it to the top. However, if you can make it to the top I urge you to carry on. 

Killer look-out points along the way!

The views from the top are indeed incredible. It does get a bit crowded up there though with packs of tourists all vying for the best shots.  

Take lots of photos but don’t forget to soak up the experience and revel in the moment too without worrying about if you nailed the perfect shot.

The Incredible view from the top of the crater

The way back down is much easier. Not only is it easier, there are vendors at the bottom serving fresh coconut water and fresh pineapple smoothies! A well-deserved treat after the hike in my opinion 🙂

Pineapple smoothies being served for thirsty hikers!

Overall, hiking Diamond Head Crater is an enjoyable hike. The views along the way and at the top were my favourite parts of the experience. Bonding with my family came in at a close second.The refreshing coconut water at the end of the hike didn’t hurt either 😉

Oahu Tours awarded us with our very own certificate of completion after the hike which will be framed and displayed in our home sometime soon.

Do consider this hike when visiting the island of Oahu in the Hawaiin islands. Happy Trails!!

Disclaimer: LovePeaceandTravel is not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in this post or assumes any responsibility for any misfortunes of any parties hiking Diamond Head Crater.

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