Hiking Diamond Head

When looking at the skyline of Oahu, there is no sight more iconic than that of Diamond Head. Visible from the shores of Waikiki, the volcanic crater rises up among the skyscrapers, creating an image as quintessentially Hawaiian as luaus or SPAM. Upon further research, we learned there is a hiking trail leading to the top of Diamond Head, and so it became the first stop on our Oahu must-see list.

All ready to set out on our hike-

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The hike is 0.8 miles to the summit, so we didn’t feel the need to bring full daypacks with us. However, it is a strenuous (sort of…details later) ascent, and completely exposed, so water is a must! I would also recommend hats and sunscreen.

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A good deal of the hike is made up of unpaved, steadily inclining trail, as pictured below:

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All 0.8 miles of the ascent provide breathtaking panoramic views of Oahu’s coastline.

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Ok, so here’s why the hike is classified as strenuous: as you approach the top there are stairs…lots of stairs. And a tunnel. And a ladder with a narrow opening you have to squeeze through. On top of Diamond Head there is an old military fort, and the remains of the fort were incorporated into the trail. While this certainly adds to the difficulty of the hike, it also makes it more interesting, combining a journey through history with a hike through nature.

Stairs…

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Tunnel…

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More stairs…

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Even more stairs…

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Ladder with narrow opening…

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Finally! The view from the summit area:

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The short distance of this hike makes it easy for people to underestimate possible dangers associated with it. It is nearly a mile, completely uphill, and in direct sunlight. During our time there, we saw a man get airlifted off of the summit due to medical problems brought on by heat and exhaustion. So hike smart! Always bring enough water, and know your own abilities. This trail is not for those with medical issues or who experience difficulty with climbing stairs.

Additional information can be found here.

The hike left us famished, so we stopped for a quick and easy lunch at what we soon discovered was the oldest Taco Bell in Hawaii. We don’t have Taco Bells that look like this in LA anymore, so I thought it was interesting…

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And it had cute Hawaii cups!

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On to the next adventure!

Author: Natalie Bates

LA-based freelance writer | Blogger | Craft beer drinker | Rock 'n roll girlfriend | Adventurer | Lover of tattoos, red lipstick, and popcorn | World traveler | Compassionate human | Photography enthusiast | Eco warrior | Celtic babe ❤️

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