For those who would like to do a little bit of hiking on their vacation to Honolulu, Hawaii Diamond Head State Monument will fulfill your request. The park opens at 6:00am and closes at 6:00pm. It’s best to hike it early in the day because it gets quite hot in the late afternoon. You should give yourself at least 1 ½ hours to 2 hours to hike to the top. There is a paved road in the beginning but then it changes to a dirt path for the rest of the hike. There are 99 steps to the top of the monument so bring walking shoes and leave the flip flops behind. The top of the monument is 761 feet high with a 360 degree breathtaking view of Waikiki. The hiking distance from trailhead to the summit is 0.8 miles.
You can take a taxi to the entrance or take Bus #13 for $2.50 to the base of the park and walk the 1 ¼ miles to the entrance. You can also take the Pink Line Trolley for $5.00. Busses cannot enter the park area. If you drive, it cost $5.00 to park but it is very limited and you might not be able to find a spot. It costs $1.00 per person to enter. Upon entering you will be given a green brochure that gives you some history of Diamond Head, it’s a good read if you want to look at points of interest along the trail. The last hike starts at 4:30pm because the park closes promptly at 6:00pm. Kids will enjoy the hike and it will challenge even the most athletic person.
There are lunch wagons at the base of the monument and restrooms available as well. Take a small backpack with water and snacks and some sunscreen, if you desire a hat or walking stick you can bring those too. Many people visit the monument and you will see all types of hikers. Pace yourself on the hike and take rests when you can, there are two lookout stops before you reach the stairs that take you to the top of the monument. The tunnel and spiral staircase are lighted so you don’t need a flashlight.
Diamond Head State Monument is a crater that was bought by the United States military as a lookout in 1904. You can see more evidence of this once you reach the top, there is also a person selling certificates stating that you had reached the top of Diamond Head. If you want to buy one, they are $2.00. Make sure to take your camera and hold onto your hat because it is very windy and it might blow off and there is no retrieving it after that. Be prepared to take pictures for people because it’s such a great photo opportunity. You will also meet people from many different countries such as Japan, Korea, Russia and Brazil to name a few.
The last part of the hike can get crowded in the tunnel leading to the top; there is a small area that you will have to squeeze through in order to get to the very top of the monument. More than 2,000 people visit Diamond Head State Monument each day so be prepared to rub shoulders with a few hikers on the way up and down the crater. There are no pets allowed in the park except for service animals. Once you descend the monument I recommend some shaved ice or fresh pineapple from the lunch wagon as a reward for your efforts. The park is open 356 days a year.