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Diamond Head

Make the short climb to the rim of this extinct volcanic crater for spectacular views of Honolulu, the Pacific Ocean and the rugged ranges of Oahu’s interior.

The curving green slopes of Diamond Head dominate the Honolulu skyline, a stunning backdrop that has become an iconic Hawaiian scene. Hike the 0.75-mile (1.1-kilometer) trail to the top, or simply enjoy a picnic at its base.

Known by locals as Le’ahi (brow of the tuna), Diamond Head is an extinct volcanic crater, a “tuff cone.” The circular mountain formation was shaped around 150,000 years ago by a short, intense eruption. With its rim at 760 feet (228 meters) above sea level, it’s the perfect height to be both a relatively easy climb and an excellent lookout point. Enjoy exceptional views of the now overgrown crater, Oahu island and Honolulu’s coastline.

Follow the handrails and the informative signs all the way to the top. A walk along an unpaved path and over lava leads to some tunnels and staircases and, finally, the observation platform. Cool off in the sea breeze and take in some of the best views in Hawaii, with Waikiki Beach and Kapiolani Park directly below you and the Pacific Ocean stretching to the horizon. Take pictures of the lighthouse, or, if you are there in winter, of the breaching humpback whales that often migrate past this point.

The 475-acre (192-hectare) Diamond Head State Monument area at the mountain’s base has picnic tables and benches, where you can enjoy your packed lunch. Alternatively, try one of the many eateries along Monsarrat Avenue, just opposite the entrance. Visit on Saturday mornings for the local farmers’ market and buy fresh, local produce or tasty snacks.

The Diamond Head trail starts just beyond the entrance to the Diamond Head State Monument, on the coast east of Waikiki. You can get to the park on foot, by bus or car, and it opens from early morning to late afternoon. There is only a small charge for entering. The climb is steep and over an unpaved path, so wear good walking shoes. Also bring water, a torch for the tunnels and sun protection. Allow 1–2 hours for the hike.

Guide to Exploring Diamond Head


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Queen Kapiolani Hotel

Queen Kapiolani Hotel

150 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu
of 5, from 2,044 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Overlooking Kapiolani Park and Diamond Head, across from Honolulu Zoo, this 19-story Honolulu hotel is located less than a block away from Waikiki Beach.

Hilton Waikiki Beach

Hilton Waikiki Beach

2500 Kuhio Ave, Honolulu
of 5, from 2,111 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Just a block from the sand, surrounded by fine dining and boutique shopping, is the Hilton Waikiki Beach. It’s 4 miles (6.4 km) from downtown Honolulu, and a 20-minute cab ride from the airport. It’s a 30-minute bus ride to the memorials of Pearl Harbor, and 7 minutes to the base of Diamond Head.

Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach

Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach

175 Paoakalani Ave, Honolulu
of 5, from 1,627 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

A block from Kapiolani Park and its tennis courts, and a block from a family-friendly beach, this hotel on the corner of Kuhio Avenue is close to Waikiki's adventures and one mile from Diamond Head.

Le`ahi Estate by RedAwning

Le`ahi Estate by RedAwning

311 22nd Ave, Honolulu
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Kahala, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kapi'olani Community College Farmers' Market and Diamond Head. Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium are also within 3 mi (5 km).

Waikiki Resort Hotel

Waikiki Resort Hotel

2460 Koa Avenue, Honolulu
of 5, from 1,244 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

One block away from the world famous Waikiki beach with calm ocean waters and endless water activities, this island-style hotel is 4 blocks from Kapiolani Park and about 4 miles from downtown Honolulu.

Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach

Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach

2490 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu
of 5, from 3,257 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

The Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach is across the street from Waikiki Beach. Nearby attractions include Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium, just 3 blocks away, and the Hawaii Convention Center is within 2 miles.

Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

2570 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu
of 5, from 4,483 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located across the street from Waikiki Beach and 2 blocks from the Honolulu Zoo, this Aston hotel is on Waikiki's main thoroughfare, with easy access to shops, restaurants, and attractions.

Oahu Camper Van for Hire. See Hawaii Your way in a Classic VW pop top Camper Van

Oahu Camper Van for Hire. See Hawaii Your way in a Classic VW pop top Camper Van

0n Paikau St, Honolulu
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in Kahala, this romantic caravan park/campground is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kapi'olani Community College Farmers' Market and Diamond Head. Waikiki Aquarium and Honolulu Zoo are also within 3 mi (5 km).