Hiking Diamond Head.

Diamond Head State Monument…we decided to walk from the hotel up the extinct volcano. I didn’t realize how far we would have to go; google didn’t give me miles only the time it would take to walk. We began our journey passing posh designer stores like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany. Street vendors asked us to sign up for tours. The streets are quiet because it is early; besides Robert and I what tourist in their right mind would be up so early?!

As we walk the seaside path past the zoo, up hills, past locals getting in their morning runs and dog walks,
we stop for a break and water. Just over the hill begins the climb up. We see trolleys coming down with people, cars, and walkers. But we are still not at the main entrance. At this point I am wondering what I was thinking and why didn’t we take an Uber.

Another 30 minutes passes, we get to the first parking lot and continue up through a tunnel where you have to hug the side of the wall so the on coming cars will not hit you. A few meters ahead is the main parking area. By this time is it around 9am and the lot is full. There are lines at the juice stand and plenty of people ready to hike this iconic volcano that is the back drop for Oahu. At this point we have we had walked 5.5 miles.

There are water filling stations and restrooms; I suggest you use both before the climb. This is a strenuous climb, signs say it “only” takes 30 minutes. In my opinion if you are in peak physical health you can do the climb in 30 minutes but the average American can NOT do this in 30 minutes.

As you walk the slow turns quickly become switchbacks that ascend the mountain quickly. The once wide paved path turns narrow with uneven stones and pavement. There are areas along the way; a place for you to rest, regroup, and assess your life decisions. In no time you will an amazing panorama view of Waikiki, the blue-green ocean below, and multimillion dollar homes.

After these views the real work begins. Stairs, upon stairs, upon stairs. I don’t know how many stairs there are, but it feels like thousands. As we passed a set of stairs that we opted not to take I took a quick photo. I captured the moment a couple was in disagreement and looking a little red in the face. Not sure what they were arguing about but I think it was if they should continue on or not.

Around the bend is another look out, a climb, and more stairs. At this point you are almost at the top! Depending on the time of day, season, or month will depend on the amount of tourist doing this climb. Expect delays, people taking photos on the small staircase, and once you reach the top you will have to wait your turn to get a selfie or a photo of the magnificent views. Once you are at the top the entire experience is worth every single step.

Oahu is a beautiful island and from the top you can see for miles. The hike up Diamond Head on the very first day set the tone for our trip. We worked hard and played hard! If you are on Oahu, challenge yourself by hiking Diamond Head.

Hiking Diamond Head