Diamond Head Hike (Oahu Hawaii): Diamond Head Crater Trail

The Diamond Head hike in Oahu is a nice, easy trek near Honolulu that belongs somewhere on your Hawaii to do list.

Aside from the novelty of hiking on the edge of an old volcano crater, the Diamond Head overlook also lets you see a lighthouse and some old World War II pillboxes, with top notch views of the crater rim and Honolulu city in the background.

This guide will explain how to do the Diamond Head Hawaii hike, how to get there, and everything else you need to know before you go!


Quick Facts

  • Distance: 1.8 miles (2.9 km) roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 560 feet (170 m)
  • Difficulty: Easy / Moderate
  • Duration: 1 – 2 hours roundtrip

Diamond Head Hike: What To Expect

The Diamond Head trail is family friendly and should be pretty easy for anyone with decent fitness, but you’ll want to bring water and sunscreen.

The only thing that makes it a bit more difficult is the mid-day heat and some uphill sections that can be strenuous. Go early in the morning or late in the afternoon for cool weather and less crowds.

A large part of the trail is paved with railings, but it does get a bit crowded because it’s one of Oahu’s most popular attractions and it’s so close to Honolulu.

Hiker walking down the steps at Diamond Head trail, with ocean views in the distance
On the way back down from the Diamond Head crater overlook (you can see the Diamond Head Lighthouse on the right).

After a small tunnel and about 100 steps, you’ll reach a lookout point with a World War II bunker. Climb another 50 steps from there, and you’ll reach the summit.

The great thing about the Diamond Head overlook is that you get fantastic summit views of the Diamond Head crater (leftovers of an old volcanic eruption), along with some lookout pillboxes from World War II, and Honolulu city in the background.

All in all, the Diamond Head trail is a worthy addition to your Honolulu hike list. As always, please remember to keep the trail clean, be considerate of other hikers, and leave no trace. Thanks and happy travels!

Diamond Head Reservations

Since 2022, reservations are required for out-of-state visitors to Diamond Head. You can make an advance booking on this page of the Hawaii state parks website.

Hawaii state residents can still visit Diamond Head without a reservation.

Hours & Entrance Fees

  • Hours: 6 AM – 6 PM (last entry 4 PM)
  • Parking Fee: $10 per car
  • Hiking Fee: $5 per person

These are the current hours and entrance fees for the Diamond Head hike, as of 2022. These fees have to be paid online here.

Parking and hiking are both FREE for Kama’aina (all Hawaii residents) if you can show ID.

How To Get There

Diamond Head crater is located just south of Waikiki and Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

It’s a 10 minute drive from Waikiki by car, or 20-30 minutes if you take TheBus.

Keep in mind there’s no bus stop inside of Diamond Head crater (the nearest stops are by the outside rim), so there’s an extra 10 minutes of walking involved if you go by bus.

However, the Waikiki trolley has a stop just inside the crater, and you can buy a trolley pass here.


Best Time To Visit

Generally the best time to climb Diamond Head is in the morning, that way you avoid most of the heat and crowds.

Photography is great at the Diamond Head lookout all day long, so you should get spectacular views and pictures at any time of the day.

More Hawaii Travel Tips

Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoyed this travel guide for the Diamond Head Hawaii hike.

Don’t forget to check out my other Oahu hiking guides and my complete list of the best things to do in Oahu Hawaii!

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