As a reminder of the volcanic origin of the Hawaiian Islands, the Diamond Head crater rises 761 feet above Waikiki.
The photo below shows the Waikiki high rises and beaches from the Diamond Head summit. As evidenced by the bunker on the right, Diamond Head was part of an old army fort to defend the islands.
The next photo looks back into the crater from the summit. To hike to the Diamond Head summit, enter through the tunnel on the backside of the crater, and take the road to the parking lot on the left. Koko Head crater is in the distance, and Black Point is the peninsula on the right. We went there later to see Shangri La. As you can see from the vegetation, Diamond Head gets little rain. Honolulu is on the leeward side of the mountains, so Diamond Head, Waikiki, and other parts of Honolulu away from the mountains get much less rain than the mountains.
After entering Diamond Head, take the trail to the summit. The crater walls are steep, requiring stairs and switchbacks for the trail.
With few trees, there’s little shade on the trail. Honolulu is warm and humid so getting an early start makes for a cooler hike. Diamond Head opens at 6 am. We hiked Diamond Head our first morning in Hawaii, taking advantage of the 3-hour time difference from California to get an early start without too much pain. We left the condo around 7:00 am and were on the summit at 8:00. Entry costs $5 per car. Allow 2 hours for the hike. There are restrooms, drinking fountains, and picnic tables at the parking lot. Carry water.
After the hike we stopped at Leonard’s Bakery for malasadas, one of my favorite things to do in Honolulu. Our first morning in Honolulu.