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About Hawaii: Diamond Head Crater, Honolulu

The most notable icon in Honolulu, Hawaii is Diamond Head Crater. Visible along most of the coastline around Honolulu, Diamond Head is easily accessible and worth a visit.

Cost: $1 entrance fee + bus fare or car parking fee

Getting there/away

From Waikiki, it is about a 40 minute – 1 hour walk to the start of the trail.

Bus numbers 22, 23 & 24 go from Waikiki up to the entrance/base. It’s a short 10-15 minute bus ride (depends on what part of Waikiki you’re coming from.

Bus numbers 23& 24 go from Ala Moana as well.

For more information on bus routes see this link:

One-way/single fares are $2.50, do get a transfer unless you’re planning to spend the day around Diamond Head. You’ll be able to use the 2 hour transfer for your return trip.

There’s a sign along Montsarrat Ave that marks the entrance to Diamond Head Crater.

Walk up that road, you’ll reach a lookout point that overlooks one side of the island, the continue through the road tunnel (beware of cars if you’re walking!).

Road tunnel, pedestrians keep to one side

Then it’s a short walk to the car park and start of the national park/trail. You’ll be asked to pay a $1 entrance fee. There are a few boards with information about the area and a rest area with restrooms/washrooms/toilets at the start.

The trail is partly paved and has parts that are natural and rocky winding up to the top of the crater. There is a part with stairs near the top and a short unlit tunnel before circular stairs leading to the lookout.

The path is a little rocky, but mostly narrow.

Winding natural path up to Diamond Head

At a fast pace, but still being stuck behind slower walkers due to the narrowness of the trail,  going up took 25 minutes and about 20 minutes to come down. The park attendants say it’s 45 minutes one way. That’s a comfortable pace I think!

The walk is mostly unsheltered, but usually is a breeze blowing. I was recommended by many other travellers to go earlier in the day to avoid the heat of the middle of the day given the exposed walk and to avoid the bus loads of tourists that arrive after 10am. It is sage advice!

Crater from partway up the trail

The views from the top do give you a good orientation of Honolulu and it’s always nice to see a view of the city from above.

There are a few lookouts/platforms at the top so you can get a few different views and 360 degree view.

The walk was ok, the narrowness was a little annoying when you walk at different paces to others. The views are good, it is worth a visit if you have time and are so inclined. Less mobile people will find the walk difficult, as I noted when I was there.

The only water and toilet facilities are at the base of the crater, so make sure you pack enough water for yourself, comfortable walking shoes and your camera!


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