Diamond Head Trail (Hiking)
A Day Adventure at Diamond Head!
Diamond Head is one of the most iconic landmarks in all of Hawaii. This crater is said to have been formed 300,000 years ago from a single, brief eruption. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1968. Today, countless tourists visit this historic crater daily. Most of which come to hike the Diamond Head Trail. The hike is moderate in difficulty and stretches 1.6 miles from start to finish.
After starting your day with a hike, it's only natural that you'll be ready for a big breakfast! We recommend heading over to near by Bogart's Cafe.
Once you've had your fill at Bogart's, head over to Kahala Beach Park. Just a few miles from Bogart's, Kahala Beach Park is a fantastic place to kick back and relax after an active morning.
Diamond Head Trail
Diamond Head Trail is one of the most well known hikes on the island of Oahu. This hike is 1.6 miles in length and gains 560 feet in elevation. The hike relatively easy, so most individuals will have no issue reaching the top. This trail is very heavily trafficked. Be ready to wait for others and be patient. The trail is narrow in places so passing is not always possible. The entire hike will take most hikers 1-2 hours.
The park and trailhead opens at 6 am daily. The gate closes at 6 pm every day, so if you'd like to do the hike you will want to start by 4 pm to allow enough time to return to your vehicle before the gates are closed.
There is very limited parking in the crater near the trailhead. If you plan on driving a car to Diamond Head, it is best to arrive early. The parking lot is often times full by 7 am. The best way to increase your chances of being able to park in the crater, take a bike, moped or motorcycle. There are designated parking for these vehicles which is much easier to come by. If you're a resident of Hawaii both parking will be free. For nonresidence, there is a $10 charge for parking. Only credit cards are accepted.
Before beginning the hike you'll have to purchase a trail ticket and present it to the guard at the trailhead. The cost of the ticket is $5. If you're a resident of Hawaii you can just present your ID for free entry.
The first section of the trail is a concrete walkway. This moves into a the main trail which has many switchbacks. The trail was carved into the hardened volcanic ash. Although the trail is rarely muddy, it can get slippery when wet. Shoes with good grip are recommended. After the switchback trail you'll reach the first lookout. This is a great opportunity to grab a drink of water and a few pictures before tackling the stairs. There are two sets of concrete stairs on your way to the top. The first set will lead to into a tunnel cut into the rock. The tunnel brings you directly to the second set of stairs known as the 99 step staircase. After this staircase you must climb a spiral staircase which leads to the bunker. You'll excite the bunker through a small opening on the ocean facing side. This may be somewhat difficult for those with limited mobility as the opening is only about 4 feet tall. Only one more set of metal stairs to climb before reaching the top of the observation station.
Always remember to bring adequate water on the trail. Although the trail does have a fair amount of shade, bringing sunscreen along is never a bad idea.
Once you've reached the observation station you'll see why hundreds of people each day make their way to the top. From the top you can see the entire south shore. Looking to the west, you'll notice Queen Kapiolani Park just below. Stretching further west you can see Waikiki, Ala Moana Beach Park, Magic Island and even Pearl Harbor. Looking over to the east you'll see Hawaii Kai, China Walls, Koko Head, and the rim of Hanamua Bay. We recommend doing the hike at the beginning of your vacation, as the view from the top can help you get your bearings on where many things are located.
Breakfast at Bogart's Cafe
Bogart's Cage has been one of our go to breakfast spots for some time now. Located just a one mile from Diamond Head, it's the perfect spot to grab breakfast after your hike. Their breakfast menu features Loco Moco, Breakfast Quesadilla, Eggs Benedict, Crab & Avacodo Omelet, Lox Bagel, Hawaiian Waffle, Taro Banana Pancakes and Much More! If we had to recommend just one, go with the eggs benedict! It's a can't miss! Breakfast starts daily at 7 am and ends at 2 pm. Most breakfast plates come in at under $20 and they do offer a small discount for paying cash. Parking can be a challenge, especially at peak breakfast/lunch hours. You can find additional street parking on Kanaina Ave, which is the next street to the east of Bogart's. Choosing a bicycle or moped as your mode of transportation will help alleviate any stress parking as it is much easier to find space.
Kahala Beach Park
(Wai'alae Beach Park)
Kahala Beach Park is a quiet beach tucked next to a dead end road near the Kahala Resort. The short drive on residential roads is perfect for a bike or moped ride. This beach is just far enough from Waikiki to get away from the crowds, but close enough for a quick trip. Once you arrive, you should have no problem finding parking in the parking lot. Those who choose to ride bikes or mopeds will have an especially easy time finding parking. The park features a scenic bridge over a canal which cuts the park in two. There are plenty of picnic tables, benches, showers, as well as restrooms. There are also plenty of trees to offer shade if you need to get out of the sun. The beach itself offers much more peace and quiet than that of Waikiki.
Diamond Head Trail is one of the most iconic hikes on the island of Oahu. This is a must for anyones first trip to the islands. After a morning hike, head over to near by Bogart's Cafe for a big breakfast. You'll end the day with a relaxing afternoon the quiet Kahala Beach Park.
How To Get There
For Directions to Diamond Head Click Here
For Directions to Bogart's Cage Click Here
For Directions to Kahala Beach Park Click Here
What to bring?
- Make sure to pack a water bottle
- A shoes with good grip.
- camera to capture all the fun.
- Beach Towel
This is our recommended itinerary with time allotments for each activity and travel.
6:00 am - Leave Waikiki for Diamond Head.
6:30 am - Arrive at Diamond Head
7:00 am - Park and Purchase trail passes
8:00 am - Reach the top of Diamond Head
9:00 am - Return to parking lot and Depart for Bogarts
9:15 am - Arrive and Park at Bogart's Cafe
11:00 am - Finish breakfast and depart for Kahala Beach Park
11:20 am - Arrive at Kahala Beach Park
Where To Park
- There is a small entrance fee for parking and visitors. *Hawaii Residents are free*
- $10 per Vehicle
- $5 per hike pass
- Park Hours
- 6am to 6pm everyday
- Trail entrance closes at 4:30pm
We offer several different rental items to help make your experience that much better and get you from point A to point B.
- Mopeds - a moped or scooter opens the door for endless fun.
- Motorcycles- Require Motorcycle endorsement, we have everything from Harleys to Hondas. Check out our rentals tab to see our full list on inventory.
- Bicycle - Great option for exercise and fun at the same time we offer pedal assist bike and regular road bikes to fit each rider.
- Electric scooters- would be good for one ride there and back.
- Also check out our associated rental tab under each experience it will list our recommended rentals for each experience.
honolulu , hi 96815