Diamond head volcano, known as Le’ahi s one of the most prominent attractions in Waikiki, probably because you can see it wherever you are. If you are a runner, hiker, walker, or want to see a beautiful view, you should add climbing Diamond Head Volcano. You don’t have to be in super shape to get to the top but you do need a reservation. We learned this the hard way the first time. When we went back, we realized we just completely missed the signs.
About Diamond Head Volcano:
The area is about 475 acres large and provides views of Waikiki and the South Shore. Hawaiians call Diamond Head Volcano: Lēʻahi, which means brow of the tuna. The name refers to the formation of the ridgeline. If you look closely, it does resemble a tuna fish’s dorsal fin.
Diamond Head was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1968. Before that, the Diamond Head Lookout crater was used as a military lookout. In 1917, the Diamond Head Lighthouse was built.
The peak of the Diamond Head is 762 feet, and the entire Volcano measures about 560 feet from floor to top. When I first saw it, I thought it was much higher!
Will Diamond Head Volcano erupt again? Likely not. It’s monogenetic, meaning the volcano eruption only happened once between 150-200k years ago. If you are looking for active volcanos, they are on the big island of Hawaii.
My Experience at Diamond Head Volcano:
We initially went the first day we came. We were staying in Waikiki and thought it would be cool to run to the top. We didn’t, however, realize you needed reservations and what a tourist attraction it was. When we got there, we were told we needed reservations. So we ran elsewhere and came back a few days later. Even if you aren’t driving a vehicle, you still need access to the Diamond Head Volcano. Reserving without a car is $10. We chose the 7-8 am slot, and even when we arrived around 7:15, it was packed. This is where the early morning workouts are!
Once we got there, we headed on the trail. The Diamond Head Volcano trail starts off the pavement. It’s pretty steep but not terrible. From there, it goes to a very uneven and steep pavement. When we went, the pavement was partially flooded. You must wear decent shoes to climb the Diamond Head Volcano. After about half a mile of climbing, it goes into the stairs. You’ll climb lots and lots of stairs. Be prepared because you are climbing just over 500 feet of elevation for .7 of a mile (generally reasonably steep).
The Diamond Head trail is very narrow, so it makes passing people more challenging. (and just one path to go up and down).
Once you get to the top of Diamond Head Volcano, you’ll see views of Waikiki, the south shore, and more. It does get pretty crowded at the top too. It’s one of the best views in Oahu.
Diamond Head Volcano Conclusion:
I enjoyed the Diamond Head hike/run up to the top. It was just under 2 miles, and the miles climbing up and down were 20 minutes and 14 minutes. Truthfully due to the wet surface and uneven terrain, I found downhill more challenging, especially the slick stairs! If I were to do it again, I would probably reserve a spot at 6 am, so we weren’t worrying about a super crowded path.
Questions for you:
Have you climbed Diamond Head Volcano?
Have you seen a Volcano?