An early morning hike to the summit of Diamond Head

Imagine waking up at 4 am, getting ready and then driving half-hour only to be in the queue of vehicles for gates to open at 6 am, and then hiking to the edge of a 300,000-year old crater – all before Sunrise! Yeah, we did that on the second day of our stay in Oahu.

We wanted to have a different experience of Sunrise than the one from the previous day (Sandy Beach Park), and Diamond Head State Monument is a perfect place for that – it is famous for its breathtaking views overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Honolulu.

As soon as the gates opened up, we made our way to the parking lot. There is a fee of $5/car or $1/pedestrian. After that, you take the trail, which is not so long, but is steep at quite a few places (especially the 99 steps towards the end) – it takes about 20-25 minutes to cover the distance. hiking diamond headdoamond head crater oahubest views of honoluluBut the thrill of all you’ve gone through reaches another high once you reach the summit. You are looking at the entire rim of a volcanic crater (of extinct volcano Diamond Head)…actually, you are standing on it!diamond head volcano craterpacific ocean hawaiiDepending on which way you look, the summit provides you with majestic views. The city of Honolulu looks quite a spectacle. If you look closely, you can see a section of the world-famous Waikiki beach.honolulu photographyIt was so amazing being out there that I couldn’t control myself from taking a selfie 🙂best selphieThe views looking from the other sides were no less. I especially loved this one…best picture of hawaiiLooking at the Pacific ocean was mesmerizing in its own right. A bonus was this Diamond Head Lighthouse built in 1899 (not open to the public). It spreads light nearly 18 miles out into the ocean and its Fresnel lens burns at 60,000 candlepower.diamond head lighthouse oahulighthouse hawaiiI would rate it as one of the best attractions in entire Hawaii, one you should not miss if you are in Oahu. No wonder, I was not intent on leaving it even after spending more than a couple of hours up there!ocean views honolulu

24 thoughts on “An early morning hike to the summit of Diamond Head

  1. The views from the summit are truly spectacular. Considering the recent volcanic eruptions and the rumblings of earthquakes one may wonder if the 300,000 year old volcano is really extinct.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s always nice to experience the glory of nature. I like the picture of lighthouse shot from a distance – third last picture as well as the last picture. On many occasions, I have hiked up the stairs of Garh Ganesh temple here in Jaipur before sunrise. It’s an ancient staircase and therefore not well-designed. Even if you are fit, 3-5 minutes of a climb is enough to set your pulse racing and gasping for breath. It beats military boot camp workouts. I don’t think you can have a better “morning drill” with a super sunrise view. 99 stairs? I’m sure they worth the views.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for these inputs, Arvind. I agree to every aspect you’ve mentioned.

      Since I am a typical foodie, I am more than happy to do such hikes any time of the day. If it is in the mornings, it’s even better.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can spend days with this ethereal view, few hours and innumerable clicks never seem to be enough. The view of the Pacific Ocean with the Diamond Head lighthouse is extraordinary. What a lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When it’s hiking, it’s always good to start early. You get to see the sunrise and I love seeing mountain tops emerging out of mist when sun comes up. 🙂
    To talk of early, for EBC trek, my husband used to start at 3 AM! Every single day! 🙂

    That pic of the houses spread in between mountains is just too lovely. Liked that lighthouse picture also.
    Keep traveling and showing us your world. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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