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January 26, 2016

Diamond Head State Monument Hike

Last month our family decided to hike up Diamond Head (or Leahi, in Hawaiian).  It was our first time as a family visiting Diamond Head State Monument (the last time my husband and I went was before the Visitor Center and new exit stairway was built!). We went on Christmas Eve morning, and to my surprise, the Diamond Head State Monument parking lot was already packed - at 7:30am in the morning!

The parking attendant asked us if wanted to pull over to the side in a line of cars and wait about 10 minutes or try and find parking outside.

We decided to wait, and fortunately the wait really was only about 10 minutes.  Another attendant kept a lookout for vehicles leaving stalls, advising cars in line where to go.

It was a beautiful morning, and we began to make our way up to the summit.

At the start of the Diamond Head Summit Trail is a concrete walkway, but most of the trail is uneven, so be sure to wear proper shoes (the first time I hiked up Diamond Head I was shocked to see tourists in high heels; on this visit I only saw one person in slippers).

The trail is relatively easy, with a few rest stops and lookouts along the way.

Can you see the hikers?
Towards the end of the trail are steps in order to reach the summit.

Quite a bit of steps.

First you walk up 74 steps that lead you into a tunnel.

Once out of that tunnel you'll see another 99 steps.

99 steps up
And then you'll make your way up a spiral staircase of 52 stairs, until you finally get to one of the observation areas.

At the summit the views are just gorgeous.  You can see the Waikiki shoreline, the crater, bunkers, and a lighthouse.




82 steps down

It's a long way down!
I love the new exit staircase.  I remember the first couple of times going to the summit and walking back down the narrow spiral staircase while others were trying to walk up.  The new staircase eases the congestion at the summit.

Give yourself about ninety-minutes to two hours if you're hiking with little ones and plan to stop for photo ops.

Diamond Head State Monument
Honolulu, HI  96815
(808) 587-0300

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