With stunning views of the coast and a rich military history, the Diamond Head hiking trail is one of the most historic and popular landmarks on the island. The Diamond Head Monument encompasses 475 acres, including the interior and exterior slopes of the crater. The hike is considered “moderate” through a series of stairs and tunnels. However, the last set of stairs is a 99-step climb that leads to a World War II bunker and up to a platform and lookout along the coastline.
The lush canopy-covered trail features beautiful trees and flowers and ends with a great swimming hole to cool off. The hike can get crowded on weekends so a weekday adventure is highly recommended. The trail passes the river that leads to the waterfall and can get muddy and slippery so wear proper footwear. If you’re feeling daring once you reach the end of the trail and see the beautiful waterfall, you can jump into the swimming hole below.
Starting from the Pali (hairpin turn) and ending in the lush valley of Waimanalo, this trail is great for someone who wants a long walk away from civilization. Mostly level the entire way, it allows for you to focus on the great views as you weave in and out of the valleys. Giant ferns are scattered all around, mountain apples ripen in the summer, guava grows all year long and Iillikoi have their season during the winter. Make sure to pack a snack and a lot of water. The average time to finish it is around 4 to 5 hours.
If you’re an adventurous hiker and want a challenge, the Olomana hike is for you! This three-peaked hike on the windward side features the greatest views Hawai‘i has to offer. The first peak is great exercise and can be completed by your average hiker. It also features the most incredible view of the three. The trail becomes more difficult as you venture on to the second and third peaks. The trail can get slippery and dangerous, so proceed with caution. If you make it to the third peak, you’ll have an amazing sense of accomplishment. Don’t forget plenty of water and a hiking buddy.
by Andrew Drake, Ka ‘Ohana Staff Reporter and Tiffany Hayler, Ka ‘Ohana Co-Editor