Diamond Head

Saturday, 27 Aug 2005 | Travel

Erin and I got up early to take a hike to the top of Diamond Head this morning. We left the hotel in time to arrive at the parking lot at the base when it opened at 6:00 am. There was a $5 fee per car for parking.

My friend Roxane had told me to bring a flashlight because there is a tunnel and stairs along the way up that are pitch dark. I was happy to find out in advance to our hike that electric lights had been installed. I decided to not take my camera because the climb could be tiring and I knew the humidity tended to drain me. I was a little disappointed to not have pictures from the top, but I think it was the right choice nonetheless.

Erin had no difficulty hiking to the top, but I had to ask her to stop so I could rest for a moment several times on the way up. The beginning of the walk is a nicely paved sidewalk at a slight incline. It turns into a rock paved trail next. The trail is nice, but the surface is uneven, so care should be taken to not stumble. Later, the trail turns into a long, steep series of steps, an inclined path through a tunnel and a spiral staircase. There is one point near the top where the passage is very low, requiring one to duck down to pass through. There are metal handrails installed along the entire trail except the gently sloped sidewalk portion at the beginning.

At the very top, you go around a bend and you've reached the observation area. The multi-level observation area affords striking views in all directions with a particularly stunning view of Waikiki. You can see Pearl Harbor and the Punch Bowl in the distance. You can also see a breathtaking view of the Diamond Head Lighthouse against an ocean backdrop.

I recommend the hike to the top of Diamond Head for the exercise and the views. It's well worth the time, effort and parking fee to enjoy the bird's eye view of Oahu. I recommend going very early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day.

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