Hiking Diamondhead in Oahu is an incredible experience. If your kids are old enough to do a steep, strenuous hike, then this hike is a must. Here are all the details you need to know before hiking Diamond Head with kids.
One of our favorite things to do in Hawaii is to go on a cool hike. The islands are full of excellent hiking. Plus, it’s cheap and there are not many cheap activities in Oahu.
During our last visit, we finally hiked Diamond Head. We were staying nearby at the Waikiki Marriott and every time I looked out the window I was looking at it. Apparently, this was the motivation I needed to go hike it.
Hiking Diamond Head with Kids
Hiking Diamond Head in Oahu, Hawaii is difficult because of how steep it is at times, but the views you are rewarded with along the way and at the top are incredible. Diamond Head is a volcanic tuff cone which means you will be gaining in elevation constantly as you hike. In fact, as you climb up you will ascend 560 feet in elevation.
The hike is 0.8 miles one way from the parking lot to the crater floor one way. It will take you at least 30 minutes to get to the top.
Unlike the Maunawili Falls hike there’s no getting lost. The trail is clearly marked at all times.
The amount of stairs you have to take is no joke. There are two sets of stairs, one has 99 steps and a second one has 76 steps. I felt like I barely made it up one of the steep staircases. I had to take a breather part of the way up and I wasn’t the only person I saw who needed a break. I guess I need to start working out again. I realized on the way down that there was another way to go to completely avoid these stairs.
Tips for Hiking Diamond Head
- Take plenty of water! The biggest mistake I made was only bringing one regular size bottle of water per person. That is not enough. We ran out of water super fast and there’s nowhere along the way to get water.
- Wear sneakers – I cannot tell you how many we passed that were not wearing proper footwear. The people in flip flops were seriously struggling.
- Bring your camera – The views are epic all the way up and you want to make sure you can capture them.
- Bring a hat – If you are fair-skinned wear a hat to shade yourself. Much of the hike is in full sun.
If you have never hiked with your kids, be sure to check out our tips for hiking with kids. We also have a list of hiking gear you might need.
When you make it to the top you will be rewarded with incredible views. You can see all of Waikiki and of course all that shimmering water.
It took a while to get this photo. It gets fairly crowded in the observation area, so you will end up having to wait your turn. Some people climbed up on parts of the building, but we were not that adventurous.
It was a whole lot easier going down. Once we made it back to the car we decided to reward ourselves with shaved ice. During the day there are typically some food carts in the parking lot including a shaved ice truck, but since we got there so late in the day there were none when we finally made it down.
So instead, we found a place nearby. The best place to get shaved ice near Diamond Head is Uncle Clay’s House of Aloha located at 820 W Hind Dr #116, Honolulu, HI 96821.
Diamond Head Details You Need to Know
Hours: Diamond Head is open daily from 6 am to 6 pm, every day of the year including holidays.
Don’t be late: You must get here by 4:30 because the last entrance to hike the trail is at 4:30 pm. The gates are locked at 6:00 pm daily and all visitors must be out of the park by this time. We barely got there in time but were able to hike up and down and get out of the park in time, despite getting there around 4:15 PM.
It’s worth noting that we were able to park easily by arriving at this time. This is a super popular Oahu activity, so the parking lot is often full. If you are worried about parking, take an Uber.
Cost: This is a state park, which means you have to pay to enter. The cost is 10.00 per car.
Tours: They do have audio tours available. These tours go over the history, culture, geography, plant and animal life, and scenery at Diamond Head. We didn’t do one of these tours, so I am unsure how good they are or not.
Bathrooms: There is only one place to go to the bathroom at the bottom near the parking lot.
For more things to do in Oahu check out our Oahu Travel Guide.
Have you dont a great hike in Oahu? We would love to hear about it in the comments below!
I love this hike! Great views and challenging but possible for most families!