Free Stuff to Do: Diamond Head

You can hike up Diamond Head, all the way to the top for an awesome view of the world (there will likely be someone there shouting into the wind "I'm king of the world!!!! It would be wrong to wish they would be swept off the mountain top after the third exclamation point, but you might think it anyway. Sorry.). You can get to the base of Diamond Head by bus or with a tour van. You climb inside the crater on a series of switchback trails. There is no water available once you start climbing and so you must/must bring some with you. To reach the summit you must pass through two dark but short tunnels, and so a flashlight is needed and not available once you start the climb.

The paths are fairly easy to walk on, and there are stairs in some places. Our 9 year old made it with no trouble, though I ended up carrying the 6 year old most of the way up, so plan accordingly. It is not very dangerous, though small kids could fall through the safety railings at the summit if unsupervised. You don't need hiking boots, but you could not really climb in beach sandals either. Tennis shoes are fine.

Several people including us ran into a guy who wanted to interest us in a nature rain forest trail walk he would lead for free. In the part of Ohio I come from, people do not climb volcanoes just so they can offer you a free trail walk in their non-volcano free time. I spoke with the Hawaiian Visitor's Bureau, who said that some tourists reported being pressured into making a cash "contribution" partway through the free hike.

To get there by bus, on Kuhio Avenue, board the 58 or 22 Hawaii Kai-Sea Life Park to the crater entrance at Diamond Head Road and 18th Avenue.

To return, stand on Diamond Head Road across from where you got off and wait for the 58 Waikiki-Ala Moana or 22 Waikiki Beach and Hotels bus.

Approximate travel time is 30 minutes. Buses run about 30 minutes apart.

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