Diamond Head State Monument in Honolulu is a really cool hike that brings you to the peak of an old military base offering up some of the most stunning views possible of the island. Having read that the trail is mostly paved, we didn’t bother to pack sneakers and instead, made the trek in slippers (JC) and dressy sandals (me). Okay, maybe they weren’t technically slippers, but they look like it to me and so I kept teasing boo that he should’ve left his pajamas on too. Who was I to talk though in my crop top, skirt and sandals?
In retrospect, our choice of footwear was a mistake, because unlike Akaka Falls where casual shoes would have been fine, this trail is slightly more strenuous and good walking shoes would have certainly served us better. We set out thinking this would be an easy peasy trail, but it’s actually a good workout getting up to the top and it’s certainly a much longer hike than our previous hike to the falls.
That being said, it is totally worth it!
Although the majority of the trail is paved, there are some spots where you’re walking on rock and dirt and the stairs – man, the stairs – are quite a challenge, even for me, an avid hiker. I made it to the top just fine, but I definitely got both a good cardio workout and felt the slight burn in my leg muscles by the time we got there.
But did I mention the views? Because, again, to reiterate, the views make it so incredibly worth it!
The history of the trail is pretty interesting too. It’s an incredible thing to imagine a place’s history and to think of the soldiers who were camped here in bunkers carved right into the mountain. Lookout points provide a bird’s eye view of approaching ships and a system of underground tunnels connect the entire system together, inside what was once an active volcano.
For wildlife, we saw plenty of birds and although I didn’t personally see them, plenty of hikers had seen a pod of humpback whales from the lookout point!