Skip to Main Content

CIST Student Sandbox

IST 605: Honolulu and Oahu Travel Guide

An in-depth guide to where to stay, eat, and visit in Honolulu, (and to a lesser extent Oahu moreover) Hawaii.

Wish You Were Here!

Welcome to Diamond Head State Monument!

The Diamond Head State Monument, for our purposes, comprises of all of the protected areas in and around Diamond Head, and the magnificent park including a moderate to moderately-strenuous, but extremely rewarding, hiking trail.

          Visitors to the Monument will encounter stunning views of seemingly endless crystal blue water, the entirety of Honolulu, and more likely than not, even the neighbor islands of Moloka’i, Lanai, and Maui! (With just the right weather conditions, it is possible to catch a glimpse of the Island of Hawai’i (the Big Island) as well)! More than just grandiose views however, one will encounter a unique micro-climate and human made history.

While rain is frequent in the valleys and the mountains of the Ko'olau Range, precipitation around Diamond Head is substantially less, and even more uncommon in the crater itself. Aswell, its slopes act somewhat as a funnel, trapping warm air and preventing strong breezes within the crater. As a result, it is typically a good five to ten degrees higher within the crater than Waikiki itself, and almost always a good deal drier. When visiting Diamond Head, make sure to bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and protective gear such as a sunhat and sunglasses! Water and restrooms are only available at the trailhead.

          Aside from the unique and stunning natural features of Diamond Head, there is also an impressive history one cannot avoid coming into contact with. In 1906, the US military established Fort Ruger around, and literally within Diamond Head as the county’s first military base in Hawaii. Though few of the fort’s original structures survive, the tunnels, batteries and pillboxes dug into the crater certainly still do, and you will have to walk through several of these to get to the summit!

          Diamond head is well known and well visited, and as such, a reservation and entrance fee are required for non-state residents, to try to limit overcrowding. Reservations can be made online here, and cost $5.00 per person if walking into the monument, or $10.00 per vehicle if driving, plus $1.15 processing fee. Reservations can be made up to thirty days in advance, and refunds can be made up to three days prior to the date of entry. Operating hours are from 6:00am-6:00pm daily, but make sure to get there early to beat the crowds! A tiny inconvenience, but well worth it!


Still want more? Check out the official Diamond Head (Le‘ahi) State Monument brochure!

Check It Out!

More Photos!