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A major tourist attraction on Oahu, the 350-acre Diamond Head crater can be seen even from the flight into Honolulu airport. Its vantage point offers some incredible panoramas of Honolulu that you will not be able to find anywhere else. Though the hike itself may not impress hard-core hikers (some locals will run up and down the route daily), the view at the top is sure to impress. The very much beaten paths make it easy enough for kids and the elderly, but the lengthy staircases (one with 75 steps and the other with 99) and claustrophobia-inducing 225-ft tunnel up to the top may be a challenge for the faint of heart. However, if you make it to the top, you’ll have plenty of gorgeous photographs to prove that you’ve been to Hawaii. The park is open from 6am-6pm and it costs $1 (or $5 a car) to get in; get there early to avoid the crowds. It is also a good idea to start early to avoid the heat of the sun.
Here are some specifics on the trail at Diamond Head State Monument (aka Lē'ahi) from the park's trail guide:
1. Trailhead is the parking lot (elevation 200'). There are no formal restrooms after this point.
2. Concrete walkway and winding dirt trail leads to the Concrete Landing/Lookout.
3. Steep 74 concrete steps (there is a landing midway) to a lighted 225' narrow tunnel (barely 2 person-widths wide).
4. Second stairway is 99 steps, followed by a spiral metal staircase through the Fire Control Station (intended to triangulate the mortars that would fire from the crater).
5. At the top level of the Station, you have a ladder up through a narrow slit to the exterior of the crater.
6. Up 54 more stairs and you are at the summit (761').