You know the iconic profile (photos 1 and 2 below) from innumerable movies and television series. You’ve seen that background on everything from postcards of Honolulu to book covers. It is one of the most instantly recognizable volcanic cones on Earth. It is Diamond Head. But what you may not know is that you can climb to the top of this natural wonder for some really stunning views of the city of Honolulu, the island of Oahu, and even the Diamond Head Lighthouse immediately below the uppermost lookout. On a really good day you will be greeted by puffy white cumulus drifting through intensely blue skies over water ranging from aqua to deep oceanic blue. If you have a DSLR, this is the hike on which you want to haul it with you. To get the most striking colors out of the sky and surrounding ocean, don’t forget to pack a good polarizing filter. And bring along plenty of drinking water. You’re going to need that most of all.
The Diamond Head State Monument is easy to get to from downtown Honolulu and Waikiki Beach. Just hop on a city bus. Take route 22, 23, or 24 (current as of this writing). From the bus stop your journey on foot begins. You will climb up a gradual slope with several lookouts (photos 3 and 4 below) along the way. Eventually you will reach the Kahala Tunnel (photo 5), which will grant you access to the floor of the crater (photo 6).
It is here where you will find the toll booth for further access. Walking across the crater, you will pass by a National Guard Armory and other buildings (Hawaii’s primary Air Traffic Control Center used this crater as its base of operations until 2001). Beyond this trek of the crater floor is where your real work begins as you ascend (photos 7 and 8 ) to the highest point on Diamond Head’s southwest rim. Take it slow, go easy, and give yourself plenty of breaks on the rather strenuous climb. The walk is neither dangerous nor overly difficult, but the steep incline will take a toll on you especially if you’re not in the fittest of physical shape. But once you get to the top, Wow! The views are simply incredible.
Diamond Head has been used by the military since 1909 and former artillery command and control posts still occupy the rim (photo 14). Below the lookout is the picturesque Diamond Head Lighthouse (photos 9 and 10) standing against the colorful aqua backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. To the east lie Honolulu and the white sand beaches of Waikiki. For a really interesting shot, try stitching together a panoramic of the entire crater (photo 18).
A Question to My Readers:
I’ve now been doing this blog since January 3rd of this year, and this is the twenty-fourth blog entry. During this time I have covered a wide range of topics: photography, travel, food & wine, eBook readers, movie reviews, aviation safety, and even an informational piece on QR codes. Now I need to hear from you, the readers of this blog.
What topics have been of the most interest to you? What would you like to see more? What would you like to see left on the cutting room floor? Since the entire raison d’être for this blog is to bring attention and sales to my books (one out currently; more on the way soon), how might I best serve that purpose? What brings you, the reader, to consider making the purchase? Please weigh in by leaving a comment and let me know your likes and dislikes concerning the topics covered to date. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.