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Hiking Diamond Head Trail in O’ahu Hawaii with Kids

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If you are visiting Oahu Island in Hawaii then you are going to want to find things that the whole family can do. Planning on Hiking Diamond Head Trail with Kids? We have you covered with everything you need to know.

Hiking Diamond Head Trail in O'ahu Hawaii with Kids

Hiking Diamond Head Trail with Kids

When we took our trip to the Hawaiian Island of Oahu in September, one of our bucket list things to do in Oahu was hiking the Diamond Head trail. This hike was perfect for the whole family and the views at the top were well worth the hike up.

The first bit of the trail is paved and then it changes to a natural dirt and rock path. If you have little ones who are not used to being outdoors plan on taking the trail slow. Even if you are taking the trail slow, the hike is well worth it for the whole family.

Hiking Diamond Head Trail in O'ahu Hawaii with Kids in the crater of Diamond Head

What is Diamond Head?

Diamond Head is a volcanic crater that is part of the Ko’olau Range of volcanoes. The volcanos erupted below sea level over 2 million years ago. One of the eruptions created the crater, which is now referred to as Diamond Head. The trail that you hike at Diamond Head is called the Diamond Head Trail and on this trail you hike up to the top of the Volcano. Don’t worry the volcano is no longer active. Once you get to the top the views are amazing!

Where is Diamond Head Located?

Diamond Head is located on the Southeastern coast of O’ahu. It is a very short drive from Waikiki. The best way to get directions to the national park is using your GPS.

If you did not rent a car for your trip you can use taxis, Uber, or the local public buses to get to Diamond Head. 

What is there to do at Diamond Head State Park?

The main reason for visiting Diamond head is to hike the trail and then see the beautiful views. You can do an audio tour which we opted not to do.

When you arrive at Diamond Head National Park you come in thru a tunnel and then into the parking lot. This parking lot is the crater of the park. There are plenty of amazing photos that you can take in this area of the park.

teen hiking the diamond head trail hike

How Much is the Entrance fee?

Parking costs $10 per vehicle and hiking the trail costs $5 per person. Both must be purchased online ahead of your visit.

Do I have to make reservations?

Yes. No one is allowed to enter the park without reservations to the park. The only exception is those who have a valid Hawaii State ID.

kids hiking the diamond head hike

How to Make Reservations for Diamond Head Trail Hike

You will need to make reservations for your visit on the Diamond head website. You can make them up to 30 days in advance of your planned visit.

How long is the hike?

The hike is 1.6 miles long round trip, depending on the ages of your kids it will take between 1.5-2 hours to complete the hike up the trail and then back down the trail.

family of 6 with kids standing at the look out spot on Diamond Head trail hike

Is Diamond Head trail good for kids?

My kids at the time of our visit were 17, 15, 12, and 6. All of them were able to complete the hike with out any issues. The older 3 kids took the 99 steps path to the top with my husband while my youngest and I took the longer but easier route up the path. Both of these paths also include a set of 76 steps that you will need to walk as well.

The trail path is a combination of a paved area, uneven rock areas, a tunnel, and stairs. The tunnel at first seems like it will last forever, but it is only about 2-3 minutes of walking thru the tunnel at most.

The 99 steps path according to my older kids was not bad at all, they said it wasn’t bad at all and they took the other path that my youngest and I took up and said they preferred the steps over the walking path.

Once you get to the top the last part is getting to the observation deck. There is a small 4 step staircase there and then you can look and see all the amazing views. There was a small line to get onto the observation deck but it only took a few minutes for us to have our turn.

What time is Diamond Head National Park Open?

The national park is open from 6am until 6pm each day. The last reservation of the day is 4pm and they do not allow entry into the park after 4:30 pm as there will not be enough time to do the hike before the park closes.

What is the best time of day to visit Diamond Head Park?

We live in the eastern standard time zone, so for us our mornings were early wake ups. Knowing this I planned on us starting out our one day with this hike and grabbed us the 6 am reservations. I am glad we did because you could feel the temperatures getting warmer but the time we were making our way back down the trail. Personally, I wouldn’t want to do the Diamond Head hike with kids any time after about 10 am.

If you are wanting to beat the super hot times of the day then I suggest grabbing an early morning reservation.

What Should we bring on the hike?

It is important that you bring water for your hike, while you might not think you will drink a lot of water by the time we got to the top all of us had finished a full water bottle. You may also want to bring some small snacks for the kids as well.

We had a small snack before going on the hike and planned our full breakfast for after. We brought along a few small snacks just incase anyone needed one on the hike. This worked well, every kid ate a small snack when we got to the lookout stop. Then after the hike everyone was ready for a full breakfast.

Tips for Hiking Diamond Head Trail with Kids

Sunscreen. Hawaii sun is bright and hot. You may not think you need a ton of sunscreen but I am telling you to take the advice and put sunscreen on before leaving your hotel room and throughout the day all day long while you are in Hawaii. There is no coverage on the hiking trail, you are fully exposed to the sun for the full hike. Try to go for a day where there are some clouds to avoid the super bright sun on you while hiking.

Wear solid shoes. Do not wear flip flops for this hike, you will not be able to do it. Close-toed shoes like sneakers will work fine.

Go Early in the Day or Later in the afternoon. Avoid the crowds and the bearing down sun and go first thing in the morning or at the 3 pm or 4 pm timespots.

Bring water and snacks. I know I said this already but water is very much important and snacks if you have kids could be needed.

Bring your camera. Of course, you are going to want to take photos of the family to have the memories. But you are also going to want to take photos of the amazing views that you see while hiking and once you get to the top.

Stop at the bathrooms before starting your hike. There is nowhere to go to the bathroom on the trail. When you first get into the parking lot there is a set of bathrooms. Use them and make everyone at least try to go before starting the hike.

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