Imagine waking up at 4 am, getting ready and then driving half-hour only to be in the queue of vehicles for gates to open at 6 am, and then hiking to the edge of a 300,000-year old crater – all before Sunrise! Yeah, we did that on the second day of our stay in Oahu.
We wanted to have a different experience of Sunrise than the one from the previous day (Sandy Beach Park), and Diamond Head State Monument is a perfect place for that – it is famous for its breathtaking views overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Honolulu.
As soon as the gates opened up, we made our way to the parking lot. There is a fee of $5/car or $1/pedestrian. After that, you take the trail, which is not so long, but is steep at quite a few places (especially the 99 steps towards the end) – it takes about 20-25 minutes to cover the distance. But the thrill of all you’ve gone through reaches another high once you reach the summit. You are looking at the entire rim of a volcanic crater (of extinct volcano Diamond Head)…actually, you are standing on it!Depending on which way you look, the summit provides you with majestic views. The city of Honolulu looks quite a spectacle. If you look closely, you can see a section of the world-famous Waikiki beach.It was so amazing being out there that I couldn’t control myself from taking a selfie 🙂The views looking from the other sides were no less. I especially loved this one…Looking at the Pacific ocean was mesmerizing in its own right. A bonus was this Diamond Head Lighthouse built in 1899 (not open to the public). It spreads light nearly 18 miles out into the ocean and its Fresnel lens burns at 60,000 candlepower.I would rate it as one of the best attractions in entire Hawaii, one you should not miss if you are in Oahu. No wonder, I was not intent on leaving it even after spending more than a couple of hours up there!