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“Best of Hawaii” 2010: Our readers' favorite Hawaii hiking trails

View of Waikiki, urban Honolulu and south shore of Oahu from top of Diamond Head. Photo: Wikipedia Commons


Diamond Head Crater Trail

This is Hawaii’s most popular hike, attracting more than 1.3 million people annually. Proximity is part of the hike’s appeal. The world famous natural landmark is in the center of urban Honolulu, and neighbors Waikiki, the state’s most visited resort area. Bottom line, though, if we were visitors we simply couldn’t imagine returning to the mainland (or anywhere else) from an Oahu vacation and not being able to brag to friends, “I climbed Diamond Head crater!” A city bus takes you to the entrance of Diamond Head State Monument, along Diamond Head Road. Once inside the extinct crater—the remnant of an explosion more than 500,000 years ago—a 1.6 mile round trip hike includes a quick incline of 560 feet, a very steep stairwell and a 225-foot unlit tunnel. (A flashlight is helpful.) All of this is worth it once you emerge from the tunnel at the summit. On a clear day you can see Oahu’s entire south shore from Koko Head to the Waianae Mountains. 

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Check out these related HawaiiMagazine.com posts:
HAWAII Magazine's "15 Great Hawaii Hiking Trails" guide
"Best of Hawaii" 2010: Our favorite Hawaii cultural events
Top 5 favorite Hawaii hiking trails

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