Diamond Head Hike

YEWDVC

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Do you need to wear hiking boots for the Diamond Head and other hikes on Oahu? If so, I will wear them on the flight.
 

thedogatemyhomework

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
you don’t need them for diamond head (tho it may help a little), the other hikes...it may help a bit more. depends on what hikes you’re planning.
 
  • nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    We also wore sneakers and were fine. If you're a hiker, you should be ok with it. We were not, and were a little surprised that it was more difficult than we were expecting.
     

    JustinFecteau

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 20, 2019
    I wore sneakers for every hike that I did on Oahu and rarely saw people wearing anything else, even for Koko Head, which many consider the most difficult short hike on the island. Boots would probably make it easier but they definitely aren’t needed.
     
    Last edited:

    kiford

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 9, 2012
    We wore good quality walking shoes with a reasonably good tread. It can be slippery in some areas - it was partially raining when we did it - but there are also stairs at various points. So good footwear is important but hiking boots are definitely not necessary. Sneakers in decent condition would be fine; I just wouldn't wear anything with a really worn down sole.
     
  • corgi_monster

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2007
    You definitely don’t need hiking shoes for Diamond Head. It’s really just a dusty dirt trail that zigzags up a very short mountain. As kids, we’d walk up in rubber slippers . . . But I definitely don’t recommend that either lol.

    But if you want to climb the outside of Diamond Head, yes, you will need hiking shoes.
     

    pjacobi

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2001
    WARNING: Be sure to eat a meal before your hike and carry lots of water and salty snacks.

    Otherwise, you are in serious danger of heat exhaustion/dehydration and will have to be airlifted off the mountain by helicopter. That will be followed by a heart attack when you see the medical bill for the airlift!

    There were 6 medical airlifts in one day when I climbed last year.


    -Paul
     

    Plumberries

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2019
    I think Diamond Head is really just a hilly walk, and not really a hike (similar to walking up to the top of Coit Tower from a main street in San Francisco). And I consider myself to out of shape. Also despite recommendations to bring a flashlight for the tunnel, I find it completely unnecessary.

    For more intense hikes, you will want good soles, but generally we wore older shoes because trails can get muddy and shoes waterlogged. But when I lived in Hawaii I never found any type of hiking specific gear necessary. If you're sensitive to mosquito bites, insect repellent is a good idea when hiking.

    I do think sunscreen and a good insulated water bottle (especially if it has a wide enough mouth to add ice) is great for carrying around all the time (not just on hikes). And tap water in Hawaii is the absolute best, the only place I drink tap water.
     
  • nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    I think Diamond Head is really just a hilly walk, and not really a hike (similar to walking up to the top of Coit Tower from a main street in San Francisco). And I consider myself to out of shape. Also despite recommendations to bring a flashlight for the tunnel, I find it completely unnecessary.
    Well, to be fair, its on a dirt path with uneven terrain and there are portions with a lot of stairs. Its not a hike as in you need boots and a walking stick, but it can be a lot for people who aren't used to cardio activity. We also found that the path is narrow and gets crowded, so there were instances where we felt pressured to keep going when we could have used a break. There was no place to pull over out of the way because of all the people coming and going, so we had to keep pace. We had a few people on our tour that did not reach the top and opted to turn around and go back to the bus.
     

    corgi_monster

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2007
    I think Diamond Head is really just a hilly walk, and not really a hike (similar to walking up to the top of Coit Tower from a main street in San Francisco). And I consider myself to out of shape. Also despite recommendations to bring a flashlight for the tunnel, I find it completely unnecessary.

    For more intense hikes, you will want good soles, but generally we wore older shoes because trails can get muddy and shoes waterlogged. But when I lived in Hawaii I never found any type of hiking specific gear necessary. If you're sensitive to mosquito bites, insect repellent is a good idea when hiking.

    I do think sunscreen and a good insulated water bottle (especially if it has a wide enough mouth to add ice) is great for carrying around all the time (not just on hikes). And tap water in Hawaii is the absolute best, the only place I drink tap water.
    I agree 100% with this, but I guess it’s all relative. By Hawaii standards, Diamond Head is a walk. No streams, rocks to climb, narrow walkways along a ridge/cliff, etc. Lots of 2nd and 3rd grade classes take field trips to Diamond Head.

    I’ve been on some “medium” difficulty trails on the mainland and have left scratching my head at how easy they were.

    @nkereina - Diamond Head is ridiculously over-crowded!

    For anyone who wants a beautiful, less-crowded hike on a mostly paved trail, the Makapuu Lighthouse at sunrise is far superior. If you can do Diamond Head, you can do Makapuu. Imo, Diamond Head is the worst hike on the island ... but I get it, it’s in all the guidebooks and “must do” lists so people feel compelled to do it.
     

    kdonnel

    DVC-BCV
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2001
    I wore sneakers for every hike that I did on Oahu and rarely saw people wearing anything else, even for Koko Head, which many consider the most difficult short hike on the island. Boots would probably make it easier but they definitely aren’t needed.
    KoKo Head was intense for sure!

    But I will probably have to hike it once more since my wife didn’t make the summit and wants to try again.
     

    cgattis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2009
    We did it in Keens and were fine. It’s not a “technical climb” but it’s not a stroll in the park, either. Definitely take water, as it does take a while, even at a moderate pace. I don’t care it it’s touristy, being able to see back down into the crater and up the coast was gorgeous. I’d rather there have been no other people around, but I wish that in the parks too and it just isn’t happening.
     

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