On Monday, Dr Desert Flower and I took the bus to Diamond Head State Monument, that is about 5 miles away. The Hawaii bus system runs well, a little slow, has tremendous ridership (standing room only, mid-day), is nice and clean, and costs only $2.25 per person (and they give you a transfer ticket for the round trip!). Yeah, we COULD have paid $45 a day for a rental car + $20 a day to park it + fees + taxes, but why?
So we hike up the mile or so from the bus stop into the center of the crater - which collapsed about 145 million years ago, or in quick creationist time scales, during the US Civil War. Its a dry and desolate crater, with Cactii, scrub, arid plants, an Army Reserve base, and some other kind of military post. Then he fun begins. The Officially posted elevation states a 500 rise from the crater floor to the rim's observation post, but it felt like 5 or 6 times that! Massive straight stairways and sloping carved-in-lava tunnels - once at the top, it offered spectacular views of Waikiki and the SE shore of Oahu. The 1910 vintage naval observation defenses were interesting in a crude way as well. Definitely worth the climb. If you can't make it to the top of a 6 story building without being winded, don't attempt it.
1 year ago