Kaimana Tours provides transportation from your hotel to the Diamond Head trail head. As part of the deal, you get a bottle of water and a printed guide for the trail. On the way to the crater floor, the driver will tell you interesting facts about the area, including the way it got its name. (Explorers mistook calcite for diamonds.)
The hike itself is relatively easy. At .8 miles up, it’s not as daunting or difficult as the hike to the sixth floor in my condo complex. Or at least, it didn’t seem as difficult – maybe because I wasn’t carrying grocery bags, maybe it’s because the scenery is amazing. Bring sunscreen and take your time, the two hours allotted by Kaimana is enough to get up, take photos all along the way, get down and still buy souvenirs while waiting for the bus. Some older people found the hike more difficult, but some toddlers were happy on the way down.
At one point in the hike, you can choose the easy way to the left or the hard way, a bunch of stairs, to the right. Someone might think of that as a church metaphor with the difficulty of choosing the right to head towards heaven, but in this case, both choices lead to the same destination, which others might also see as an afterlife metaphor. If you’re literally minded, you don’t have to think of it either way. We went left and didn’t regret a thing. I see enough stairs at home.