One of Hawaii’s most iconic landmarks, the volcanic crater that is supposed to be about 400,000 to 500,000 years old in the main island of Oahu, will soon not be open for anyone at any time as it has always been. On a major policy shift to counter over tourism, the Diamond Head State Monument will need reservations up to 14 days ahead of visit.
Diamond Head is an iconic landmark of Hawaii as it forms a defining feature for tourists visiting Waikiki. The top of the Diamond opens to a beautiful panoramic view of Waikiki, a neighborhood of Honolulu on the south shore of the island of Oahu and the crater itself serves as a beautiful backdrop for tourists enjoying the beaches.
The crater, which is shaped like a saucer, is estimated to have been created around 300,000 years ago. In the 1800’s, British sailors saw the glittering stones towards the top of the crater, and soon enough it had the name Diamond Head.
The Diamond Head summit trail is 2.9 kilometers and takes about 55 minutes to climb. The trail is busy all year round and very popular among tourists. The trail is considered easy, but it is not very uncommon for incidents to happen around it. Recently, Honolulu firefighters had to airlift a woman who felt sick during the trail and could not return on her own. Only last month, three more distressed people had to be rescued
The landmark is popular among troublemakers who want to make a statement as well. In July last year, a hand painted banner with the message “Trump 2021” had to be removed by the state authorities. Highlighting the natural and cultural importance of the site, Curt Cottrell.
The authorities also removed homeless encampments off the crater slopes last year. Owing to the massive tourism and popularity of the place, it is only natural the site would attract a plethora of people with a variety of intentions.
The famous archipelago state has been facing a series of issues regarding over-tourism since the dawn of the post pandemic travel boom. From a severe housing issue on the main island of Oahu prompting Honolulu’s legislators to impose new restrictions on short term vacation rentals, to a proposal to limit the number of tourists allowed on Maui island.
An economy made up of tourism comes with its own pros and cons, with the influx getting particularly rampant just before the pandemic, the local Hawaiian residents are getting more anxious as the islands brace themselves for a full blown tourist season.
The adding of reservations is just the latest measure to curb the unprecedented amount of visitors from continental US and abroad that are expected this summer.
The system will guarantee that locals can visit the attraction whenever they want; Another measure to improve the quality of life of the locals, especially after Hawaii became the most expansive state to live in.
Diamond Head can get a huge number of guests each day. The record was set in 2019 when around 6,000 individuals came to the site in one single day. The reservation system will help with preservation of the environment and the infrastructure, as the park has had problems in the past with congestion of hiking trails, traffic congestion and vehicles parked illegally despite fines.
The reservation system is also in place to stop overcrowding during the most popular hours of the day. The goal is to spread the number of visitors more evenly throughout the day.
The monument is one of the uncountable breathtaking sights tourists can visit in Hawaii. If you’re planning your trip to Hawaii this summer, remember to be respectful of the locals and their heritage. Signing up on a reservation system is just a small price to pay for the preservation of national parks and monuments for the next generations.
If you want to reserve your spot to visit the beautiful landmark of Diamond Head, you can access the reservation system here.
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