Today, I am sharing one of the most iconic running routes on the island of Oahu: The 4 mile loop around Diamond Head. This is also one of my favorite running routes, and lucky me, it is the closest to my house! I have probably run around Diamond Head at least 300 times in the past 8 years, and every time, especially during sunrise and sunset, I have that “Aha” feeling. The whole loop is so beautiful! Also, every time I run past the Diamond head lookout and the surf is up, I stop and watch the waves for a minute, and when my schedule allows, I go for a quick surf session after my run. It is my treat!


Honolulu – Hawaii – USA












  • there are two main hills on the loop: Monsarrat Ave and Diamond Head Ave. If you want to make your run harder, head downhill along Diamond Head Ave towards Kapiolani Park, and run the 1 mile uphill on Monsarrat Ave. If you want it a little bit easier, go the other way around.
  • there is a bike lane around the loop, so cyclists can also enjoy the loop.
  • at Kapiolani Park, a huge park on this route, you can find water fountains and bathrooms.
  • there are plenty of spaces to park around Diamond Head. The options are: at Diamond Head lookout, Kapiolani Community College (KCC) parking lot, or Paki Park on Paki Ave. They are all free, and they are all great spots to start your run.
  • close to the Diamond Head Park entrance, there is a mini outside gym with fitness equipment called “The Bryan Clay Exercise Park.” The park was named to honor, Bryan Clay, an olympic decathlete from Hawaii.

Because I run this loop so much, I am always looking for ways to spice my workout up. One of my favorite things to do is hill repeats. In the middle or at the end of my run, I stop at a hilly section and I do 5 to 10 hill repeats. Each repeat varies from 8 to 20 seconds. It depends on how fit or tired I am. Then I jog back down nice and easy as a recovery between each repeat. Short hill repeats are an efficient and easy way to get a great strength and cardio workout in a short period of time.


After your run, there are so many fun and delicious activities to do around that area:

  • go surf at any Diamond Head surf spots or go swim at Kaimana Beach
  • eat a delicious acai bowl at one of my favorite places on Monsarrat Ave: Healthy Bar, Bogarts, or the new Banan Bowls
  • go for coffee or tea at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on Monsarrat Ave
  • depending on the time of the day, try the breakfast or plate lunches at Diamond Head Market, also on Monsarrat Ave, or just try their incredible delicious blueberry cream cheese scone (not the healthiest option, but once in a blue moon, it is so good!)
  • or just hang out at Diamond Head lookout and let the wonderful nature around you sink into your senses…

outfit: With Love From Paradise (local company from Kauai)
shoes: On Cloud (light and super comfortable, perfect for a short easy run)
fish surfboard: Awesome custom gift from BioAstin
photos by: Mike Vidales

some dreams are worth sharing…

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  • Reply
    May 24, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Hi again Mariane,
    I also like running from Ala Moana Magic island to Kahala including Diamond Head area.
    I wish I lived nearby those areas… I live in Aiea so there are many hills around my neighborhood so it’s good training but I like running with beautiful scenes…
    I just ran Hibiscus Half marathon with 1:40:40 and neck pain and backache during race. After race I had whole body ache which was unusual but I just went to the pool ans swam 1 km. My pain is gone. I love swimming!
    I will run for my training around Diamond Head next month.

    • Reply
      mariane uehara
      May 28, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      Kiyomi! Congratulations on your Hibiscus Half Marathon! I like that race:)
      Swimming is a great way to cross training, and also to relax the body.
      Happy training!

  • Reply
    Kathie Oeser
    January 13, 2017 at 6:02 am

    Aloha, In my younger days I ran the 7 mile route and stopped in for church services on Sundays at a lovely church that was kind enough to put pews outside. The church had open sides. It had a preschool associated with it. Was it on Monserrat? I no longer live on the islands but am trying to remember the name of the church. Can you help? Mahalo

    • Reply
      mariane uehara
      January 19, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      Aloha Kathie,
      I think the church you mentioned os the Unity Church at Monsarrat Ave, right?

      • Reply
        Rupa wong
        February 4, 2017 at 10:12 am

        Yes unity church ! Ran across our blog post as I was preparing to run around Diamond Head for the first time. I live in the area but have always been too nervous to try it. But I did it! Love your pics.

        • Reply
          mariane uehara
          February 9, 2017 at 11:34 am

          yay! great job Rupa! too many more runs around diamond head!
          thank you for checking the site:) cheers!

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