Diamond Creek is one of our favorite little afternoon hikes. It’s quiet, away from traffic, and always packed with wildlife – but at the same time very accessible, even for a mom of 3 kids ages 5 and under.
As soon as the ice melts, you can get down to the beach – the last few years that’s been late February or early March. If you park at the top of the road near the highway, it’s about 1.5 miles down to the beach. From the parking area at the base of the trail, it is less than a mile.
If you haven't been to Diamond Creek, the hike down and back is short and quiet doable by yourself with your children. I always bring extra socks and clothes as my kiddos love to play in the water and I hate to have to tell them not to.
When hiking through to Homer, I always try to find a buddy or buddy family mostly because hiking is even more enjoyable with friends, but also because logistically it is a much easier hike with two adults.
Currently, the trail is dry at the beginning and muddy in the middle, but very hikable, even for little people. You will want to wear waterproof shoes or rubber boots, or old beaters.
The trail is always eroding, so it is difficult to get a jogging stroller around the narrow corners and through the mud.
I have brought my double Chariot down there several times as a gear-hauler and backup kid-ride when we are hiking through to Homer, but I don't let the kids ride in it down the trail, and I would not want to bring it for just a quick beach-play trip! If you have a front or backpack carrier, that is the better option.
Prawn is always looking for a free ride :)
This weekend we hiked down to Diamond Creek a couple times, once at high tide just to play down at the beach...
Happy dog at the beach.
...And another time to tidepool and hike through to Homer. Highlights were large groups of cormorants and curious seals, playful otters with pups, crabs, sea stars, mussels, barnacles, and lots and lots of eagles.
Hiking from Diamond Creek is Homer is about 6 miles and takes around 3 hours if you have curious, beach-loving kids with you. If you are hiking with a young child in a backpack or with older children, of course it will take less time.
The tidepools and mussel beds are about 2.5 miles from Diamond Creek towards Homer and are a great place to stop and take a break and explore. Plan your trip to leave an hour or two before low tide so you have plenty of time.
There are a couple of tricky places where the beach gets very rocky, muddy, or water-logged and hiking becomes very slow. Especially if you have a jogging stroller with you, you may have to plan creative ways to pass these short sections, depending on what the tide is doing.
I have memories of team-carrying the Chariot and my children through ankle deep mud near the tidepools, stroller hoisted in the air with one hand (my little dog, Prawn, inside) and a kid tucked under the other armpit. Thank goodness I have the most patient and helpful hiking friends around since hiking with me is always a circus!
Each of these little sections gives you the opportunity to feel triumphant when you are through it, and also makes you really appreciate the smooth, hard packed sand in the other sections.
You can shuttle vehicles beforehand or arrange for someone to pick you up at Bishop’s Beach when you arrive. Keep your eyes, ears, and hearts open to magic, and enjoy your hike!