Diamond Head, also known as Leahi, is a cone shaped volcanic crater, situated on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu and the world’s most recognized dormant volcano.
General: Cost: Paid
General: Photo Opportunity
Hiking: Length: 1-2 Miles
Sightseeing: Great Views
The origins of its Hawaiian name come from the words lae (meaning browridge) and ahi (meaning tuna). Legend has it that the name was most probably attributed to the fish shape to its ridgeline. Diamond head rises approximately 760 feet from it’s base. It’s prominent geographical features and location near Waikiki makes it one of Oahu’s most recognizable landmarks. it can be seen on clear days from the farthest unobstructed parts of Oahu. British sailors, who thought there were diamonds on the ridge-line of the crater, gave it the English name of “Diamond Head”. The “diamonds” actually turned to be calcite crystals.
Diamond Head crater was formed over 200,000 years ago from volcanic eruptions, which was part of a complex system of underwater cones and vents. The flow from the lava formed the iconic shape of the volcano. Collectively, this event was known as the Honolulu Volcanic Series. According to geologists, Diamond Head has been inactive for over 150,000 years now, and was probably created by a very brief volcanic eruption. The short duration of the eruption is what caused its unusually symmetrical shape, which begat it’s Hawaiian name (Leah) or “brow of the tuna”.
In 1968, Diamond Head was designated a United States State Monument. Approximately 3,000 people visit Diamond Head Crater every day. It’s one of the most visited locations in the National Parks System. The Diamond Head Summit Trail offers striking views of the Waikiki and Oahu’s south shores. The 0.7-mile hike is generally not considered a difficult one, but has a few mildly challenging unpaved sections. The trail is paved on the lower section, but eventually becomes a path with handrails nearly the entire way. There are 2 tunnels which penetrate the upper part of the Diamond head, and a steep staircase which ascends to one of the tunnels. A spiraling staircase will lead to a WWII pillbox bunker that overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
Daily 6 am to 6 pm, every day of the year including holidays.
Last entrance to hike the trail is at 4:30 pm. The gates are locked at 6:00 pm daily and all visitors must be out of the park by this time.
$5.00 per car or $1 per person for pedestrians. CASH ONLY.
Commercial vehicles fees:
There is a kiosk at the beginning of the trail with information about Diamond Head, as well as items to purchase. Usually there is at least one food truck in the parking lot.
The last entrance to hike the trail is at 4:30 pm. The gates are locked at 6:00 pm daily and all visitors must be out of the park by this time.
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