Diamond Head State Monument

Phone (808) 587-0300
4.5 stars from 3 reviews
Address Diamond Head Road at 18th Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
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.

Features
• General: Cost: Paid • General: Photo Opportunity
• Hiking: Hiking • Hiking: Length: 1-2 Miles
• Sightseeing: Great Views

Matt Anderson's Take
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.
Entrance Fee
Individuals:
$5.00 per car or $1 per person for pedestrians. CASH ONLY.
Commercial vehicles fees:
$10.00 cars/vans
$20 mini-buses
$40 buses

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.

Special Tips
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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Matt Anderson
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Annette W
Joined: Apr 2016
Reviews: 32
Likes Received: 3
This is a heart pumping hike, but there are stairs. You can't beat the view from the top. Waikiki Beach and the valley views around are spectacular If you are in good shape, bring your camelback, and enjoy. History buffs will love the exploration and information available from this historic lookout.
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Jennie S
Joined: Mar 2016
Reviews: 39
Likes Received: 2
Hiking up Diamond Head mountain for sunrise is a once in a lifetime experience. To see the sun come up over the ocean is breathtaking. Yes, you'll be surrounded by a lot of people, but it is still worth it. I imagine the sunset at Diamond Head is just as amazing.
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Tracy C
Joined: Mar 2016
Reviews: 24
Likes Received: 0
Diamond head hike is a fun workout, but make sure you go early in the day because it gets hot. We have been here many times, and the only time it isn't very busy is when it's raining. The busiest times were when we arrived at 6:00 a.m. There are many tour buses here at that time of day. If you are out of shape, this may be difficult. Also if you are claustrophobic, there is a long tunnel that might cause panic in some. It takes roughly 20-30 minutes to climb to the top.
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