Destination List > Diamond Head

Diamond Head

Photo by Eric Tessmer

The history...

Diamond Head, also known as Le'ahi, is an iconic volcanic crater that majestically adorns the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Rising 760 feet above sea level, this stunning natural wonder stands proudly against the backdrop of the turquoise Pacific Ocean, captivating visitors with its beauty and historical significance.

Formed over 150,000 years ago during a volcanic eruption, Diamond Head is a dormant volcanic cone that has become one of Oahu's most beloved landmarks. Its name, Diamond Head, is derived from the 19th-century British sailors who mistook calcite crystals embedded in the rocks for diamonds. Today, this geological marvel has become a gem of a different kind, attracting hikers, nature enthusiasts, and curious explorers from around the world.

As you venture towards Diamond Head, you'll find yourself surrounded by lush greenery, tropical foliage, and panoramic vistas that showcase the enchanting landscapes of Oahu. The journey begins at the Diamond Head State Monument, where visitors pay a small fee to access the hiking trail that leads to the crater's summit.

The trail, although moderate in difficulty, offers an unforgettable experience. As you ascend the rocky path, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of Waikiki Beach, Honolulu's skyline, and the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. The trail's incline intensifies as you approach the summit, demanding a bit of endurance and determination, but the effort is undoubtedly worth it.

Reaching the top of Diamond Head, you are greeted by a breathtaking panorama that stretches in every direction. The sight of the sparkling blue ocean meeting the vibrant green of the island is truly awe-inspiring. From this vantage point, you can spot the neighboring islands, such as Molokai and Lanai, on clear days. The sensation of standing on the edge of a volcanic crater, with the world stretching out before you, creates an exhilarating feeling of connection to nature and history.

Beyond its natural allure, Diamond Head also holds historical significance. In the early 20th century, the crater served as a strategic military lookout, protecting the island from potential threats. Bunkers and fortified structures still remain, acting as reminders of the past and offering visitors a glimpse into Oahu's military history.

Diamond Head is not just a geological marvel; it embodies the spirit of Hawaii, showcasing the island's diverse landscapes and offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. Whether you're a seasoned hiker seeking adventure or a casual traveler captivated by natural wonders, Diamond Head is a must-visit destination, offering an experience that is both physically exhilarating and spiritually uplifting.

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Hike the 0.8 mile trail from the crater floor to the summit.


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August 21, 1959