Nestled along the eastern fringes of Waikiki's shoreline stands the distinctive silhouette of Diamond Head (Lē‘ahi), an iconic Hawaiian landmark. Renowned for its historic hiking trail, breathtaking coastal vistas, and rich military heritage, Diamond Head captures the imagination. Encompassing an expansive 475 acres, the Diamond Head State Monument encompasses both the inner recesses and the outer slopes of the crater.
The origins of this expansive, bowl-shaped crater trace back some 300,000 years to a single, cataclysmic eruption that ejected ash and delicate particles into the skies. As these particles gently descended and fused, they solidified into a rock known as tuff, thus shaping the crater we observe today—visible along the path within the park. Most of the vibrant flora and avian inhabitants were introduced during the late 1800s to the early 1900s.
The journey to the zenith of Lē‘ahi was meticulously carved in 1908 as an integral component of O‘ahu's coastal defense system. The trail, spanning 0.8 miles from its inception to the summit, is a demanding ascent, surging 560 feet from the crater floor. The trek offers a fascinating glimpse into the geological and martial history underpinning Diamond Head. An initial concrete pathway designed to minimize erosion seamlessly transitions to a natural tuff surface approximately 0.2 miles into the journey. A series of switchbacks navigate the precipitous contours of the crater's interior. The ascent perseveres through steep staircases and a well-lit 225-foot tunnel, culminating at the Fire Control Station, finalizing construction in 1911. Positioned atop the summit, this station orchestrated artillery maneuvers, directing firepower from batteries situated in Waikiki and Fort Ruger beyond Diamond Head's confines.
At the lookout, bunkers and an expansive navigational lighthouse, erected in 1917, greet visitors. The panoramic vista unfurls, featuring a postcard-perfect outlook onto the coastline, stretching from Koko Head to Wai‘anae. During winter, this panoramic canvas might even grace observers with the passage of majestic humpback whales.
NON-RESIDENT RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED visit the State Parks website to make a reservation (linked in the top right corner).
6:00am – 6:00pm daily (Last entry period is 4:00 pm. Must enter and be on the trail by 4:30 pm.). Diamond Head State Monument will be CLOSED on Christmas Day (December 25) and New Years Day (January 1).
- *CREDIT CARD ONLY*
- Hawaii Residents = Free w/Hawaii ID or DL
- Non-Hawaii Residents = $5
- Children 3 and under = Free
- Resident = No Charge with ID
- Non-Resident = $10 Per Vehicle
Commercial vehicles fees:
- 1-7 Passenger Vehicles = $25
- 8-25 Passenger Vehicles = $50
- 26+ Passenger Vehicles = $90