One Hawaii’s most recognized landmarks, Diamond Head Crator (Lē‘ahi) sits prominently near the eastern edge of Waikiki’s coastline. The popular state park, Diamond Head State Monument, is known for its historic hiking trail, stunning coastal views, and military history.
The trail to the summit of Diamond Head Crater was built in 1908 as part of Oʻahu’s coastal defense system. The walk is a glimpse into the geological and military history of this volcanic crater. At the summit, you’ll see bunkers on the crater rim and a navigational lighthouse built in 1917 along the coast outside the crater. The postcard view of the shoreline of southeastern Oʻahu from Koko Head to Wai’anae is stunning, and during winter, may include passing humpback whales.
From the parking lot on the crater floor to the summit, Diamond Head Crater Hike is 0.8 mile (1.3 km) one way and climbs 560 feet (171 m) in elevation. There is a paved concrete walkway for a distance of 0.2 miles at the start of the hike, but the trail becomes uneven and steep, requiring caution and appropriate footwear. Portions of the trail involve steep stairways, and another portion of the trail goes through a 225-foot narrow tunnel which is lighted.