Diamond Head (Lē‘ahi) is one of Hawaii's most recognized landmarks, often portrayed from a Waikiki viewpoint. Its prominent seaward peak and its location along the southeastern shoreline of Oahu make this geological feature readily visible from land, sea and air.
Lē‘ahi is the traditional Hawaiian place name for the crater. It is said that Hi'iaka, sister of the fire goddess Pele, gave Lē‘ahi its name because the summit resembles the forehead of the 'ahi fish. Another translation is "fire headland" and refers to the navigation fires that were lit at the summit to assist canoes traveling along the shoreline.
In the late 1700s, Western explorers visited Lē‘ahi and mistook the calcite crystals in the rocks on the slope of the crater for diamonds. Thus, Diamond Head became the common name for the crater.
Lē‘ahi is a volcanic tuff cone and an excellent example of a pyroclastic crater. Created relatively late in Oahu's geological history (about 300,000 years ago), the ovoid-shaped crater measures 3,520 feet in length in the interior with a southwest-northeast orientation. The summit, at a point on the southwestern rim, is 761 feet above sea level. The tuff soils and dry climate have made vegetation in the crater low-growing and sparse.
Today, Diamond Head State Monument is one of Oahu's most visited destinations. For decades, visitors have hiked to the summit of Diamond Head to enjoy the view of Oahu's southeastern shoreline from Koko Head to Waianae. This popular historical trail offers a memorable Hawaiian adventure for the entire family.
Diamond Head State Monument, managed by the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of State Parks, is comprised of more than 475 acres of land, including the interior and outer slops of the crater as well as the hiking trail.
The 0.8-mile hike (1.6 miles round trip) to the summit of Diamond Head State Monument is steep, strenuous and uneven in some areas. There is a total of 327 concrete and metal stairs along the trail. Please plan 1.5 to 2 hours for your hike. The weather inside the crater is usually hot. Sturdy walking shoes, water, hats and sunscreen are recommended.
Diamond Head State Monument: Open daily, 365 days a year, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., including holidays.
Diamond Head Summit Trail: Last entrance to hike the trail: 4:30 p.m.
The Diamond Head Visitor Center - an interpretive kiosk and retail store: Open daily from 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., including holidays.
The Diamond Head Visitor Center is a partnership between the Division of State Parks and Pacific Historic Parks. Its retail store and online store are the only locations in the world to purchase the official Diamond Head logo merchandise.
Please support our Visitor Center, proceeds helps supports the interpretative and educational activities of the Diamond Head State Monument.
Address: Diamond Head Road at 18th Ave., Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815
Parking at Diamond Head State Monument is limited. In order to avoid the crowds, visit the monument in the afternoon between the hours 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
How long is the hike?
The trail is 0.8 miles (1.3 kilometers) one-way from the Visitor Center. Round-trip, the trail is 1.6 miles (2.6 kilometers) long.
How long does it take to do the hike?
The average person takes about 1 1/2 hours to complete the hike. While the distance is not far, it is a steep and strenuous hike.
What do you need for the hike?
Comfortable walking shoes and water. Sunscreen and a hat are also recommended.
What can I do at Diamond Head State Monument?
Most people come to Diamond Head to hike to the summit for a panoramic view of Oahu. If you do not wish to hike, you can visit the Visitor Center and crater park area.
What can I see if I hike to the summit?
You will have a panoramic view of the leeward side of Oahu, from Waianae to Koko Head. On a clear day, you can see the neighbor islands of Molokai, Maui and Lanai.
If I hike, can I see the Diamond Head crater?
You will be in the Diamond Head crater. The summit hike gives you a panoramic view of Oahu's coast and views back into the summit.
Can I see the sunrise or sunset from the summit?
Usually not, because the park opens at 6 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. The tunnel gates are locked after hours.
Where is the Diamond Head lighthouse?
The Diamond Head lighthouse is outside the crater on Diamond Head Road. Turn right at the park entrance road and follow Diamond Head Road to the lighthouse.
These Diamond Head fact sheets are available for download in PDF format.
These rack cards are available for download in PDF format.
For more information about Diamond Head State Monument, visit the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.