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Diamond Head

Diamond Head Road at 18th Avenue | Honolulu, Oahu, HI | Official website
Diamond Head Photo info
VideoFrog/Flickr
  • Type: Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing
  • Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
Overall Rating: 4.0 (4.1)
Value: 5.0 (5.0)
Facilities: 2.5 (2.5)
Atmosphere: 4.5 (4.5)
About these ratings

Hawaiians call it Le'ahi, geologists call it a tuff cone (consolidated volcanic ash), 19th century British sailors called it Diamond Head. Whatever you call it, this unique crater was created 300,000 years ago during a single volcanic eruption that spewed ash into the air. That ash settled over thousands of years, and today, Diamond Head's ridgeline is one of the most recognizeable features of Oahu's skyline, not to mention home to one of the island's most scenic hiking trails.

Though the 760-foot hike up this tuff cone is somewhat taxing if you're out of shape, you'll be rewarded with a surreal view of Waikiki Beach and the Pacific Ocean once you reach the summit. The interior of the crater was once home to Fort Ruger, the first U.S. military reservation on Hawaii.

If you can, you should visit in the morning to avoid the crowds and get up and down the crater before the Hawaii sun really begins to cook. Be sure to take water with you; there are vending machines and bathrooms at the entrance, but no facilities along the way. According to one TripAdvisor user, "The walk to the top may only be 8/10 of a mile, but those 671 vertical feet are exhausting. The views along the way and at the top are worth the effort."

You can access Diamond Head between Makapu'u and 18th avenues in Waikiki. The park is open everyday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can enter for $1 per person or $5 per car. Visit the official website for more information.

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