saucer-shaped crater was formed about 300,000 years ago during a
single, explosive eruption that sent ash and fine particles in the
air. As these materials settled, they cemented together into a rock
called tuff, creating the crater, and which is visible from the
trail in the park. Most of the vegetation and birds were introduced
in the late 1800s to early 1900s.
The trail to the summit
of Le'ahi was built in 1908 as part of O'ahu's coastal defense
system. The 0.8 mile hike from trailhead to the summit is steep and
strenuous, gaining 560 feet as it ascends from the crater floor. The
walk is a glimpse into the geological and military history of
Diamond Head. A concrete walkway built to reduce erosion shifts to a
natural tuff surface about 0.2 mile up the trail with many
switchbacks traversing the steep slope of the crater interior.
The ascent continues up
steep stairs and through a lighted 225-foot tunnel to enter the Fire
Control Station completed in 1911. Built on the summit, the station
directed artillery fire from batteries in Waikiki and Fort Ruger
outside Diamond Head crater. At the summit, you'll see bunkers and a
huge navigational lighthouse built in 1917.
The postcard view of the
shoreline from Koko Head to Wai'anae is stunning, and during winter,
may include passing humpback whales.
- vending machines
- trash cans
- interpretive signs
- brochure/species list
- drinking water
- picnic area
- bus accessible.
Special Tips: Last
entrance to hike the trail is at 4:30 p.m. The gates are locked at
6:00 p.m. daily and all visitors must be out of the park by this
time. NO PETS ALLOWED IN THE PARK EXCEPT SERVICE ANIMALS.
The hiking trail to the
summit is very steep and uneven in some areas. The last 1/10 of a
mile is all stairs and especially steep. The site is accessible to
those with disabilities near the visitor booth. Allow 1.5 to 2 hours
for your hike. Wear good walking shoes, bring water, and wear a hat