DIAMOND HEAD , one of the best-known volcanic craters in the world, can be seen from the southeast coast of O‘ahu, not far from Waikīkī. A great adventure for the family, Diamond Head is one of Hawai‘i’s most recognized landmarks and offers hikers some of O‘ahu’s most breathtaking and spectacular views.
DIAMOND HEAD STATE MONUMENT ( DHSM ) is open 6 a.m.-4 p.m. every day except Wednesdays (closed Christmas and New Year’s Day). Admission is $5 per person and is payable by credit card only (children under 3 are free, as are Hawai‘i residents). Parking is $10 per non-commercial vehicle. Parking for Hawai‘i residents with a valid ID is free. Gates close at 6 p.m. For more information, go to dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/oahu/diamond-head-state-monument.
Here’s a little history. Known in Hawaiian as Lē‘ahi (“brow of the yellowfin tuna”), Diamond Head was so named when British seamen saw calcite crystals sparkling in the sunshine and thought they’d found diamonds. The volcanic crater, a major O‘ahu landmark, has been extinct for 150,000 years.
The view from the summit of this 760-foot crater is worth the climb. The steep trail to the top is mostly paved and defined by two sets of stairs. Allow about two hours for the 1.6-mile hike. It leads through a 225-foot tunnel and ends with a spectacular view of the island’s Westside. Try it at sunrise.
Before or after making the climb, you’ll want to have energy — and then refuel. RAINBOW DRIVE-IN is a good spot to grab a picnic lunch or snack for the historic journey!
RAINBOW DRIVE-IN 808-737-0177