Photo Credit: Tim DelaVega
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ROCKFALL MITIGATION WORK ON DIAMOND HEAD – park hours to be affected including full day closures

Posted on Nov 6, 2017

Diamond Head will be OPEN normal hours on Friday, November 17.

A continuing project to remove rockfall hazards along the slopes of the iconic Diamond Head State Monument is now focused on the crater interior, and anyone planning to hike the summit trail between late October into late November, needs to carefully review the construction schedule that now includes some all-day weekday closures.

Prometheus Construction was contracted by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to mitigate rockfall hazards on Diamond Head. This third and final phase of work began September 18, 2017 to stabilize summit trail slopes inside the crater. It involves rock scaling, placement of anchors, and constructing erosion-resistant (shotcrete) surfaces. It is expected to be completed by early December 2017. 

During this project, partial closures of the summit trail will be necessary for public safety, as workers loosen rocks on slopes above the trail. 

  • The summit trail will be open on weekends and state holidays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Week of Thanksgiving, November 20 – 26, 2017:

  • Monday, November 20 – Wednesday, November 22, the summit trail will be closed at 12:00 p.m. (all hikers must be off the summit trail by 2:00 p.m.).
  • Thursday, November 23 – Sunday, November 26, the summit trail will be open regular hours, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Week of November 27 – December 1, 2017:

  • Monday, November 27 – Thursday, November 30, the summit trail will be closed all day. 
  • Friday, December 1, 2017, the summit trail will be closed at 12:00 p.m. (all hikers must be off the summit trail by 2:00 p.m.).

Weeks of December 4 – December 15, 2017:

  • The summit trail will also be closed the following afternoons at 12:00 p.m. (all hikers must be off the summit trail by 2:00 p.m.):

   Monday – Friday, December 4 – 8

   Monday – Friday, December 11 – 15

The Diamond Head Summit Trail Rockfall Mitigation project should be completed on December 15, 2017.

The DLNR Division of State Parks is asking for everyone’s attention and cooperation during these closures.

It’s anticipated that the “crater park” inside the crater floor (the parking lot, restroom, and visitor center and gift shop and lunch wagon) will remain open during most of the work.

Curt Cottrell, State Parks administrator, said, “The Diamond Head Summit Trail hike is one of the must-do hiking experiences for Hawai‘i visitors and residents alike.  Over one million people hike the steep, hot trail to the summit of Diamond Head for its magnificent views, making it one of the most visited State Parks.  However, the soft, crumbly rock (volcanic tuff) that makes up Diamond Head, makes this landmark susceptible to deterioration due to the natural effects of erosion, as well as the numbers of people utilizing the trail. This slope stabilization work will ensure a safe hiking experience for park visitors.”

A first phase of work on the exterior ocean side of Diamond Head crater took place in late spring, above the area where Beach Road meets Diamond Head, over a total distance of less than 200 yards. Rock scaling work was done to retain the natural appearance of the slope while reducing the hazards. 

In mid-April, a second phase of work was completed to remove rockfall hazards above the Kahala Tunnel entrance, while keeping the natural appearance of the slope. Most of this work was done in the evenings, after the crater was closed. Total project cost is $1.72 million.