Diamond Head State Monument
Photo Credit: Hawaii State Archives
Diamond Head profile 1917

Diamond Head State Monument

ROCKFALL MITIGATION WORK TO ALTER DIAMOND HEAD PARK HOURS

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.

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.

Hours

Daily 6 am to 6 pm, every day of the year including holidays.

Last entrance to hike the trail is at 4:30 pm. The gates are locked at 6:00 pm daily and all visitors must be out of the park by this time.

Entrance Fee

Individuals:

  • $5.00 per car or $1 per person for pedestrians. CASH ONLY.

Commercial vehicles fees:

  • $10.00 cars/vans
  • $20 mini-buses
  • $40 buses
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Description

The unique profile of Diamond Head (Lē‘ahi) sits prominently near the eastern edge of Waikiki’s coastline. Hawaii’s most recognized landmark is known for its historic hiking trail, stunning coastal views, and military history. Diamond Head State Monument encompasses over 475 acres, including the interior and outer slopes of the crater.

This broad, 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 Lē‘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.

Special Tips

The last entrance to hike the trail is at 4:30 pm. The gates are locked at 6:00 pm daily and all visitors must be out of the park by this time.

NO PETS ARE ALLOWED IN THE PARK EXCEPT SERVICE ANIMALS.

The park facilities on the crater floor of Diamond Head are fully accessible to those with disabilities.  The hiking trail to the summit is not ADA accessible, it is very steep and uneven in some areas. The last 1/10 of a mile is all stairs and especially steep.  Allow 1.5 to 2 hours for your hike. Wear good walking shoes, bring water, and wear a hat and sunscreen.

Diamond Head Interpretive Kiosk & Gift Shop

Audio Tours Now Available!  Click here to learn about our self-guided audio tour which focuses on the history, culture, geography, plant and animal life, and scenery at Diamond Head.

The Division of State Parks constructed the Diamond Head interpretive kiosk in 2000 to provide visitor services and house exhibits about the history and resources of the crater. With visitors to the park exceeding 3,000 people per day, Diamond Head is one of the most popular and heavily visited destinations in the state. Visitors have been interested for years in purchasing souvenirs and memorabilia of their experience at the park. Through a collaboration with Pacific Historic Parks, the kiosk was renovated in 2014 to not only provide visitor services but offer a venue for purchasing items related to Diamond head.  You may now purchase Diamond Head themed merchandise through PHP’s online store!