PARK UPDATES: 6/8/22
ʻIAO VALLEY STATE MONUMENT – As of August 1, 2022 ʻIao Valley State Monument will be closed until January 15, 2023 for the final phase of the slope stabilization project and parking lot improvements.
DIAMOND HEAD STATE MONUMENT - As of May 12th, 2022 all out-of-state visitors must have an advanced reservation to enter the park. PUC commercial tour and trolley patrons must have a reservation. Reservations can be made 14 days in advance. Hawaiʻi residents continue to enjoy free access without reservations, but parking entry may depend on availability.
Diamond Head State Monument
PARK UPDATES: 4/25/22
DIAMOND HEAD STATE MONUMENT - As of May 12th, 2022 all out-of-state visitors must have an advanced reservation to enter Diamond Head State Monument. The reservation system will activate on April 28th, 2022 allowing for reservations to be made 14 days in advance. Hawaiʻi residents continue to enjoy free access without reservations, but entry may depend on parking availability. Commercial tour and trolley patrons must have a reservation. Registered PUC carriers will have access to a PUC-only reservation portal.
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.
Entry and parking reservations required for non-residents (as of May 12th, 2022) , plan accordingly.
The last entrance to hike the trail is at 4:00 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!
Want to Volunteer at Diamond Head State Monument?
We now offer a docent program for those looking to volunteer at the park!
In general, prospective volunteers must:
- Be at least 18 years old (unless with parental permission, needs to sign liability form before working)
- Submit a resume.
- Meet in-person with Park Ranger/Volunteer Program staff
- Be able to make the necessary time commitment. Most programs require at least a 3 or 6-month commitment.
- To register as a volunteer or arrange a field trip please click here -> Volunteer Program
Proposed Diamond Head Implementation Plan
Diamond Head (Lē‘ahi) is one of Hawaii’s most iconic geological features and a significant natural, cultural, historical, and recreational resource. The State of Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of State Parks (State Parks) is proposing improvements to the Diamond Head State Monument in an effort to enhance the visitor experience in and around the crater. Your input is valued, and we would love to hear from you!
For full resolution viewing of the proposed Diamond Head Implementation Plan please click the following hyperlink Proposed Diamond Head Implementation Plan