This image of Diamond Head was taken from my Hotel on the 42nd floor.
The Diamond Head Summit trail hike is likely the most popular hike in Oahu, and for good reason. While fairly steep, this moderate 1.5-mile round-trip hike starts from the middle of the Diamond Head volcano crater and climbs about 560 feet up the side to the top of the rim.
The Diamond Head crater is more than 3,500 feet in diameter and is part of the Hawaiian volcano chain from more than a half million years ago (don't worry, it has been dormant for at least 150,000 years now). The crater is also called “Le'ahi,” which means “brow of the tuna” in Hawaiian. It got the name Diamond Head almost 200 years ago when British sailors believed there were diamonds in the side of the crater. Although none were found, the name stuck.
The trail was built in 1908 as part of the Oahu coastal defense system. The World War II bunkers on top now support antennas used by the government.
The trail starts on a paved path before climbing several steep switchbacks leading to the first set of stairs. After the stairs you will climb through a tunnel and then climb up another set of stairs before reaching the bunkers at the top of the rim. Once on top you can climb up to the top of the bunkers for 360-degree views of the island, with Waikiki not too far away.
Tags: Landscape and travel
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