Diamond Head

Travel Attractions

Diamond Head

Diamond Head

Diamond Head

Quick facts

  • Name: Diamond Head
  • Location: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
  • Type of attraction: Natural landmark
  • Ticket price: Free

Diamond Head is a volcanic tuff cone, known to Hawaiians as Lēahi, on the Hawaiian island of Oiddahu. More possibly, the Hawaiian name derives from lae (browridge, promontory) plus some ahi (tuna) because the ridgeline shape resembles the dorsal fin shape of a tuna. British sailors in the 19th century gave it its English name, mistook calcite crystals for diamonds on the nearby sand.

It was once an active volcano but for more than 150,000 years it hasn’t spewed any ashes. For many the extinct crater and lookout point at its peak is a popular hiking destination. In fact, Diamond Head is one of Oahu’s most photographed and painted spots, with many wall calendars and postcards adorning it.

In 1905, the US government bought the Diamond Head Crater and some of the adjacent land, converting 720 acres into Fort Ruger to enhance the country’s coast artillery defense. It was the first U.S. military reservation in Hawaii. On the crater’s slopes and within, batteries and weapons were erected. The facilities were updated after WWII, including the installation of anti-aircraft batteries on the crater’s rim.

Some of these structures are still in use today. Battery 407, which was built to house weapons recovered from the USS Arizona, the Birkhimer Tunnel, a bunker-style battery, the National Guard emergency operations center, and the Hawaii State Civil Defense Headquarters are among them.

A variety of entities have exploited the seven tunnels built into the crater’s exterior slope. Tunnel 0 is utilized for communication, while Tunnels 1 through 6 are used for storage. There are ventilation systems in several of the tunnels.

Diamond Head Hiking and North Shore Sightseeing Experience

Diamond Head Crater is only a short car or bus ride away from Waikiki. This moderately difficult walk features two sets of stairs with a total of 175 steps, as well as dark underground tunnels and old military bunkers that necessitate the use of a flashlight. The breathtaking views from the summit of Diamond Head are definitely worth the effort.

If you want to walk on Saturday morning, don’t forget to stop by the Kapiolani Community College Farmer’s Market, which is located across the street from the monument entry on Monsarrat Avenue and features locally grown food and produce. In fact, Monsarrat is lined with noteworthy cafes and restaurants that provide for a superb pre- or post-Diamond Head lunch.

Half-Day Hiking Tour to Diamond Head and Makapuu Lighthouse

Top hotels near Diamond Head

The Kahala Hotel and Resort

The Kahala Hotel and Resort

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The Modern Honolulu

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The Modern Honolulu stands next to the sands of Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, with 2 exotic pools and lovely ocean views. There is also a world-class restaurant and 3 bars. The Modern Honolulu’s spacious rooms give open opinions and plenty…

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Hotel Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach

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Travel info about Honolulu and United States

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Tours and trips including Diamond Head

Interesting facts about Diamond Head

Here are some interesting facts about this amazing natural landmark:

  • There used to be live concerts inside Diamond Head crater, the last one being held in 2006.
  • It is believed that it was a place of ritual sacrifice in the past.
  • The U.S. military took over Diamond Head in the years leading up to World War I and established troops inside the crater.

Shaxi Diamond Head Hiking and Waikiki Tour

Safe travels!



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