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Hiking the Diamond Head Trail

The Diamond Head Trail is approximately one mile long and it includes more then 100 stairs up to the top of Diamond Head Crater. Part of the hike goes through the 225 foot Kahala Tunnel and there is a lookout point at the top with panoramic views of Waikiki and Honolulu.

View of Waikiki From Diamond Head Crater
Photo Credit: George Schreyer

The trail to the summit of Diamond Head Crater was built in 1908 as part of the United States Army Coastal Artillery defense system. The trail enters the crater from the Fort Ruger side of the crater through the Kapahulu Tunnel It then ascends up the interior western slopes of the crater to the summit where there is a lookout point over Waikiki.

The Kahala Tunnel allows visitors to drive into Diamond Head Crater. It was built in the 1940's.

The dirt trail with switchbacks was designed for both mule and foot traffic.

Stories About Hiking the Diamond Head Trail

George Schreyer's Introduction to the Trail

Hawaii visitor George Schreyer took the above photo of Waikiki viewed from the top of the Diamond Head Crater in 2005. Here is George's description of the Diamond Head Summit Trail and Diamond Head State Monument: "This is a state park that was converted from military use. Diamond Head is a volcanic crater right next to Waikiki. On the seaward edge, it is about 760 ft high and commands and excellent view. The military figured this out long ago and before WWI, they built an observation and targeting bunker for a series of artillery batteries scattered around Diamond Head. None of them ever fired a shot in wartime. From the crater floor, it is about a 500 ft climb on a 0.8 mile trail to reach the observation post. The last part of the trail is a series of 74 concrete steps, a 225 ft tunnel, another 99 steps and then 3 flights up a circular stairway to the post. It is a pretty stiff climb but the view is excellent."

Hiking Diamond Head: Stairway to Heaven
An article by Margaret Michaels about what it's like to hike to the top of Diamond Head Crater. Select the little numbers under the photo at the top of the page to see all five photos.

Dawn Raid at Diamond Head
An article by Alison Gardner about hiking to the top of Diamond Head Crater at 6:00 in the morning.

More About the Trail

Tips for Hiking the Diamond Head Trail
An article in Hawaii's "This Week" magazine describing the hike to the top of Diamond Head Crater.

See also:
- Diamond Head State Monument
- The Diamond Head End of Waikiki
- More About Hiking on Oahu
- About South Oahu

Related Links
Oahu Island - Main Menu
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Diamond Head State Monument Brochure (pdf)

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