On the island of Oahu, Diamond Head is a famous landmark and was once a volcano that was active, but it has been over one hundred fifty thousand years since it erupted and spewed ashes. Hiking to the lookout point and extinct crater is a destination that is popular for hikers and tourists alike. It is the most painted and photographed spot on the island of Oahu. There have been many postcards and calendars created with Diamond Head on them.
Diamond Head is right on the ocean and is located in Waikiki on the eastern end. In the early years Diamond Head has impressed sailors. British sailors saw the small calcite crystals sparkling in the sun on the sand near the crater so they called it Diamond Hill, but later it was called Diamond Head.
The Hawaiian's called it Le'ahi which means land point (lae) and yellow fin tuna ('ahi). The reason that the Hawaiian's called it this is that from a distance the mountain resembles the ahi fish dorsal fin.
The government bought Diamond Head for three thousand three hundred dollars in 1904. Gun emplacements used by the artillery defenses on the coast were built in the 1930s. In 1941, the government built more pill boxes, foxholes, and gun emplacements so they could defend the island of Oahu better after the attack on Pearl Harbor. There are many remaining on the rim of the crater today. There is also one facility underground called the Birkheimer Tunnel.
Today the crater and mountain is a state park that is known as Diamond Head State Monument. There is a trail that leads to a lookout point from the crater.
If you cannot climb stairs all that well, then this hiking trail may not be for you because even though there are only three sets of stairs they have lots of steps. The first stair has seventy four steps, the second stair has ninety nine steps and the third set is a three story spiral stairwell . There is also a dimly lit tunnel that is two hundred twenty five feet long that you have to walk through so make sure that you bring a flashlight. Hiking the trail will take you approximately thirty minutes to an hour, depending on how in shape you are.
Make sure that you bring lots of sunscreen and water because it will be hot, but the spectacular view at the end is worth the hike. You need to make sure that you stay well hydrated and that you do get sunburned. You will be hiking up to its seven hundred sixty foot high peak to the lookout.