The Trail to the Summit of Diamond Head Crater

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Aloha from Waikiki!

Rebecca was already five months pregnant when we landed in Oahu on that warm and sunny day in April. That being said, all of our recreational opportunities on the island have been far more tame than what we would typically do when exploring a new place. With things like surfing, parasailing, and getting eaten by sharks out of the question, we have still been able to find some pretty amazing hikes to do as a couple.  One such hike, that’s definitely worth mentioning, is no other than the trail leading to the summit of Diamond Head Crater.

An aerial view of Diamond Head Crater (Image courtesy of

Diamond Head Crater, known as Le’ahi by the Hawaiians, was believed to have formed some 30,000 years ago during a single, brief eruption. The crater covers 350 acres of land and it is easily the most recognized landmark in all of Hawaii.

The trail to the summit was built in 1908 by the US Army Coastal Artillery defense system.  With its panoramic view from the Koko Head to Wai’anae, the summit of Diamond Head was a choice site for defending the coast of Oahu. Beginning in 1910, Diamond Head Crater was home to several seaward facing batteries. During WWII, an additional battery was placed on the crater; however, no guns were ever fired from the site during the course of the war.

From the trailhead to the summit, visitors will hike 0.8 miles one way and climb 560 feet from the crater’s floor.

Diamond Head Crater is a perfect hike for couples!

A steep set of 74 concrete steps leads hikers to a fun narrow tunnel along the path.

This dimly lit tunnel leading to the top of Diamond Head Crater is 225 feet long.

The trail to the summit had no shortage of stairs!

The view along the way is magnificent!

The many pillboxes still perched atop Diamond Head Crater’s summit were once a major part of Oahu’s coastal defense.

The Diamond Head Lighthouse, built in 1899, is a US Coast Guard facility that still keeps vessels safe during dark and stormy nights.

The summit is a great place to get a glimpse of the Honolulu skyline and inviting waters of the Pacific.

Another amazing view of the blue Pacific waters!

Well look who made it to the top…. and she did it carrying two. Great job, Rebecca!

The inland view of Oahu from Diamond Head Crater’s summit.

Next to the beautiful scenery, this tiki hut was the best thing about Diamond Head Crater!

After our exhausting hike, Rebecca found the chilled coconut to be a refreshing treat!

My sweet tooth got the best of me and I couldn’t pass on the rainbow shave ice!

Rebecca and I had a wonderful time hiking to the summit of Diamond Head Crater. It was somewhat of a challenging hike, but if my pregnant wife was able to make it to the summit then I believe you probably can too. All things considered, the view from the summit was definitely worth the toil.  I certainly hope you enjoyed the pictures we captured along the way. Please visit Big John’s Adventures in Travel again soon to see more of our travels and adventures in the Aloha State.

This vintage postcard from Waikiki shows the famous Diamond Head Crater in the backdrop.

I hope this post inspired you to get off the couch and go explore somewhere new! Before you go, please feel free to explore more of my site, subscribe, or show me some love on social media.

Mahalo and happy travels,

Big John

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