Diamond head is one of the most recognized landmarks on the island of Oahu. It is believed to have been created about 300,000 years ago during a volcanic event in the southeastern area of the island. Diamond Head received its name in the 1700s when Westerners saw crystals in the rocks on the slopes and mistook them for diamonds. Its Hawaiian name is Le’ahi, possibly meaning the top shape of an ahi, or fire headland for the fires lit to guide those on the water.
In the early 1900s Diamond Head was bought by the federal government for military use, and shortly after several tunnels and batteries were added, creating a place for artillery fire. The site was readied to defend Oahu, but no shots were ever fired from this place during war time. These lookout spots are now maintained as a state monument.
If you like hiking, you may enjoy a wonderful view from the top of Diamond Head. This is a popular hike that includes stairs as well as tunnels and many switchbacks to reach the summit at 761 ft. It’s recommended that you bring plenty of water as well as a hat and sunscreen for this hike.
At the front of Diamond Head, you will likely have a good view of surfers in the water below.
One of the lookout points on the front of Diamond Head are included in the stops for our Oahu Circle Island Tour.