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Diamond Head on Oahu Hawaii

There are lots of great hikes on Oahu. Some of them are for more extreme hiking while others are “challenging” yet still able to be accomplished by most family members. The Diamond Crater Hike on Oahu is one of the latter. While you will have plenty to do on the Island of Oahu while on your holiday, making a visit to Diamond Head is something of a must do.

You’ll have awesome views of the many beaches and the entire area of Waikiki. And, you’ll be a little part of Hawaiian history when you make the trek. All of the Hawaiian Islands were created by volcanic activity but is places like Diamond Head that make it evidently apparent. Diamond Head was formed more than 100,000 years ago by a singular volcanic occurrence and is now a dormant volcano.

Diamond Head is known as Leahi in Hawaiian, meaning “brow of the tuna.” This name stood for a while (and is still known as leahi by some native Hawaiians) however, in the 19th Century British sailors thought they had discovered diamonds in the mountain, and it quickly adopted the name. Actually, those diamond-like stones were just calcite crystals that while shiny and pretty were worthless.

For many years Diamond Head served as an important military lookout beginning in the 1900s. There are still observation posts (or remnants of them) at the top of the crater. In 1968 Diamond Head was named a National Natural Landmark.

Today, it is probably one of the most popular tourist attractions of all the Hawaiian Islands. It’s a moderately difficult hike but one that can be accomplished with ease as long as you show up early, wear the right hiking attire, and bring plenty of water. There are two sets of step, switch backs, dark tunnels and military observation decks that will delight.

The best part of the Diamond Hike is the view at the top, though. You’ll be able to see all of Waikiki and Oahu’s south shore. The hiking trail does get crowded, though. What seems like ample parking fills up quickly with tour buses and other vehicles due to Diamond Head’s popularity.

The Diamond Head crater hike is a great way to start a day on Oahu and then hit Waikiki for lunch and the beach later on in the day. You’re holiday on Oahu wouldn’t not be complete without a visit to “brow of the tuna”.