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Diamond Head State Monument

L’ahi (Diamond Head) is a famous landmark on Oahu’s east shore, with its distinctive profile jutting out into the ocean. The historic hiking trail, spectacular coastal views, and military history make this Hawaii’s most well-known monument. The interior and outer slopes of Diamond Head Crater are part of the 475-acre Diamond Head State Monument. About 300,000 years ago, a single, powerful eruption ejected ash and fine particles into the air, forming this large, saucer-shaped crater. As the debris settled, they fused together to form tuff, which formed the crater, which can be seen from the park’s walk. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the majority of the plants and birds were introduced.

The trail to the peak of L’ahi was established in 1908 as part of O’ahu’s coastal defensive system to provide access to the summit. With an elevation increase of 560 feet from the crater floor to the top of Mount Fuji, the 0.8-mile hike from the trailhead to the summit is steep and hard. The trek provides an insight into the geological and military history of Diamond Head, as well as its natural beauty. An artificial concrete path constructed to avoid erosion gives way to a naturally occurring tuff surface about 0.2 mile up the trail, which includes numerous switchbacks that traverse the steep slope of the crater interior.

In order to approach the Fire Control Station, the ascent continues up steep stairs and via a 225-foot tunnel that is illuminated. The Fire Control Station was built in 1911. The station, which was built on the top, was responsible for directing artillery fire from guns in Waikiki and Fort Ruger, which was located outside Diamond Head crater. On the peak, you’ll find bunkers as well as a massive navigational lighthouse, which was completed in 1917. It is possible to see humpback whales travelling along along the shoreline from Koko Head to Wai‘anae during the winter months, which is a picture-postcard vista.

The Diamond Head gift shop, built by the Division of State Parks in 2000 to provide guest services and hold displays about the crater’s history and resources, opened its doors to the public in 2001. As one of the most loved destinations in Hawaii, Diamond Head is a highly toured attraction in the state, attracting more than 3,000 visitors every day. For years, visitors have expressed an interest in purchasing souvenirs and other artifacts to commemorate their visit to the park. Developed in conjunction with Pacific Historic Parks, the kiosk was restored in 2014 to not only provide visitor amenities, but also to serve as a retail outlet for products associated with Diamond Head National Monument and Preserve. PHP has launched an online store where you can purchase Diamond Head-themed goods. Check it out!

Honolulu Museum of Art

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