For decades, Lēʻahi has been one of O’ahu’s most well-known destinations, but most visitors only know it by a different name.
Trade winds blowing from the east; clear, turquoise waters that turn a deep, dark blue stretching out to the horizon; a moment of light mist from the passing rain in the nearby valley—this is Lēʻahi.
Lēʻahi, popularly known as Diamond Head, is a local and tourist favorite, attracting visitors from around the world to witness the natural wonder. The iconic O’ahu landmark and hiking destination gains its popularity from its relatively short hiking length and panorama views.
The ancient volcanic crater’s man-made trail, built in 1908, is only about 1.6 miles, round-trip. While not the most difficult hike, its combination of steady inclines and steep stairs require a bit of effort to make it to the top. But, with several rest stops along the way that give hikers a chance to take in the scenery, there’s no need to rush to reach the summit.
Once at the summit, Lēʻahi’s 560-foot elevation provides a 360-degree view of Waikiki, the Mānoa and Palolo Valley, Koko Head and all the way across Māmala Bay.
Contributing to the preservation of these landmarks is of utmost importance, as with any hiking adventure. It shouldn’t just be the duty of park rangers or locals to take care of beautiful landmarks such as Lēʻahi, but should be the responsibility of all visitors. So, to the estimated thousands of visitors who take the trek to Lēʻahi’s summit every day, remember to take nothing but pictures or memories, stick to the trails, keep the trails clean and respect the aina (land).