Diamond Head (Le'ahi) Summit Trail

MODERATE 1,267 reviews

Diamond Head (Le'ahi) Summit Trail is a 1.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Kaimuki, Hawaii that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
1.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
498 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

trail running

walking

views

no dogs

The Diamond Head Summit trail hike is likely the most popular hike in Oahu, and for good reason. While fairly steep, this easy hike starts from the middle of the Diamond Head volcanic crater and climbs about 500 feet up the side to the top of the rim where panoramic views await. Diamond Head State Monument encompasses over 475 acres, including the interior and outer slopes of the crater. The Diamond Head crater is more than 3,500 feet in diameter and is part of the Hawaiian volcano chain from more than a half million years ago (don't worry, it has been dormant for at least 150,000 years now). The crater is also called "Le'ahi," which means "brow of the tuna" in Hawaiian. It got the name Diamond Head almost 200 years ago when British sailors believed there were diamonds in the side of the crater. Although none were found, the name stuck. The trail was built in 1908 as part of the Oahu coastal defense system. The World War II bunkers on top now support antennas used by the government. The trail starts on a paved path before climbing several steep switchbacks leading to the first set of steep stairs. After the stairs you will climb through a tunnel and then climb up another set of stairs before reaching the bunkers at the top of the rim. Once on top you can climb up to the top of the bunkers for 360-degree views of the island and Pacific Ocean, with Waikiki not too far away. The last entrance to hike the trail is at 4:30 pm. The gates are locked at 6:00 pm daily and all visitors must be out of the park by this time.

hiking
11 minutes ago

I did this when I first got here. There’s better views out there that involve an actual hike

hiking
23 hours ago

Busy, but awesome views!

3 days ago

Easy walk, but usually very crowded, which isn't fun IMHO. The views are pretty, but doesn't make it worth freaking with the amount of people.

hiking
4 days ago

A fun quick hike, the stairs at the topi are killer but well worth the view from the top!

4 days ago

Short easy hike. Go early to avoid large crowds.

5 days ago

Good hike for beginners. Nice view at the top.

hiking
6 days ago

Narrow and a packed. Don’t mind the being packed but the narrow trail was annoying.

hiking
8 days ago

LOVE this hike! the views are breathe taking! not much else to say that hasn't already been said.

9 days ago

Easy first hike!

11 days ago

Great views. Took about 45 minutes to make it to the top. Easy hike but too crowded

hiking
12 days ago

Would be a 4-5 but too crowded and trails are very narrow. Bring your bug spray, mosquitoes at the top are a pia.

hiking
13 days ago

Nice view

hiking
13 days ago

C'était une superbe randonnée avec une belle vue sur Honolulu. Nous sommes arrivés à 16h15 et il n'y avait pas beaucoup de gens c'était parfait! La dernière entrée est à 16h30 et l'endroit ferme à 18h00. En une heure nous avions terminé la visite et nous avons pris beaucoup de photos.

13 days ago

Lots n lots of people. Good hike.

hiking
17 days ago

Great hike that was quick with incredible views. Not too difficult but heavily trafficked even for a slow day. Worth it!

hiking
18 days ago

Decent hike. Decided to walk from my hostel until the top of the crater. Early enough luckily. It gets crazy busy on sunny days after 9am. The trail was still crowded, having to slow down and follow families with kids ... nice easy walk up. Nice view but nothing extraordinary

18 days ago

Beautiful views from the top, but super crowded.

hiking
19 days ago

We went on a cloudless, hot day. It made the hike a little rough because there is not much shade. Make sure to bring plenty of water and also wear comfortable shoes. It's pretty crowded but worth the amazing view. There's a great little shaved ice stand on site as well.

22 days ago

crowded with lots of stairs and dark tunnels.

29 days ago

Incredibly crowded trail with tourists. Impossible to go your own pace. The trail is mostly paved and has long sections in tunnels and up stairs. The views at the top were decent, but still very disappointing for such a famous hike.

1 month ago

Too many tourists, however the views at the top were breathtaking. Definitely worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, lots of tourists though.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was gorgeous at the top with beautiful views of water and Waikiki. The only negative thing I could say is that this hike was definitely harder than other people have described. I am a runner and in great shape and this isn’t a walk in the park. I saw people in flip flops and Sandals and I was shocked. There are a lot of crowds and I would definitely recommend coming early.

hiking
1 month ago

Let me add some details. When people say get there early, 8:15 on a Sunday morning is not early (when we got there). The parking lot was full, several buses were parked and the place was jammed. We went back out and parked across the street from the entrance at the Community College Park lot. Easy walk in from there. For the actual hike, you basically queue up and march up the path/stairs. During the hike up and down you are single file because people are going both directions constantly. In the 1.5 miles up and down we probably passed 500 people? 1000? Just a lot of people. I prefer hikes where miles covered+dogs seen > number of people seen so this wasn’t for me. Still gave it three stars for the views and the fact that the queue actually moved at a decent speed. My wife also recommends using the bathrooms at the community college park as well since the bathrooms inside Diamond Head had lines out the door.

hiking
1 month ago

My wife and I hiked this and it was a great view from the top. It is relatively busy hike with numerous tourists, but worth it for the view.

hiking
1 month ago

The place is certainly historic and an icon for the area, but it's not a trail I'd hike again with anyone given the number of tourists that frequent the area. Recommend any diamond head crater seekers to gauge the number of buses in the area before committing to the hike.

The views are great and would have been better with a sunrise but cloud cover didn't allow. Also, wear good shoes, lots of uneven terrain and stairs.

1 month ago

Very crowded. Go for the view at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Instead of starting at the parking lot where the trail starts, we parked in the neighborhood past Diamond Head Rd. and started walking from there, which doubled the length of it (but not the elevation). This way is nice because you get to walk through the tunnel and don’t have to pay for parking.

Even though the hike is fairly easy and there are a lot of tourists, it’s extremely enjoyable. The terrain is constantly changing and presents you with little surprises. You wind up and around the mountain for most of the hike until you reach a few sets of steep, manmade stairs, and then scamper through a tower with a few levels before coming out the top. An amazing view of Waikiki and other parts of the island ensue.

My favorite part was running up the stairs, it was a good little workout. Even if you’re an avid hiker I highly recommend this one, it’s a perfect break from high intensity hikes yet still satisfying.

1 month ago

A good quick hike. I would definitely go early morning as our group went in the afternoon and it was very crowded and hot. But overall a good hike to see the island.

1 month ago

Great view

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