Diamond Head (Le'ahi) Summit Trail

MODERATE 1644 reviews

Diamond Head (Le'ahi) Summit Trail is a 1.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Kaimuki, Hawaii that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
1.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
452 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

off road driving

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.

19 hours ago

Easy hike but heavily trafficked. This hike is definitely a good start of you are planning on coming to Hawaii to hike. Great views from the top. If you aren't used to hiking you will get tired and the stairs may seem like they can beat you but you got this.

hiking
1 day ago

2 days ago

Short easy hike, very crowded.

hiking
4 days ago

What beautiful view from the top. Make sure you bring water if hot.

4 days ago

The hike was great although crowded. Everyone was so happy...must be because we’re all in Hawaii! Can get steep, but an overall easy hike. The views from the top are spectacular and worth the 1 1/2 hour round trip (although we spent an hour at the top taking pictures!)

Nice easy hike, but way too many people

hiking
5 days ago

This was a super fun, easy hike if you hike a lot of trails. I hiked around lunch time on a Saturday which was still pretty packed. It was around 80° and humid so bring lots of water since there's minimal shade towards the top. It's definitely worth it. I wasn't aware of a tunnel which might be a little scary if you get claustrophobic but it's super short and quick. There's also 2 ways to get to the top. If you go left, it's the easier route and looks out to the ocean. If you go right for the steep stairs, it might take a little longer depending on how packed it is with people. There's also a cool bunker you can go through. It's quite a scene when you get to the top.

Easy hike with a beautiful view. The only bad side is that the trail is very crowded. Also you need to pay 1$ to access the trail.

hiking
11 days ago

Absolutely beautiful and not too challenging. Me and the family loved it!

walking
11 days ago

As a tourist I think it’s worth doing once, but be aware! There are tons of children, people that don’t pay attention and it’s overall a busy place. On the bright side, not expensive to park, nice views at the top, and an ocean breeze.

12 days ago

Nice, fun, crowded.

hiking
12 days ago

Did this trail on a Saturday just to say I’ve done it. It was full of other tourists of varying levels of physical ability. If you’re in any reasonable shape, you’ll be fine but you’ll also probably be stuck behind people who aren’t as you meander up the narrow walkway. View from the top was nice but hard to enjoy because there were so many people.

12 days ago

a lot of traffic but it's a fun super easy hike.

hiking
12 days ago

Very crowded, add humidity and heat and it should classified as hard.
Saw several older people exhausted and unable to continue.
long stretches of upward stairs and dark tunnels which would be fun if it wasn't so packed.
Take lots of water and be prepared.

13 days ago

Great hike with awesome views (& tunnels!) but very overcrowded & many tourists block the path to take pictures thereby holding up everyone else. Lol

hiking
13 days ago

Great hike but be prepared for lots of foot traffic as this is a tourist spot.

13 days ago

Lots of tourists. Pretty views at the top but definitely my least favorite hike on the island.

13 days ago

This hike wasn’t terribly difficult but very busy. We went when the park opened for the sunrise and that’s the only way I would do it again! Still a lot of people and tourists at that time but not as bad as going during the day.

hiking
13 days ago

If you’re looking for a highly overrated hike with beautiful views at the top you’ll have .2 seconds to see before being pushed and shoved aside by tourists, then this is the hike for you!

In all seriousness, this is an easy hike for most people, but please oh PLEASE take your health into consideration before doing any hikes. A person was life flighted down today from (what I’m guessing was) heat exhaustion (we passed the person on the way down). This isn’t the first, evidently it’s a continuous problem on this hike. Please please please know your limits.

It is SUPER CROWDED. If you have anxiety, have claustrophobia, don’t like crowds in general, find another hike. There are plenty of beautiful ones here that have similar views and are so much better.

14 days ago

Crowded. Great panorama views. Need to do it.

hiking
14 days ago

Very limited parking inside, it’s almost best to just park outside the crater and walk in unless you’re there early or late. Personally, I thought the trail was not very difficult...until it rained. It became very slick very quickly...those who chose to do the hike in flip flops spent ample time on their butts. Slow going in most parts due to crowds, hard to get going quick enough to get the blood pumping. Tunnel was narrow and claustrophobic. However...all was 100% worth it when there were two full double rainbows visible from the lookout within 10 minutes! Could not have planned that better at all, so don’t be deterred if it pours on you on the way up!

hiking
14 days ago

Not as easy as everyone says it is, but the views are amazing once you get to the top! Very narrow in spots, tunnel is very tight, and stairs can get intense. Take your time plenty of rest spots along the way and bring plenty of water. Parking in park is slim, I suggest parking and walking in brings cost to $1 to enter and gives you the extra hike! The views & pictures you can take on this hike are just amazing!!!

16 days ago

Good paves walk to top amazing views. Tourist trap for sure

hiking
16 days ago

This is definitely an easy hike, enjoyed by many and the views are worth it. However, I would wish no one the experience of the zoo that is 10am and beyond. Go. Early. We had to basically wait in line behind all of the flippah wearers to pass a small puddle on the way up and that really cramped the experience. By the time we came back down that same line to pass this puddle was 4x as long. I saw women doing this hike in dresses and formal shoes, which was a little weird but completely possible (not recommended).

The stairs to the top are a quick burn and the visual reward is fantastic. Go all the way to the top bunker and cop a squat to catch your breath, the ocean breeze will reward you ten fold.

Also, entrance is $1 per person so if you like to hike light without your wallet, at least pack that $1.00 in your waistband. They were lenient on this for us, probably because we were kind about it, but I can’t imagine they allow that to happen too often.

hiking
18 days ago

Decent hike. You pay to get in and there are a lot of tourists.

18 days ago

must go! the best tourist spot.

18 days ago

Trail was great but picked the wrong day to go. WOW was it packed this morning and everyone moving really slow so it wasn't a good workout but was worth going for sure. I'd go back. Price is very reasonable too.

19 days ago

Great hike. Lots of fun. Go early it gets crowded!

hiking
19 days ago

Awesome. Very scenic hike up a mountain side.

On a busy day, it is very difficult to get parking inside the Diamond peak parking area. So we drove just outside the diamond peak gates and hovered in the small outlook parking area (there were some 10 parking stalls there) and we got a spot in about 10 minutes. We parked there and walked into the park and stated out hike after filling up the water bottles inside in the water fountain.

The hike up is very pleasant since it is very gradual for the most part. Towards the very end , there are indeed some steep flight of stairs (like 2 sets of 100 steps each). And at the very end there is a narrow round staircase that leads to a military lookout style bunker area that you can climb out. Once you climb out, there is an awesome view of honolulu downtown and the seashore.

hiking
20 days ago

Very congested with people of all ages and different groups stopping on the trail and some people even run the route! But it’s an awesome hike and was my first hike! Beautiful sites!

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