Diamond Head (Le'ahi) Summit Trail

MODERATE 1688 reviews

Diamond Head (Le'ahi) Summit Trail is a 1.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Honolulu, 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.

hiking
2 days ago

Extremely busy hike. Make this your first stop of the day. Fairly easy hike if you’re in somewhat decent shape. Lots of uphill. Gorgeous view from the top, but just stacked with people everywhere.

hiking
rocky
4 days ago

I have a bad knee right now and I was still able to do this hike. It was a beautiful view in every direction at the top! One part of the hike had a tunnel leading to the stairs at the top of the trail.

hiking
4 days ago

Great fun trail, very busy. Easy for kids. Bring cash, costs 1 dollar per person.

hiking
5 days ago

Recommend as an easy hike for families. Took the kids up there, carried my 6 year old on my shoulders the whole way up whist the other kids managed to walk it.
Very touristy! Beautiful views from the top.

hiking
7 days ago

A great easy hike that gives you some fantastic views. Good luck on the stairs heading up to the bunker

hiking
8 days ago

Diamond Head Crater is such a nice little hike - not too strenuous and not too long. Most of the path is paved or rocky enough to get a good footing. There is very little mud or vegetation to navigate since the trail is mostly paved. If you want a good workout, you can definitely run up the stairs to break a sweat. The view of Waikiki from the top is breathtaking. I highly recommend this hike. Mahalo!

hiking
rocky
11 days ago

When they say highly trafficked, they mean highly trafficked. Came to a crawl several times so if you are into running this trail, would recommend coming really early, when they open. A nice easy hike though for young ones with beautiful views.

hiking
13 days ago

The views were amazing . Worth the climb. Some places were a bit slippery because it had rained. Just be careful. Try the Açaí bowl which you get at the pineapple store after the hike. It’s one of the perks of this hike! Happy hiking guys!

hiking
14 days ago

Easy trail for most. Elevation gain difficult for small kids and elderly. Some great resting spots. Views at the top are spectacular.

hiking
14 days ago

I would recommend going early. It gets pretty warm and crowded toward noon. It is a bit of a workout. I’m in decent shape and went up and back without stopping other than taking pictures. It took under an hour. The views are awesome. You won’t be disappointed. It’s a quick and pretty easy hike.

15 days ago

went before 10am today. parked at the park at the base of the mountain because the parking lot was full- dont forget your cash for the park entry fee. the hike itself was busy but not terrible. water is a must. beautiful views at the top, worth the crowd and multiple sets of stairs!

hiking
rocky
16 days ago

Easy hike to do. The only hard part was the steep stairs. if you are not up for the challenge of the stairs, you can opt to go to the left. once at the top, the view is spectacular. Best time to get there is right before they open as the sunrise was well worth the climb.

hiking
17 days ago

While the length of the trail is short, it is steep at the steps but you can go at your own pace . Trail is well kept

hiking
rocky
22 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

Was there today around 930a. Crowd was pretty manageable at this time, but was getting busy when we were leaving around 1030. After the first set of steep stairs and tunnel, you can go right up another set of steep stairs or left up a easier set of stairs. Both end up at the top. View of the ocean and Waikiki could not be beat.

23 days ago

Quick. Safe. Decent views.

It's steep, but if you go at your own pace it's not bad at all. It's paved, making it a good option for a day after rain if you don't want to get muddy on other hikes. It's kid friendly. If you're staying in Waikiki without a car, this hike is accessible and has decent lookouts. We walked at a slow to medium pace and were up and down in an hour, making it an easy hike to squeeze into your day. There is no coverage, as other reviews mention, but on a cloudy or cooler day it's perfect. Compared to other hikes on Oahu, though, I'd say it's average. If you only have time for one hike and are debating bt Diamondhead and something else, I'd probably choose something else.

hiking
23 days ago

It was amazing! Not so hard, but lots of stairs. It worth it! Highly recommended

23 days ago

The trail itself is not difficult. I went on a Monday non-holiday morning figuring weekday morning should be less travel. Way wrong. Way too many tourists, ill-equipped to hike the trail. Many with children as young us to and a half or three years walking many people in flip-flops walking. Some parents caring infants which is OK, but they are very slow. Trail itself is very well-maintained, and the views are very very nice.

hiking
25 days ago

Lot was full so parked at college lot on the main road near the entrance. Walk was about 3.5 mi RT from car. Relatively easy walk if in shape. Stairs at end are the toughest challenge. There are two final approaches to the summit. At least one way, go through the bunker with the spiral staircase. Cool!

hiking
25 days ago

1/26/2019-Started on the later side, around 0830, but was pleasantly surprised to find there weren’t as many people around today. (Probably a combination of inclement weather last night and being colder than usual overnight/morning.) view from the top wasn’t as nice because it was cloudy at the time but was good fun anyway.

hiking
rocky
27 days ago

Easy going up the only hard areas are the stairs. Nice views calf and thigh muscle rock hard after this one!

28 days ago

Overall, this is mostly a paved walk with nice views at the top. I would suggest this to anyone staying in the Waikiki area and looking for a close by outing that is not too strenuous; we walked from Waikiki to the top of the hill. As many mentioned, the area is packed with tourists, so early arrival is suggested.

29 days ago

My husband and I very first hike in Hawaii. we chose Diamond Head. enjoyed the views. Too busy on MLK day. Could not get a good leave.

hiking
29 days ago

Short, moderate hike! There was way too many people though. It was difficult to take pictures at the top. But the view was well worth it.

hiking
29 days ago

Highly recommend completing this trail to catch the sunrise! It is heavily trafficked and you do have to pay for parking but overall it's an enjoyable trail with great views! It's paved the entire way so it'll be easy for anyone to do, can be a little steep but there are rest stops.

walking
29 days ago

I was more annoyed at having my pace set by the 8,000 people ahead of me than I was thrilled about the views. There are better less crowded views on the island.

1 month ago

went on a Sunday it was extremely busy. nice view at the top.

absolutely stunning views of oahu at the top. wear a hat. bring water. the sun is hot and unrelenting. the pathway is paved for a little and then becomes uneven rock. i definitely would recommend it to anyone. my handicapped dad didn’t go to the summit but was able to walk up to about 700ft elevation.

hiking
1 month ago

Lots of people but well worth it with the views at the top. Plus the bunker walk through is a trip to the past.

1 month 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.

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