Diamond Head State Park – Waikiki
In 1906, Fort Ruger was established in and around the Diamond Head crater and charged with the defense of the harbor of Honolulu as part of the US Army Coastal Artillery defense system. With it’s prominent location, several posts and observation stations were built into the outer slopes of Le’ahi Peak so observers could triangulate targets and aim artillery and mortar fire from Batteries Randolph and Dudley at Fort DeRussy in Waikiki and Battery Harlow at Fort Rutger. Defensive preparations were made, but no artillery was ever fired during a war.
Diamond Head is one of Oahu’s most visible landmarks and with an easy 0.8 mile (1.3 km) trail leading to the abandoned observation stations on the peak of Le’ahi, it’s also one of the most popular tourist attractions (soooooo many people!) with phenomenal views of downtown Honolulu and Waikiki.
- Trail is 0.8 miles (1.3km) one-way
- 560 foot ascent
- There are 3 steep stairways. Tthe first with 74 steps, the second with 99 steps, and the third (less steep) with 54 steps
- Documentation and rangers said to allow for one (1) hour each way. If you do any sort of hiking, it won’t take you that long. (We did it in under 1 hour, round-trip.)
- The trail goes through a very narrow 225 ft long tunnel
- It is a state monument so it is only open during certain hours (6 am – 6 pm in Oct 2016). It is apparently possible to get locked in…