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One of the most recognizable landmarks on Oahu is Diamond Head. Visible from an airplane and most of Waikiki, Diamond Head has been used in movies and international television commercials for many years as “the” iconic mage of Oahu. It is one of my favorite spots as on clear days you can see the island of Molokai and whales during their migration. It is a must-do on a visit to the island of Oahu. The views looking down from Diamond Head are amazing and well worth the many steps to the top.
Diamond Head is actually an extinct volcanic crater. It is a lasting remnant of a volcanic explosion that occurred approximately 500,000 years ago. Ancient Hawaiians called it “Leahi.” However what we know as “Diamond Head” can be traced to the 1800s, when British sailors mistakenly thought there were diamonds lodged in the crater’s soil. The “diamonds” turned out to be crystals embedded in the lava rock.
A popular activity for both tourists and residents is to head up the well worn paths to the 760-foot summit. It is a moderate hike taking about 90-minutes roundtrip. I would encourage you to go early as there is no shade on the trail. Important to note, there are many steps and stairs on this journey.
Rest assured this volcano is safe as it has been extinct for at least 150,000 years. So grab your camera and enjoy the hike up to the top to one of Oahu’s most defining features.