May 28, 2017

Diamond Head Crater: Hawaii volcano eruptions :: hawaii state parks. oahu hikes. oahu history.

Diamond Head Crater, Oahu, Hawaii

The Diamond Head hike is possibly the most famous hiking trail in all of Hawaii.

This means there’s a good chance you are highly considering doing this trail when you get to Oahu!

And so, here is some information about Diamond Head so you can have a greater appreciation and understanding for the geologic formations that surround you when you get there!

On this page:

If you’re looking for info on hiking Diamond Head, have a look at Diamond Head Hike, and also see what to wear hiking Diamond Head.

what to wear in hawaii >> what to wear hikingwhat to wear snorkeling

And… here we go!

View from above Diamond Head Crater

Diamond Head Crater view with result of volcano eruption and a part of Hawaii history on Oahu

That hole in the middle is the crater. You can get this view for FREE when flying into Oahu!¬†Well, let’s say it’s complimentary with your plane ticket to Hawaii. ūüėČ Make sure you pick your seat well¬†on your flight to Honolulu Airport!

View from inside Diamond Head Crater

Diamond Head Crater as a result of volcano eruption, inside Diamond Head State Park in Hawaii

This picture is taken in the field next to the Diamond Head parking lot located at the start of the trail.

When you do a hike on the iconic Diamond Head Trail, you are literally walking in history!

You are hiking a crater from the result of a volcano eruption¬†that’s tens of thousands of years old.

View from the outside of Diamond Head Crater

Diamond Head Crater resulted from volcano eruption in Hawaii, view from Kapiolani Park near Waikiki

This picture is taken at Kapiolani Park which is right near Waikiki.

And this is the Diamond Head history of the volcano eruption, as told by the State of Hawaii

There was an explosive volcanic eruption on the flanks of the Ko’olau Mountains on Oahu around 30,000 years ago. During this eruption, there were large amounts of ash and fine particles that were sent into the air. As the particles settled around the center of the eruption, a crater was created.

What crater did the volcano eruption create?!

That’s right — the Diamond Head Crater!

When the ash and fine particles settled, they were cemented into rock called tuff. This means that Diamond Head is a tuff cone. Other tuff cones on Oahu from around the same time period include the Punchbowl Crater and Koko Crater. Along with the Diamond Head hike, the Koko Head hike is another good (and more strenuous!) hiking trail!

Diamond Head’s highest point is at 761 feet. It’s on the seaward rim and reflects the windblown buildup of ash at the time of the eruption.

View from the summit of Diamond Head Crater

Diamond Head Crater: Trail summit with views of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach

Erosion of the Diamond Head Crater

Since the formation of Diamond Head, the slopes of the crater have been eroded by rain, wind, and the ocean waves.

This is what gives the crater the shape that it is today.

A coral reef now helps to protect the seaward slopes of the the crater.

But intense storms with heavy rains and runoff continue to deepen the gullies on the slopes of the crater.

An estimated 100 feet has been eroded from the summit.

When you go for the summit, hike on the marked Diamond Head Trail

Part of what contributes to the erosion of Diamond Head Crater is the millions of hikers who walk through the crater each year.

As tempting as it is to go off the marked trail when you see everyone else doing it, you can help to slow the erosion by staying on the marked trail.

Diamond Head Crater trail summit. A volcano eruption that happened thousands of year's ago as a part of Hawaii's history, now suffering from erosion

Monkey see, monkey… don’t do ūüėČ

More hikes on Oahu

Explore the map of Oahu hikes to find more hiking trails in Oahu!

Diamond Head Crater: Map of Oahu hikes, Hawaii


diamond head hikewhat to wear hiking diamond head

what to wear in hawaii >> what to wear hikingwhat to wear snorkeling

Best shoes for your active vacation

Hit search at the top for any of these items to get more variety on Amazon through these affiliate links!
- Walking: These types of hiking sandals. For walking in hot weather, they are more breathable than shoes, while still giving you necessary traction on the trails. Also see these travel sandals.
- Beach: These types of beach shoes. For beach walking, wading in the water, and rocky shorelines, they can prevent cuts from hidden rocks or when bumping into coral reef.

see more:
- What to wear hiking
- What to wear snorkeling
- What to wear on a cruise formal night

Best things to pack for active travel

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