Hawai'i

March 24 - 31, 2007



Diamond Head State Monument
When British sailors first saw this prominent landmark while exploring the coast of Oahu in the late 1700's, they saw brilliant crystals sparkling on its slopes in the sunshine, causing them to believe they had found diamonds. What they had actually found, was the cinder cone of an extinct volcano and the crystals were calcite (not diamonds), but the name stuck.

The Hawaiian name for this landmark is Le'ahi, meaning "brow of the tuna," because its profile resembles that of the tuna's distinctly shaped forehead.
Diamond Head Lighthouse
From the summit, Diamond Head Lighthouse can be seen down below adjacent to the magnificent, turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean. The present tower was built in 1917 and stands 55 feet tall.

Landmark Designation
In 1968 Diamond Head was designated a National Natural Landmark and today is a popular tourist destination for visitors to the island. The hiking trail covers .8 miles to the summit and takes approximately 1 hour each way.


Military History
An ideal site for coastal defenses, Diamond Head was purchased by the U.S. government in 1904 and designated for military use. Gun emplacements were built and an entry tunnel was dug through the north wall of the cone.