sunrise photo
Sunrise colors at Diamond Head
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Please see the Copyright Information at the bottom of the page.

Other than some historical photos, most of the photos on this site were taken by myself. These pictures were taken over a period of several years using different cameras, so they can vary in quality. Not to mention that I'm not any kind of professional photographer.

Most of the sections are organized as a Photo Gallery and the section name is a link that will take you to a thumbnail page, then you can choose a photo, or start with the first one and work your way through the whole group using the Previous, Index and Next links above the photos. There is some information in a text section below most photos. The Home link at the top of each photo gallery Index page will bring you back here.

There is also an Information section that consists of links to PDF files which show the information posters in the Park.

The Hawaii State Civil Defense Department was kind enough to give me some information that they are working on about the military history of the park. They also allowed me into some areas that are not generally accessible to the public to take some photos. I've combined that with photos and information from other places and created a Military History page. I've still got to get it all organized and proofed but as of September 5, 2009 I hope to have it up on the site within a few days.

Lower trail. This group of photos is of the entrance to the crater and the lower half of the trail, up to the first set of stairs. Updated September 08, 2009, there are 34 photos.
Upper trail, stairs and tunnels. This group of photos is of the second half of the trail, which consists of a set of stairs, a tunnel and another longer set of stairs. After that it goes into the lowest level of the observation station, starting with another short tunnel, then some spiral stairs. From there you go out through the 3rd of 4 levels, climb out through an observation slit, along a narrow trail, up a final short set of stairs and you're on top. So it's mostly stairs. Lots of them. There are 2 thumbnail index pages and a total of 55 photos here as of September 5, 2009.
View. These photos are of the view from the top, including some pictures of the top area itself. There are no photos here yet.
Sunrise Photos. Most of these photos were taken in April 2008, usually from the top of the peak but some were taken along the trail. It's not always possible to make it to the top by sunrise, depending on the time of year and whether the gate opens a few minutes early. See FAQ answer 16 for a way to determine sunrise and sunset times. In April 2008 there was an eruption going on on the Big Island and it produced a lot of particulates that resulted in severe Vog over Oahu. For some of the photos the sun isn't even visible until it's well above the horizon. You can't get to the top in time for sunrise most of year now, the gate is never opened early anymore. There are 3 thumbnail index pages and a total of 83 photos.
Historical. These are some old photos that I've come across in different places.There are no photos here yet
Screen shots taken from a Civil Defense film produced by NBC Television Network in cooperation with The Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization. It was made sometime after Governor Quinn took office in 1957 as an appointee of the President and before Statehood in 1959. It's titled "No Time To Lose" and narrated by Hugh Cronyn. I probably saw this film in school at the time. Most of the film talks about emergency preparations, by the government and by citizens, and what would happen in the event of a nuclear attack or other disaster. But part of that deals with the facilities in the crater, so that's what's included here. The quality of the copy of the original film that I have isn't very good, and the screen captures are similar in quality.
Information. There are some posters on the Visitors Booth at the start of the trail and on a three sided sign along the trail just beyond the restrooms. There's some interesting information about the crater and the hike, and they're worth reading. The DLNR Division of State Parks doesn't have digital copies of the posters, so I took pictures of them and created PDF files from the photos. The PDF files are only about 1/4 the size of the photos. By enlarging them on your screen you should be able to read almost all of the text and see most of the pictures pretty clearly. The originals are better of course, so you should look at them while you're there. Hopefully I'll be able to get better copies someday. These items were created by and are the property of the Division of State Parks. There are 9 files which average about 1/2 MB:
  • Welcome to Lē'ahi has a brief history of the crater and it's name.
  • View from Waikīkī includes the history of the Waikīkī area.
  • Creating a crater describes the geological history of the crater.
  • Birds of the crater lists the birds you're most likely to see in the crater. A couple of native birds are listed, but you're unlikely to see them.
  • Dry Landscape talks about the plants and environment in the crater.
  • Are you ready for the climb describes the trail conditions and what to expect. Although it talks about needing a flashlight, that's no longer true,. the tunnel is dimly lit and there are lights on the interior spiral stairs.
  • Hike into history is a brief description of how the Fire Control Station and trails were built.
  • Defending Honolulu explains some of the military history of the area.
  • Ready Aim, Fire explains how the Fire Control Station was intended to be used to locate enemy ships and direct gun batteries to fire on them.
If anyone has photos they'd like to share I'll try to put them up. I'm especially interested in any old photos that people might have. Use the email address at the bottom of the page. Let me know what kind of credit you'd like for the photos and whether or not you'd like me to watermark them. I'd prefer photos of the trail and scenery, but if there's people in them that's OK as long as there's something of interest to everyone.

Unless specifically identified otherwise, all material on this site, including photographs, is Copyright Use of the photos is allowed at no charge except for commercial purposes, but the watermark must be retained, and credit must be given to If you're interested in commercial use, please use the contact address at the bottom of the page.

The majority of photos and other material on the site are my own, but there is some material created by others and used with their permission. The original source of a few items is unknown. If you see anything on the site that is not OK, please let me know, and provide enough details for verification, then I'll remove them.

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Content Updated Sep 8, 2009
Minor update Sep 5, 2009