Diamond Head: Lei Around Le’ahi Scenic Byway
- DesignationState Byway (2013)
- Length5.3 miles
This byway encircles the Diamond Head Crater. Historically the 760-foot tuff crater was called “Le'ahi” (brow of the tuna) due to the shape of the rim. It was renamed “Diamond Head” by 19th century British sailors who thought they’d found diamonds on the crater slopes. Alas, it was only calcite crystals that had no value, only shine. In the early 1900’s Diamond Head was used a defensive lookout because of the sweeping views of Waikiki and the south shore of O’ahu. At one time, visitors could drive into the crater, but local efforts to save its fragile soils and endangered plant species have led to developing outside parking and entrances for shuttles and pedestrians only. The panoramic views from inside have not changed and visitors still enjoy looking at the Diamond Head Lighthouse and for whales swimming in the Pacific Ocean.
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