Dana Anne Yee, Landscape Architect, LLC.
|Project Name:||Diamond Head State Monument Loop Trail Development and Ledge Trail Improvements|
|Location:||Diamond Head,Honolulu, Hawaiʻi|
|Client:||Department of Land and Natural Resources, State of Hawaiʻi|
Our most recognized State Monument, Diamond Head also named Leʻahi - (brow of the ʻahi fish), is visited by over 3,000 visitors and kamaaina a day. Diamond Head was in dire need of improvements and a relief from the existing summit trail. Together with the State of Hawaiʻi, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and our team, under the leadership of Diane Y. Kodama and Aecom, we prepared plans for the new Loop Trail and Ledge Trail. The Loop Trail is located from the lower rest area to the bottom of the summit steps and the Ledge Trail is located from the control station to the bottom of the summit steps.
The design of the new Loop Trail and Ledge Trail improvements focused on maintaining the natural look of the crater while minimizing excavation, erosion and shadows created by the new walkways. In addition, the trail and improvements were designed to minimize maintenance and to stand the test of time to last at least 20 years.
I sketched and colored plans to show where and what the Loop Trail and Ledge Trail would look like on the slopes of Diamond Head. Meetings took place with the State, and plans were presented to supporters of Diamond Head. The new trail will not only provide a new pathway, but will also provide access to additional sweeping views and a safe passageway to the summit.
Diamond Head Crater occurred around 1.3 million years ago when the volcano that made up the Koʻolau Range erupted from beneath the ocean floor. Around 300,000 years ago, the ash and fine particles made by the water and steam as the magma met the ocean formed a rock called tuff. This tuff cone, oval in shape and formed by the winds, is named Leʻahi. The crater encompasses 350 acres and it rises to 560 feet to the summit.
Diamond Head later got its well-known name because in the 1700's Western explorers mistook the calcite crystals in the rocks for diamonds. Diamond Head was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1968.
The trail to the summit was built in 1908 as part of the U.S. Army Coastal Artillery defense system. The existing hike is .8 miles to the summit.
The new Diamond Head Loop Trail and Ledge Trail Improvements will allow visitors and Kamaainas to continue to enjoy a memorable hike and to see the spectacular views from the summit of our treasured and prominent Diamond Head State Monument.
The Diamond Head Loop Trail and Ledge Trail Improvements project was recognized by Scenic Hawai‘i for a Betty Crocker Award of Appreciation in 2012.