Beginning in December 2012 Hawaii’s Thousand Friends joined the Diamond Head State Monument Foundation, the O‘ahu Island Park Conservancy, Scenic Hawai`i and The Outdoor Circle in co-sponsoring a scenic byway around Diamond Head. The Diamond Head Scenic Byway is guided by the National and Hawai‘i Scenic Byways Programs, which recognize unique roads possessing significant scenic views and important natural, historic, cultural, archaeological, and recreational resources.
Diamond Head was designated a State Historic Monument in 1965 and a National Natural Landmark in 1968. The State’s designation of the Diamond Head Scenic Byway is a welcome opportunity to officially recognize Diamond Head’s valued scenic, historical and cultural features and areas along the historic roadways that encircle Diamond Head crater, and to educate our residents and visitors about their significance through a unique and largely pedestrian experience.
The State presently has three official scenic byways on Hawai`i Island, including the “Royal Footsteps” along the Kona Coast, Mamalahoa Kona Heritage Corridor and the Kau Scenic Byway. There is also one scenic byway on Kauai, the Holo Holo Keloa Scenic Byway. This is the first scenic byway on O`ahu.
Diamond Head Scenic Byway was designated by the state Department Of Transportation in 2013.
Diamond Head Scenic Byway
The Lei Around Le`ahi
"Recognizing the historic scenic route around Diamond Head and designating it as a State byway is a wonderful opportunity to further acknowledge Diamond Head as the scenic icon that it is known to be around the world."
-- Donna Wong, HTF Executive Director
Dynamic Views from Diamond Head Crater Summit
Leahi (Diamond Head) Crater interior, with East Honolulu neighborhoods on the slopes of the Ko‘olau mountains to Koko Head beyond.
Diamond Head Crater Summit looking NW toward Kapiolani Park, Waikiki, and Honolulu.
“The Diamond Head Scenic Byway will help highlight the natural beauty, cultural treasures and rich history of this most famous Hawai`i landmark. The Outdoor Circle has long advocated for the protection and beautification of Diamond Head and we wholeheartedly support the effort to achieve this proud designation.”
-- Bob Loy, Director of Environmental Programs for The Outdoor Circle
“The scenic area surrounding Diamond Head is a unique pedestrian experience that possesses all of the qualifying values for the Hawai‘i Scenic Byway designation. The Scenic Byway program will help inform and educate residents and visitors alike about the unique qualities of this historic area, while complimenting and continuing to protect Diamond Head as a treasured public asset.”
-- Michelle Spalding Matson, Diamond Head State Monument Foundation Scenic Byway Committee chair
Constructing Fort Ruger on the northern exterior of Diamond Head crater, circa 1909. Battery Harlow is being constructed on the slope of the crater. Hawai‘i State Archives