Diamond Head

War Ruins in East Oahu

Diamond Head

Diamond Head Diamond Head

• Fort Ruger
• Commander's Station
• Battery Harlow

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⌈Fort Ruger⌋

Fort Ruger Fort Ruger Diamond Head here is famous as a landmark on Oahu island. From Waikiki beach You can see its characteristic shape known to Hawaians as "Le ahi" meaning tuna's brow. (←)

Diamond Head was made by an eruption about 300 thousand years ago. The 350 acre crater is surrounded by the outer rim where northeasterly wind had blown volcanic ash at the eruption and made southwest part the highest. (→)

Fort Ruger Fort Ruger It was named Diamond Head by a western explorer in the late 18th century who mistook calcite on the crater wall for diamond.

The outer rim is composed of tuff from the volcanic ash, and erosion have made this specific scenery. The site was registered at National Natural Landmark. (←)

There is a mountain trail to its peak. (→)

Fort Ruger Fort Ruger Diamond Head was acquired by U.S. Army in 1904 to construct some facilities for Fort Ruger. The trail for tourists now was originally constructed as a military road leading to Commander's Station. (←)

The tunnel through rock is also a part of "Fort Ruger". (→)

Fort Ruger Fort Ruger The part of the trail is now open to the pablic for sightseeing. (←)(→)

It takes about one hour for adults to get to the peak from the beginning of the trail by walk. The trail is about 1400 yard and at the end of the trail the hight from the crater is 570 ft. The trail is equipped with handrails for turists. However, there are many difficult pass such as narrow passages, steep slopes, and craggy places.

Fort Ruger Fort Ruger You should wear shoes not sandals, and prepare a hat and water to prevent yourself from getting heatstroke. Easy thinking may cause injury and also cause trouble for other people.

At the end of the trail there is a observantry on the peak. (←)

You can overlook southeast Oahu island and buildings in Waikiki form the peak 770 ft high which is suitable position to defend the coast. (→)

<Way to ⌈Fort Ruger⌋>

Fort Ruger is left on Daiamond Head located in southeast Oahu island. It's just next to downtown Waikiki where you can see the specific shape. Take The Bus Route 22, 23, or 24 from Waikiki to the bus stop following the stop in front of University of Hawaii Kapiolani Community College. (Lower left) Depend on where you get bus, for example it takes 10-15 minutes from around Honolulu Zoo in east Waikiki. Route 22 is operated except on every Tuesday. A bus driver may announce the stop to passengers because it's famous spot.

Fort Ruger Fort Ruger

Proceed the paved road to the outer rim for 5 minute, and you will see the road curving to the right. There is Kahala tunnel just after the curve. A observantry is also there.

The crater is accsessible through Kahala tunnel underneath the outer rim, which was also constructed as a part of Fort Ruger. The tunnel is available for cars and also walkers. However, be careful in passing the dark and narrow tube.

Fort Ruger Fort Ruger

Walk for ten minute after passing the tunnel (Lower right), and you will get to the reception for the park near a parking area. An entrance fee is one doller. You had better go restroom here, because no restroom is available on the mountain trail. Also a vending machine is available here.

The bus stop bound for Waikiki is on the opposite and left side of the bus stop where you got off. Don't cross the road except on a crosswalk.

⌈Commander's Station⌋

Commander's Station Commander's Station Commander's Station in Fort Ruger is left on the peak of southwest of Diamond Head. (←)

The fort started being constructed in 1908. The rock at the peak was hollowed to set up Commander's Station with four floors.

Shutters used to cover the concrete observation windows. You can see buildings in Waikiki behind them. (→)

Commander's Station Commander's Station The site was camouflaged with rock and concrete not to be found by ships from the sea. (←)

Stands for observation devices are left on the third floor from the bottom where the observer directed Battery Harlow constructed in northern outer rim. (→)

In combat the commander on the fourth floor presided over each battery overall. The fourth floor isn't open to the public.

Commander's Station Commander's Station At the peak there is the obsevation post, which is accessible through the the third floor. (←)

The structure of this Commander's Station is depicted on the explanation board at the observantry. According to the board, Battery Randolph in Fort DeRussy in Waikiki was directed from the first and second floor. (→)

Commander's Station Commander's Station A winch and cables were placed on the observantry on the way to Commander's Station to pull up suplies from the crater to the peak. The cables were removed, but the winch is left here. You can see the whole crater from here. (←)

All steps and tunnels on the trail used to be prepared for military use. (→)

Commander's Station Commander's Station There are two long staircase on the trail. Second one has 99 steps and is sandwitched by concrete walls on both sides. There are cross bars over the steps instead of a roof to cover the passage with camouflage net. (←)

The first floor of the command post is connected to the staircase directly. The third floor is connected to the first floor with the spiral staircase with 52 steps. Be careful not to fall from dark and narrow steps. (→)

<Way to ⌈Commander's Station⌋>

Commander's Station is left on the peak (773 ft high) on the southwest of the outer rim. Follow the trail to the peak, you would never lost your way. The trail begins at the park on the center of the crater. Refer to "Way to ⌈Fort Ruger⌋" for the way to the park. Pay one doller for an entrance fee at the reception on the park. The former portion of the trail is relatively enough flat and wide to walk on easily. While the trail go through the outer rim, it suddenly change to a steep, narrow, and rugged road. Be carefull not to stray from the trail because the field is owned by military and rocks might fall from the cliff.

Commander's Station Commander's Station

The observantry with the winch is located after passing the winding passage on the outer rim. The first staircase with 74 steps is following the observantry. (Lower left) The tunnel on the top of the staircase curves to the left halfway. It's dark and narrow inside.

The second staircase with 99 setps is followed by the tunnel. There is the second observantry on its left side.

Commander's Station Commander's Station

Just after passing the second staircase, you see the tunnel with a concrete wall, which is the first floor of Commander's Station. Go straight from here, you can reach the spiral staircase with 52 steps. The third floor is on the top of the spiral staircase.

You can go outside through the observation window. There is the way with staircase to the observation post on the peak.

⌈Battery Harlow⌋

Battery Harlow Battery Harlow Battery Harlow left on the northern edge of the outer rim was constructed in 1910 to defend the coast in the process of establishing Fort Ruger. (Fig.1) (←)

It looks open to the public before, but it's enclosed with fences to prevent someone from entering inside. (Fig.2) (→)

Battery Harlow Battery Harlow The battery was consisted of two gun platforms surrounded on three side by rampart shaped like "E", which is same layout as Battery Hasbrouck in Fort Kamehameha left in Hickam Air Base. Each gun platform has four gun emplacements for mortars. Eight 12-inch mortars were mounted on the battery in all. (←)

Because direct view to the sea isn't available, the direction was given by Commander's Station. (Fig.3) (→)

Battery Harlow Battery Harlow The command post or barracks are on and inside the rampart. (Fig.3) (←)

Motars on this battery are aiming toward the sea over the outer rim in the picture taken in 1930. Such firing without direct view is called "indirect fire" which has advantage over ships where the battery can't be seen. The batteries around Diamond Head including Battery Harlow had never participated in battle until they were abandoned in 1950. (→)

<Way to ⌈Battery Harlow⌋>

Battery Harlow Battery Harlow

It is located on the northern edge of outer rim.

Take bus route 22, 23, or 24 from Waikiki to the bus stop in front of University of Hawaii Kapiolani Community College. Route 22 isn't operated on every Tuesday.

The battery can be seen across the road from Hawaii Kapiolani Community College. (Lower left)

Battery Harlow Battery Harlow

The stop is located just before the stop nearest to Diamond Head Crater Park. It takes 5 minutes to get a stop from anoter by walk.

The battery is enclosed with fances at present. It's a restricted area.

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