Secrets of Diamond Head: A History and Trail Guide

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University of Hawaiʻi Press
Denby Fawcett
Softcover, 116 pp.

Many people know about Hawaii’s volcanic crater, Diamond Head, but very few are aware of the crater’s colorful past. After Diamond Head burst from the shore of Oahu in a series of steam explosions, the crater sat silent for hundreds of thousands of years, before becoming a backdrop to some of the most famous moments in Hawaii’s history. Author Denby Fawcett s definitive book breathes life into the iconic but silent landmark, which some geologists consider the most perfect example of a volcanic tuff cone in the world. Secrets of Diamond Head traces the life of the crater from its birth to its use by hikers and the military today.

The book includes a complete trail guide as well as information on the ancient Hawaiians who erected five religious temples on the slopes of the crater known as Leahi. The modern history of the volcanic cone is just as fascinating, featuring everything from rock concerts to an on-going battle between community activists fighting to preserve the crater’s wild beauty and developers wanting to commercialize its open spaces. After reading Secrets of Diamond Head, you will never look at this geologic wonder in the same way.
107 illustrations