Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area is a 384-acre park located approximately 12 miles from Waikiki. Keawa Heiau is located at the park entry. Continue along the paved park road to the campgrounds, picnic areas, and trailhead for the 'Aiea Loop Trail. Groves of Norfolk pines and eucalyptus trees create a forest recreation environment on the hills above the town of 'Aiea and Pearl Harbor. A resident caretaker near the front gate should be contacted in the event of emergencies.
Some of this is reiterating other reviews, but hoping I can help just a couple people!
The first few miles are super easy, just a straight shot to the trail. Right around 3 miles we got to rocks and thought we went too far, but you just have to go up and around the left bank which brings you back to the trail. Once you go around the rocks, a few minutes more and you come to the flash flood/kulana'ahane trail signs. You can't miss the signs! The trail to haiku stairs is right after those signs on the left, there was a pink tie for it.
The first couple miles of the ridge trail is deceivingly easy. We went on a questionable weathered day after rain and it still wasn't too muddy. But then it got pretty sketchy. Very muddy, windy and cloudy for the last ridge. I'm in pretty good shape and I had a couple of minutes of panic wondering what we got ourselves into. A couple of the ropes are tied on to roots that look like they're on their way out.
I spent $5 on gloves at Walmart for the ropes and they were worth every penny. I would also recommend wearing pants, we got a little cut up.
We had every intention of going back down the way we came but we ended up going down the stairs because we chose to risk getting caught over the risk of dying on the ridge. The stairs were a hundred times safer, truly only one spot that was washed out. At the bottom we just got off the stairs to the right to avoid the guard and didn't have any issues. You can hike down a little bit then follow the service road into a neighborhood.
Overall, definitely worth it. The views are unreal!