Explore Bucket List - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Bucket List Map

They recently updated the trail with actual markers. You used to be able to walkthrough the bamboo then along the reservoir. It is now fenced off. There is now clear signage marking the trail. Directing toward the gravel road which is to the right of the parking lot. You will go straight back, the trail turns and you will see an outhouse looking structure with an astronaut. You cross a concrete dam thing and then the trail heads left through a swampy bamboo area and up through the forest. It’s pretty wet. You’ll pop out at a clearing and see the fenced off area to the left. Proceed back into the forest. There’s will be a dip that looks like a muddy former stream and climb up a small bank. Where you’ll see a trail marker pointing right to the regular trail.

The fencing and the new trail must have been put up in the last month.

10 hours ago

One of my favorite hikes on Oahu. The rainforest is stunning as is the waterfall at the trailhead. Not much in the way of views until you get way up high on the ridge but this trail ticks a lot of boxes... good workout, beautiful plants and wildlife, and a waterfall at the start! Prepare for rain, drizzle, and mud as this trail is in a typically wet area of Oahu. Enjoy!

Muddy at the beginning, and a little hard to find the right trail at first but the waterfall at the top was beautiful. Definitely wear proper shoes, you will be crossing the river several times on the way up!

15 hours ago

It rains so often that the trail is slippery. The trail starts out wide and beautiful but narrow towards the end. Some areas are difficult to get up. The waterfall barely had any water coming down when I went back in October. Hopefully that will change because I was really disappointed. The thing I will remember the most is all the wonderful people. Tip- don't wear flip flops (too muddy) and use bug spray.

Very muddy at the beginning of the hike but the large waterfall made it worthwhile.

Too many tourists in flip flops struggling to get up and down made it frustrating at times. However, the vegetation and waterfall were beautiful. Definitely a great one to do if you want a short, relatively easy hike with many beautiful photo opportunities.

22 hours ago

One of my favorite. It’s a moderate hike but you can take the kiddos. Make sure you bring water with you and your camera ready to take spectacular pics!

I’ll climb the stairs Fri, Mar 23rd for the 234th time.

The most recent post on my Instagram @Hawaii_Mountain.Man.Matt will give you an idea for an impactful photo perspective.

5 things you should know about the hike:

(1) It is the safest way to reach that elevation on Oahu.

Over the last 70+ years, no one has ever died falling on the stairs*.

(2) There is a ton of trash at the top.

Bring a folded heavy-duty trash bag to help with that.

(3) No matter what, don’t go near homes!

Think: when is the last time you woke up at 3am and whispered: "Honey I think there's someone outside the house!"

Two people have recently been shot on the street by a high powered air rifle fired near the intersection of Kuneki and Makena. That was wrong of the shooter, but also not surprising.

(4) The back way is more dangerous, but worth considering.

Near the base of the stairs, there is one unmarked Honolulu Police Department vehicle roaming to catch hikers.

After the November 12th escape of killer Randall Saito from the mental facility behind the neighborhood, security is on best behavior using off-road vehicles to apprehend hikers.

On a usual morning, a roving HPD officer, a stationary guard and two roving guards secure the area.

The penalty has some variables, but here are the components:

(1) $1,000 fine
(2) Jail, no longer than 6 months. (incarnation is rare)
(3) Legal fees (a defense attorney charges $800 - $1,500 for the case)
(4) Usually 80 hours of community service.
(5) Legal fees for expungement.
(6) Visa/Immigration hurdles
(7) Impact on professional life.
(8) Return travel and accommodations to attend court, community service, etc.

The setback ranges from $3,000 for simple cases, up into the hundreds of thousands over the length of a career for military members reduced in rank, folks who lose their security clearance or a professional license, etc.

Going up the front way, as amazing as it is, is not worth playing Russian roulette with the penalty, so don’t “just risk the ticket”.

Have a plan.


‘Three routes through the bamboo forest’ would be where I’d be if I were looking to catch you. Just saying.

1 day ago

Nice beach trail, the climb was really fun and the views amazing.

Love this trail. Challenging at times but lots of nice pathed straight-aways, cool trees and plants that provide shade and epic views of the city. Basically you end up hiking in the clouds! Highly recommend but wouldn’t bring small children, I saw two families that had to turn around. It’s definitive not the easiest hike but worth the effort for the beautiful views / photographs! Good work out, too!

1 day ago

Great hike if you’re looking for something that is pretty well maintained, loaded with lush vegetation, and filming locations from Lost. Easy enough for the two of us and our two dogs. Trail gets a bit small at certain points but most hikers were polite enough to make way for others. The base of the falls was a bit crowded but after the past few weeks of steady rain it was to be expected. The rain also made the falls very active and beautiful.

Beautiful hike, super wet today. Waterfalls were amazing! Hike safe!

Aloha! I do various guided hikes with photos on Oahu. I hike often/weekly. I hiked this past week and this weekend and will be hiking this week and next weekend as well. Feel free to check out some examples of photos on my instagram @mike.karas. You can message me there or at mikekarasphotography@gmail.com

1 day ago

Great short hike with incredible views!

So much fun! Lots of much & the water was amazing! So worth it!

They did put up a gate, making it way harder to get passed, unless you’re daring. So disappointing because this was one of my favorites.

Beautiful hike to the point. The hike is along a flat, dirt road/trail, but you are exposed at all times. Remember your sunscreen and water. Enjoy!

One of the best hikes/climbs. :) In my first try I got to all three peaks thanks to the beautiful weather today. It's demending, relatively hard. It's worth the sweat and effort. Exhilarating, exciting!

The fact that this climb is verboten makes it more appealing to thrill seekers, miscreants, and those who believe no trail should be off limits and that hiking is always at your own risk. Clearly this makes it a big problem for the neighborhood and it's a shame there isn't a better resolution than posting cops and security. How much does it cost to employ the police and security? How much money is actually made off of the steep fines? How much would it cost to just gate the community? How much would it cost to build a small parking area and charge for permits? How much does it cost every time someone has to get air rescued? I'm not directly involved in these politics, hopefully Friends of Haiku Stairs can sort it out.

Upon entering Haiku Village, you will almost certainly be greeted by an unmarked police vehicle wherever you decide to park. Perhaps the officer will politely tell you that hiking here is illegal and that there have been acts of violence from the locals and vandalism to hiker's vehicles, and then tell you to be safe and respectful before driving away. Be sure that more cops continue to lurk around waiting for you to take one trespassing step.

My friend and I did not enter through the most common route, probably the second most common, and started at 8am, not 3am as so many seem to recommend. This made it much easier to find the way since we weren't familiar enough to find it in the dark. Entering with more than 2 people will greatly increase your chances of being caught, but will also give you extra hands to pick up THE INORDINATE AMOUNT OF TRASH on the way to the stairs. Normally I bring a trash bag or at least fill my pack with all the unwanted gifts left behind on a trail: no need for that here! The highway above just rains unused contractor bags to fill. This was a dream come true for us. Much of the garbage is debris from the highway (gardening tools, tires, tons of plastic sheet), but a lot is clearly from adventurous hikers who were just too tired to carry that water bottle.

We spent a couple hours filling bags and stashing them before even getting on the stairs. Sadly, there is a lot of trash on each side of the stairs that is unreachable with out some sort of telescoping prosthetic limb. Perhaps that's how the couple ended up getting air rescued the day after we hiked; they saw that Powerade bottle that someone took one sip from then decided to see what it looked like on the side of a mountain, and went for it. :/
Should an air rescue be charged to the hiker or the taxpayer? Hmm...

Expect many people at the top, mostly those who went the legal way. 2 hours on actual stairs to get to the top, less then one down, and then 2 more hours of picking up trash on the way out. Some strangers who hiked the legal way asked us to show them the illegal way out, which we said was a no, and we'd be busy picking up trash anyway. They were extremely excited to pick up trash, so then it was a yes, hired. It was disappointing to only have collected over 3 full contractor bags each weighing about 40 pounds, but it's all we could carry. Navigating muddy sliding hills, bamboo forest, thick brush, complex root systems, trenches and fences while carrying a backpack and giant bags of trash felt like a training scene from a martial arts flick.

Altogether thoroughly satisfied with the little we could do in one day to help keep all the fine human made stuff we produce from ending up in the ocean, even if it's a losing battle. The stairs were just OK.

Tired of the monotony of getting dirty and having near death experiences trying to reach some jaw dropping view? This peaceful and beautiful walk through the woods can help break that up. Sadly there was not as much garbage to pick up as I'm used to, until detouring over to the 'Ualaka'a loop, where people seem to find it a more suitable environment to leave their trash behind. Say hello to the cats and chickens living in harmony in the parking lot.

While there might be hordes of people on this trail during the weekend, it is still gorgeous and fun. Tourist confusion on where to go after the entrance can also be entertaining. To the right of the parking lot is a human size hole in the fence that leads down a gravel road which is a more direct path than what is shown on the map. Or you can zig zag through the bamboo and jump a fence or two.

The plus side of the heavy traffic is the large amount of garbage to collect along the trail, very rewarding.

If it's raining or wet, think twice about going around the crater ridge unless you have cleats and rope. Mildly treacherous mud climbing and sliding will ensue. A light amount of rain had all of the falls raging, making the third one impossible to cross the standard way, instead requiring dangerous and fun mountain goat gymnastics up both sides to make it to the top. At that point you can go left to find the exit route, or go right and try to hurt yourself. Results after 6 hours: bruised, cut, sore, mud covered, smiling.

As always, please continue leaving as much of your trash on the trail as possible, it gives me great satisfaction to collect it.

Fairly easy hike up. It was a little muddy and a bit slippery but still fairly easy. The waterfall at the end it was amazing I spent 20 minutes taking a cold bath in the pool beneath the waterfall. Only reason this is not five star review is because it was extremely crowded probably saw close to 100 people on the trail with the majority of them congregated at the waterfall

4 days ago

It’s an easy hike but definitely busy and slippery. Wear proper shoes.

4 days ago

It’s a beautiful hike! The waterfall is gorgeous and the stream can be heard throughout the hike!

However, it’s muddy and can be very slippery so wear good shoes!

4 days ago

Easy hike and spectacular view!!!

we went through the back end of the stairs, the legal way on 2/26/18.. it rained on us, it was windy and muddy.. definitely hard and challenging...but rewarding once you make it to the top...not for beginners.. be prepared for a long hike with a little rope climbing... thanks @mike.karas on IG for hooking it up with guidance on how to get there, spikes for our shoes and gloves.. I highly recommend going through him if you've never been there

We were here today with our 4 and 6 year old Girls and it was hard. For hiking the trail with kids i‘d like to recommend the age of the kids with 6 or older. The waterfall was much fun.

Awesome views! It took me 2.5 hours to finish the hike but I stopped to take pictures along the way. Make sure if you bring your dog they don’t slip down the edge. Most of the time there’s a steep cliff on one of your sides. I parked at the bottom of the gate and walked up to the starting point then when I finished I had a shorter walk down to my car.

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