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Aloha! I typically hike up 1-3 times a week. Hiked three times last week. Will be hiking again this weekend on Saturday and Sunday. I have hiked most of the hikes on this island many many times! It is often windy and/or rainy but we never have issues as we always have the right gear which is supplied by me when we go. If you're looking to hike and want to link up or get some ideas of what this trail looks like feel free to reach out to me on my Instagram @mike.karas or mikekarasphotography@gmail.com. Bring plenty of water for this hike and other hikes out here in Hawaii.

I went up recently "the legal backway", it was very muddy and slippery. Crampons(spikes) recommended. I've done this hike many times. Going up this Sunday the 16th. if interested send me a message on instagram @angelo_q or email me at chicolo@hotmail.com for details. Make sure to bring plenty of water and food and maybe some layers because it can get pretty windy and wet up top.

Looking to go this weekend (12/15 or 12/16) with a friend. We are looking to meetup with someone who has done it before. DM me at @chaymckay if you’re interested

I will climb the Stairway to Heaven with some others on Saturday the 15th for the 308th time. “Haʻikū Stairs v.308”. I can’t wait! :)

My most recent post on Instagram @Hawaii_Mountain.Man.Matt gives an idea for one impactful photo angle.

5 things about stairway:

(1) It is illegal, but not unsafe.

In 70+ years there have been no falling deaths on the stairs. Compare that to 54 air rescues on diamondhead last year. By total death count, the Stairway to Heaven could be Oahu’s safest trail. (Although it still deserves caution.)

(2) Contribute to what you love.

I clean every three days on average, but it builds up fast. To make it convenient to carry trash out, bring a bag so you don’t soil your pack.

Poop: bury it or squat over a one-gallon bag, toss the wipes in, press the air out, tripple bag and pack it out like a diaper.

(3) Take it easy on the neighbors.

Most locals are friendly, but some are understandably aggressive. Blood has spilled over this hike more than once in the past year. You cannot be too careful.

(4) Plan your hike and hike your plan.

The most common Haʻikū Stairs story is:

“We went to bed at 11pm, woke up at 2am and tried to get in, but got caught by police. When we got back to the hotel we slept. We really wanted to take a picture on the stairs so we decided to go the ‘back way’. It was harder than we expected, and when we got to the top we decided we needed to take the stairs down because we would rather get the ticket than die.”

If you are considering going the legal way, choose companions who will be willing to return down the legal way also. You can easily get a ticket coming down the stairs.

Except under special circumstances, I normally do not guide the ‘back way’. There is another guide who provides equipment and coaching for that experience.

a. The ‘back way’

Legal access hours to Moanalua Valley Trail are 7am - 7pm with the same ticket as the front way if you’re caught after hours. I recommend starting right at 7am because it’s safer to not rush on the mountain. If you think you’re lost, take the only certain way out - which is to turn around. It’s easy to find yourself in a life-threatening position on the trails behind Haʻikū Stairs.

If you want to see sunrise or sunset, I recommend beginning at noon and sleeping over. The mountain is usually cold, rainy, misty and windy, so prepare accordingly. A good insulating mat is a must if you plan to spend the night.

‘Good’ hiking shoes are NOT sufficient. I recommend soft rubber ‘hiking cleats’, a GPS device, cautious confidence, and enough internal fortitude to enjoy your activity rather than merely survive it.

Ask me for detailed ‘why’s behind shoe criteria.

b. The stairs.

If you’re considering the stairs, it is important to be personally and professionally prepared for the legal exposure, and know which actions increase that risk.

The financial setback usually begins around $5,000 depending on legal fees, travel expenses, fines. If there is any impact on professional life it can be 100x that. I recommend handling this decision carefully.

Send me a message at Facebook.com/MatthewKievlan for advice there.

(5) Linger in the mountain.

People think I go for the epic view, but when we go upstairs they slowly begin to recognize their own reflection in nature. They resonate with the energetic blueprint of a place so majestic and discover new light to admire in their soul.

As we climb, energy begins to grow in us and melts our physical senses, opening us to sense spirit. We become immersed, perhaps because we have ‘stepped into’ the experience 3,922 times, as we move from civilization to heaven.

After a while at the top, our group fades into shock (in a good way) and stays that way for the rest of our journey. Like a broken record, every time I hear: “We researched it, but we could have never guessed it would be so good. ‘This’ makes it so much more than a hike.” Always with smiles; sometimes in tears.

Most visitors get to the top, take their best photos, and head back down. (I suggest studying which photo angles make the best statements before you hike.)

When you get to the top, don’t leave quickly. Lean back and enjoy the main event.

The magic begins when you settle in with comforts to look back on your work - while still in the environment of it.

We create space at the top with good scents and music to soak in the bliss of it. We write our names, revel in the story of this day, and relax on memory foam pads inside clean fuzzy jackets tasting wine paired to warm Vermont maple syrup on nutmeg French Toast.

If you start down right away, the noise of civilization dominates the fragile nuances of truth you uncovered along the way, before they have time to set into your memory.

Reflection in-space is the actual gem of the experience. Even after so many times, I haven’t gotten tired of it. Once we begin up, I’m lost on it too!


2 days ago

Great hike with lovely views at the top, sadly we didn’t get to see the views at the top looking over the other side due to being cloudy but still worth it for the views back over. Did this hike 11th December and toke us just over 3 hours in total. It was very muddy and slippy at times but manageable even when we got caught in a rain shower. At the end there is some ropes in places to help you up. There is parking for about 6/7 cars and the lovely security card will give you a card to display on your dashboard. The path was really easy to follow and we only saw 3 others doing this walk.

You will know once you reach the terminus. There will be a sign warning you not to proceed further. There will also be a small bench for one to enjoy the sweeping views, on a clear day. You should be able to see the windward side. Once you reach the FM station, there will be one more hill to climb. If it has been raining, it can get pretty slick and muddy.

Better to be over prepared.
Great hike

3 days ago

I really enjoyed this hike. I started this one in clear sky's and about a third of the way into the hike it started to rain which is not a bod thing as the rain kept me cool and helped my body regulate. This hike turned into three different trails, at the dividing point on the long portion of the trail you can take the turn to the Summit look out, this trail is over grown but is a short hike to the clearing. When you get back to the dividing point the trail to (Koolau Summit) is a lot longer and just when you think you have reached the end of the trail you have not! The final portion of the trail is hard to find (mother nature works fast) and you have to go through thick bush to get to the very end of the trail.

On my way back to I decided to do the final leg of the trails (Kaunala Trail) this trail is well marked and easy to navigate. Over all the trails offer a lot of up and down and present a few challenges. I enjoyed this hike but would like to point out a few things.

The road portion is the only easy portion of the hike, goes with out saying.
Once you are off the road the trails are easy to navigate and well marked except the two final legs.
If you tackle this one in clear sky's and on a warm day take lots of snacks and water this hike will take the energy out of you fast.
A good pair of hiking shoes/boots should be used.

If you tackle this one in the rain or after it has rained the trails get muddy fast and become very tricky to navigate as the trails get narrow in several places.

There are a lot of places along the trail, if you slip it is a long way down until you stop tumbling.

Expect to get muddy, very muddy.

I would not advise a novice to hike this one alone, even some intermediate hikers would be best advised to take someone along with them. I did not come across anyone once I turned off the road so if you get hurt on the trail you could be sitting on the trail for a long time before anyone finds you.

Rock slides are vey common, portions of the road get washed out easily and regular.

Finally there are a few places along the trails that present a few photo opportunities other wise you get to see a lot of tree top canopies, interesting trees, overhangs and a good overall view of mother nature at work.

My favorite to do with my kayaker with a Hobie mirage. Go out and bring a lunch and something to drink. Enjoy watching the birds nest.

Great, rewarding, steep hike. If you go on a partly cloudy or cloudy day you will only see mist towards the tops of the ridges and not much of a view. When you reach the set of stairs and think you’re done, you’re not. When you next think you’re done, nope, keep going. Ah, finally! You have reached the top. Just kidding another false alarm! I think the last 45 minutes up we kept thinking we MUST have reached the top as there were no other higher peaks around us. The clouds are deceiving. We plan to go back on a sunny day. A few parts with ropes but you don’t really need them to climb. I would recommend this hike

Anyone doing it tomorrow the 8th? Interest send an email taqui_8@hotmail.com

Would anyone be interested in hiking this with me? Here until the 11th and could use a trail partner for this specific outing. richardhandley@live.com

This is a great hike! The highlight of Oahu. It does get a bit dangerous at the top but as long as you have your wits about you it’s fine. It’s a bit confusing at the beginning. In the first 5 mins you get to a T junction- I took the left. You then get to a clearing where the trail disappears, to the left there is a creek (it was dry when I was there) cross that and the trail is visible again. About one hour in there is a Y junction- to the left it looks as though it is the same level and the right goes high up. I think if you go right it’s a safer option. I went left and it was amazing. You really have to be on the ball because you are walking along the ridge. If you’re scared of hikes I wouldn’t go this way. The pink ribbons only start to appear about half way through. I didn’t see a single person until I linked up with the other trail. Take lots of water and good hiking boots!
Really great hike- highly recommend!

Awesome hike. We did all three peaks and it took us 5 hours. It was very difficult but worth it. We are in our 50’s and in good shape. No parking near the trail. We have hiked Alaska, Utah, Washington and this ranks way up there with our favorite. It was a little like Hawaii’s Angeles landing.

On my last hike, my track registered 4.0 miles. Its never consistent but its not very far off. Best to take everyone else’s track distance and take the average.
A good place to run is Koko Head Rim Trail, across the road from Koko Crater Park. The area is always parch and trail wide with unobstructed views almost the entire track. Hardly anyone on weekdays. Great place to burn calories and work up a good sweat lol

I’m afraid of heights, so it was slightly challenging to get to the top of the second peak. I decided to skip the third entirely because of my fear. If you’re an avid hiker I’d give it a 6/10 difficulty the rocks made for easy stepping points up. If you’re inexperienced, proceed with caution.. climbing is fun and amazing, but you need to be careful of your footing and be aware where it is slippery. With that being said, some thoughtful hikers just put some new ropes up, I didn’t need them but they are great tools if you don’t hike much. I had a great time and the views were AMAZING! 10/10 will go back for the third peak.

This ridge hike on east Oahu shares many similiar features and views with other hikes nearby like Waahila-Olympus, Ka’au Crater, Mau’umae/Lanipo, Wailupe Ridge, Hawaii Loa Ridge, Kulepeamoa Ridge, Kuliou’ou Ridge ( both east and west), Hahaione ( there are several ways to do hike this), Kamiloiki Ridge, Mariners Ridge ( closed) and Kamehame Ridge ( need permit). You can also start from the Makapuu Lookout and hike along the Koolau Summit via the Makapuu Tom Tom trail which passes the Makapuu Puka. These are just some of the more popular ones on east Oahu.

Give about 3-3.5 hrs to complete this hike.

Really amazing views. However my GPS said the trail was 4.6 miles long, not 3.9 like this app said. We completed the trail in 2 1/2 hours but we did run the last mile or so. Definitely earns its reputation for a hard trail, especially towards the top. It’s extremely steep and a lot of stairs that are falling apart. Coming down was pretty easy and great for trail running. We went at 8:30 and we didn’t see a single person on the trail and it was really dry.


My boyfriend and I are planning on doing this hike on the 6th, but suupperrr nervous about the whole guard/police ordeal. Anyone else planning on doing the hike either the 6, or 7? Would love to have someone join us! Trying to gather as much research as possible, and I easily get super lost so that's my main concern if I go early in the morning. (illegal way) but life is too short not to see this beauty!! Email: awkventurer@gmail.com

With the amount of foot traffic, there should be some erosion prevention measures taken at the east rim side and also the section coming down to the HECO frames. Proper steps should be installed to prevent further erosion . Hikers should give this place and other fav hikes like Moanalua to Haiku and Koko Crater Stairs a break so that erosion preventive maintenance can take place.

definitely lots of mud, it helps a lot to have spikes. lots of roots, be careful with your footing, you can easily twist an ankle if you dont pay attention. watch for dog poop. you will cross a few streams. my first time, we only went to the second waterfall. it's only 5 minutes from the 1st to the 2nd waterfall, so pls continue. not much water flowing today since not much rain last night. and yes, dont forget to bring snacks!

This one was a little tough especially since I Uber there and the driver would only take me so far. But it was all worth it for the amazing views that this trail provided. I would do it again!

Challenging, fun. Some rope sections that don’t require climbing experience but some upper body strength.

12 days ago

Also known as Three Peaks. I recommend bringing a friend if going past the first peak for safety. There is rope to help descend down and to get back up the back of the second peak. Fun hike but a little dangerous past the first peak. Third peak is also difficult but is my favorite spot for pictures on this hike.

Hiked all 3 peaks dec 1. First 45/60 min was very muddy with very slippery mud. Recent rain. If you can make the 1st peak, the 2nd shouldn’t be an issue. The 3rd is extremely visually intimidating from the 2nd. If you commit to the 3rd, the first descent to it from the 2nd looks sketchy/challenging and straight up scary. The going down part is the trickiest. The actual climb up the 3rd is not as bad as it appears from the 2nd peak. If fear of heights come into play or it’s extremely windy, I’d say stop at the 1st peak. Also, this took me 5.25 hours and I did empty my bag (as did many others) to continue to the 3rd. ALSO. If you have a drone, i couldn’t launch due to mag interference on the top of all 3 peaks. I have Mavic pro and carried it the entire climb for nothing. Perhaps launch from lower altitude??? Be safe !

Fantastic and fun Hike. View at the top doesn’t disappoint.

Amazing hike this is one of the best hikes I have been on however this hike is a little muddy and don’t bring young children.

Hi! This will be my second time in Oahu and I would love to do the stairs. I'm only there a short while and would like to hike 5/4 or 5/5. Please contact me on IG if anyone is interested or could help. Thank you! @thewildmoogle

This should be a moderate/intermediate trail. Takes about 3-3.5 hrs to complete on avg.

Anyone interested in doing the trail tomorrow? It’s on my bucketlist and i really want to do it before i leave Oahu! IG: valeirg

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