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Love this place! Can’t wait to go back!

Great hike! Hard, but that’s why we do it. I’ve used this hike twice to train for Mt. Whitney.

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!

Aloha,
@Hawaii_Mountain.Man.Matt

Hiked on Saturday 12/8. The packed snow in the paved parts of the trail near the parking slots are pretty slick, and microspikes are recommended.

Aloha! I typically hike up 1-3 times a week. Hiked three times last week. Will be going again this Wednesday and this weekend Dec 15/16. Possibly other weekdays too. 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.

Camped here over the weekend. Some Ladders were broken and were missing rungs. Today as we were packing up and leaving we saw another group bringing in brand new ladders to replace the broken ones. I want to say Thank You to that group for making sure others enjoy this spot. #NotAllHeroesWearCapes

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 either 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

really like this hike, just to get out of the house for a couple of hours

hiking
2 days ago

It was an easy hike, and most of the way to the falls is a paved road. It was a great short hike with kids (5 & 10 year olds). The path to the falls is a bit sketchy. This trail also connects to more trails on Mount Baldy, if you want you can continue up the paved road past the turnout for the falls. There is a campground near the trailhead and a large parking lot with a pit toilet. You need an adventure pass to park and can't buy it at the lot. (I think they're available at the ranger station down the hill.)

Just hiked this trial this weekend. ALL snow. 24” of fresh powder made the summit impossible for our team. Setup for the night at High Camp. Great hike. Cold at 24°. Well worth the experience. Will come back for the summit soon.

Not closed. Great trail. We went left to head towards the ropes. It’s very narrow in spots and not good for someone who is claustrophobic. But worth it if you like an adventure. We hiked the ridge and looped around to the ladders. We did 6 miles.

hiking
2 days ago

Easy hike with very cool petroglyphs. Great view of the valley on one side and the red cliffs on the other.

it's a nice long trek. it isn't really that hard just long.

Moderate activity on a Sunday morning. I took the loop counter clockwise, which had a great elevation gain at the beginning on the Crystal Springs trail. The Dean Trail is a bit more rolling. Got within 20 feet of a buck feeding by accident - the wildlife is very used to humans. Potential signs of bear or larger animals toward the back end. Really cool. Only reason it did not get 5 stars is the huge section of Dean along roads and parking lots. I WILL do this one again!

Loved coming here! so beautiful! a trip with remembering for a long time! it was a bit chilly when I went there, but I had a warm jacket on, so that took care of it.... make sure to bundle up when going on a cold day. it was packed, but we found some parking! so picturesque! a must go. it's practically nothing to go up to the bridge, but still wear good shoes. Have fun!

Easy paved trail with a gradual incline. Lots of loose gravel by the path (0.3mi) to the waterfall. Trail has a really nice waterfall at the end. Well maintained, I didn't see much trash on the trail.

Always a fun family hike and enjoy the beautiful views!

Everything is good to go. The last 1.8 ish miles in is a little soft but it’s beautiful

hiking
4 days ago

Great day hike with my young Cub Scout

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

Ladder Canyon is open, as is Painted Canyon, it is possible to do the full loop. There is one ladder missing in Ladder Canyon but there is a rope there. I was just through there a couple of days ago. Painted Canyon Rd is also open but it is very soft towards the end, 2WD cars were parked alongside the road. 4x4 were OK.

The problem with the road isn't deep ruts but very loose sand.

Box Canyon Road is officially closed just past the Painted Canyon Rd, however as was said below you can go through with a 4x4, or dual sport motorcycle. The "road" has soft, loose sand in many places. It is often easier to just drive on the hard packed wash.

on Multnomah Falls Trail

5 days ago

Nice easy walk and a beautiful waterfall! Was pretty busy there even on a weekday in late November. Definitely recommend going early to miss the crowds

Heading back today to check it out. Box canyon is apparently closed but painted canyon remains open. We love this place to much not to try and make it in. I’m bringing a shovel to try and flatten out any deep ruts from the rain.

I’ll keep this updated today.

I finally completed the 6 pack of Peaks. This hike is freaking hard. We left at 6:05 am and finished at 4:30 PM. Spent less than 15 minutes at the top for photos. 1st mile after you cross dry river bed is a killer. The last couple miles the same, killer. I did this hike about a month ago. All snow now I'm guessing. Mt Whitney next August!

The upper cave offers some cool scrambling opportunities on boulder piles. The amount of feces that looked and tasted like it came from a human was disheartening but not a bad trail otherwise.

Where or where do I even begin... Firstly, regardless of what's written here or everyone else who spoke their minds... let me tell you how this trail led to me and my wife almost dying. It all started when we found the semi trail, I say semi because let's face it, it was barely a trail to begin with. Dead leaves and trees everywhere, making it almost impossible to know if you're going the right way or not, and making it hard to keep going. Now this next part I will admit is more our fault than the trails and I should have known better being an avid hiker, but needless to say, I was feeling adventurous and thought, let's do it. As a quick side note, I don't know how so many people took pictures of this "Lewis Falls" but there isn't any waterfall at the end of this hell road, just lots of rocks. As we get far enough, mind you we got there pretty late, it was roughly 3:45pm, we decide to hike up the steep incline, thinking if we get a better view we'll find it or at least get to a road or path. That was a grave mistake. As we climb our way up, on our hands and knees, not looking down for fear of our lives, the sun starts to set. We finally make it to the top and it was not what we were expecting. A bunch of small trees with thorns and branches everywhere making it really hard to get through. Not a path, and not a way to see anything aside from the city which seemed like was one thousand miles away. As we brawl our way through the thick brush, getting scratched up and cutting our pants and hands and legs, there was even a branch that hit my left eye which was very bad. My contact broke without me realizing and it was excruciatingly painful. We reach the semi top and find a spot were there were less of those thorned bastards, and decided to wait it out til morning where we will make our dangerous ascent back down. It was cold, we were running out of food and water, and my eye and arms and legs were throbbing as were my wife's as well. The night seemed to drag on forever as the sun refused to come up and while she was able to sleep for a few hours I stayed very much awake in case of any animal noises that were too close. I kept looking out at the city of Azusa and was determined that this will not be the night my flame gets extinguished. Time had never gone so slow in my life and my appreciation for being surrounded by people and buildings began to increase steadily. Now, I'm sure many people go camping and to them it's not a big deal, to stay in the mountains over night, but with little resources and no fire, and the thought and possibility of not safely returning home, it was very rough, and I know that many people have been stranded before, and so I can now be a part of that statistic. As cars were passing far away we signaled with our flashlights and screamed HELP, but no one stopped. We realized we were on our own. Somehow my wife managed to get a signal and we called 911. We told them where we were and just before the decision was made to get a helicopter, her signal faded and the call was lost. The sun finally slowly manages to peak through the horizon my body made movements before I could even think. I was breaking branches and clearing a path for us so we can get through without damaging ourselves more. We make it to the edge and start to slowly but carefully slide down. As we reach close to the bottom we hear voices and it was the Search and Rescue Team. We tell them we are fine and are coming down. They inform us to stay where we are and a helicopter is coming. I was worried it would be an expensive ride so I encouraged my wife to keep slowly sliding so we can avoid it. We got to the bottom just as the helicopter arrived and we skipped the ride. We talked with the rescue team, two really great guys who I was as happy to see as any of my close friends. We walked back with them and there were police cars and twenty people waiting for us. I was so thankful and grateful to see them all and apologized for causing alarm and panic and for calling them to begin with since we were able to get back on our own. It was one hell of an experience, one which neither my wife nor me will ever forget, and we have pictures and videos to prove it in case you think I made this all up. But alas, we are home, safe and sound, with cuts and bruises and splinters everywhere, ruined and torn clothes and holes in our boots but still alive. A little wiser now and with a new appreciation for living in a tiny apartment and being surrounded by people. One star because we are still in pain, and it was rough, but really this was a story which we will have for the rest of our lives and a chance to prove, we were able to overcome the obstacles and survive.

Most exhilarating hike ever!

Any updates on the road and trail conditions of the Ladders? Is it still washed out?

By far a gem of a hike. Even post burn.

hiking
7 days ago

Best and most exciting hike I’ve ever done! Loved the challenge - we had our baby strapped to us (she loved it) - hiking up the iron rungs was a lot of fun.. if you’re scared of heights I wouldn’t recommend!

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