Explore February 2016 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

February 2016 Map
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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 Saturday or Sunday. 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.

I went up recently, it was very muddy and slippery. Crampons(spikes) recommended. I've done this hike many times. Going up Saturday or Sunday. 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.

Hey anyone planning on doing this tomorrow? Me and my sister are in town and wanting to do this. Message me on Instagram Rlzachary

This hike is amazing and will test you! I’m a ex football player currently in the military. I would like to see them replace some of the ropes that are used to climb some of the steeper inclines. For example, some of the ropes were too thin to grab without cutting the circulation out of my hand. However where the ropes are that thin. You might not even need to use them, depending on your shape and physical ability. I will suggest getting the spikes for your shoes. If not you will slip all over the ridges, some areas are challenging due the the wind, amount of space to maneuver, and mud. There also multiple streams that you will have to cross that you will not be able to avoid getting your shoes wet. Suggest bringing an extra pair of socks and shoes. Other than that the panoramic view was defiantly something to write home about. Bring a jacket if your an islander and acclimated to the tropical environment. I was cold after I stopped moving at the top but hikers from colder environments were shirtless. I will suggest this hike to everyone, but go with someone who has been, if you are looking to go anytime soon just shoot me a comment on this thread.

hiking
13 hours ago

This trail was very beautiful. Lots of breathtaking views and it is not a hard hike. The trail can be really muddy so bring shoes you don't mind getting dirty.

Nice paved road up to the top with excellent views!

I will climb the Haʻikū Stairs, aka Stairway to Heaven, this week for the 300th time. It will be a special anniversary climb. I’m stoked!

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

I will climb the Haʻikū Stairs, aka Stairway to Heaven, this week for the 300th time. It will be a special anniversary climb. I’m stoked!

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

New to hiking??? Know this rule. When hiking down and you see a hiker coming up, stop and give right of way. That hiker coming up is not looking up but looking down at his footing where to step. That person will not know your heading down until your a few steps away, unless your one of those hikers who has a boom box speaker disrupting the peaceful natural nature sounds. When in Hawaii, LIVE ALOHA!!

I will climb the Haʻikū Stairs, aka Stairway to Heaven, this week for the 300th time. It will be a special anniversary climb. I’m stoked!

A little compare and contrast:

Kokohead Crater Trail carries more of an in-moment thigh burn than the Haʻikū Stairs, partly because the hand railing on the stairs enable you to disperse the work between arms and legs.

The post-hike soreness between the two hikes is about the same.

If you were able to walk (rather than crawl) across the ‘bridge’ on Kokohead, then you are prepared to enjoy the sense of elevation on the Haʻikū Stairs.

Kokohead is more dry, the stairs are more lush.

Kokohead is a great high, but second to the Stairway to Heaven.

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.)

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

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

great undergrowth and tropical forest views, not many vista views

hiking
22 hours ago

NEW ROPES!!!
Just did this hike yesterday with my wife and friend. We hiked out around 0400 to make it for sunrise at the 1st peak. You have to walk through the gate to the golf course which may or may not be locked depending on the time. There may or may not be a guard as well. Not to worry as they will pass you through and tell you the trail is about a 1/4 mile up off to the left. You can’t miss the sign. Made it faster than we thought hiking in the dark. We made it in about an hour, so we waited for sunrise for awhile and made some coffee with my jet boil during sunrise. Clear night with a cool breeze so it made it an awesome time. Views were spectacular at night. Did this hike a few times already but always during the day. My goal was to replace the sketchy ropes and straps that were their on the 2nd peak. You will now find that there is a 3k lb tow strap connected by heavy duty steel D rings attached to 500 lb synthetic yellow rope with anchor points every 1.5 ft. on the rope. It’s 200ft of rope and gets you exactly to the bottom of the 2nd peak. 3rd peak didn’t really need any ropes to be replaced. There are two stopping points going down the 2nd peak. You will notice these points. It’s basically where some of the old ropes ended or tied off. I caution everyone going down one at a time due to break limits on ropes. You can stop and yell up for the next person to come down at each of the stop points. You can’t miss it. You can’t miss the bright yellow rope as well. I tried to make it a bit safer so I hope everyone enjoys.

anyone in today or tomorrow for the stairs? would be a pleasure for me and my wife to join. hit me up on insta: made86made.
cheers marc

hiking
1 day ago

ABSOLUTELY STUNNING VIEWS!
The beginning of the hike was muddy but very mild. Maybe a third of the way up, the hike got quite a bit steeper but was still relatively easy. The top third of the hike has a bit of rock climbing with ropes to help you get up. You’ll know you’re near the top once you are climbing the spine, where you see cliffs straight down on both sides of you.
Once you reach the top, you’ll see the most absolutely stunning views of Oahu. 100 percent worth it! Leave yourself enough time to get down before sunset or you’ll be doing some rock climbing in the dark!

Did the stairs today, not the back way but straight up and down the stairs. The views every step up got better and better! I've done this one a few times and it is definitely one of the best hikes on the island! . If anyone has questions about the hike message me IG at Mdod89 or Snap mdogp1989.
Mike

Very tough but good workout. Bring water!
Rail ties are worn out throughout trail so have a good balance coming down.

Aloha,
My friend and I are planning to walk up the backway tomorrow, anybody interested in joining us? Instagram: anna_helenaa

Beautiful trail, reasonably interesting and moderately challenging (any trail I can hike in my swimsuit is not hard...). Would give it 5 but it was somewhat crowded with teens playing music loud enough you couldn’t ignore it (bah I’m old and want to hear the nature)

Aloha! I will be hiking tomorrow/Tuesday and possibly Thursday as well. I typically hike up 1-3 times a week. Went 3 times last week. I have hiked most of the hikes on this island many many times! I have probably done this particular hike more than anyone else on island. (over 100+ times) It is often windy and/or rainy but we never have issues as we always have the right gear (including microspikes) 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.

Aloha! I will be hiking tomorrow/Tuesday and possibly Thursday as well. I typically hike up 1-3 times a week. Went last week 3 times. 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.

Looking to hike this way on Thursday 11/15/18 if anyone else is interested. Feel free to reach out at robynavila1@yahoo.com

Great hike and beautiful views!

Taking the legal route this morning around 7-7:30 am after I get off from work. I have tried the back route twice and it is unbelievably easy to get lost but I believe I finally trial and errored the correct path this time around. I always come accross groups that just turned around because they couldn’t figure out the right path to the stairs. I will also be going on the stairs then returning back through the legal route. It is probably too late but email justindavidsands@gmail.com if you are interested.

Taking the route this morning around 7-7:30 am after I get off from work. I have tried the back route twice and it is unbelievably easy to get lost but I believe I finally trial and errored the correct path this time around. I always come accross groups that just turned around because they couldn’t figure out the right path to the stairs. I will also be going on the stairs then returned back through the legal route. is probably too late but email justindavidsands@gmail.com if you are interested.

Anyone going up the stairs In the next 3 days?

Amazing views! Great for all ability levels, including stroller pushing, dog walking, and baby carrying people.

hiking
3 days ago

It was my first ever hike. Two days ago. Still paying for it:) It was marked pretty well, and incredibly beautiful. Oh ya, and definitely don’t go after a rain. It gets pretty slippery and super muddy.

11/10/2018-Started around 0800 and came across 4 groups of hikers (total of about 16 people). We managed to find a stall in the parking lot and finally got to see the streams after a good rain! So awesome! It was drizzling most of the time and only came down a little harder for a few minutes of our trek out.

Trail was a lot of fun. It took me about 3 hours with some stoppage for breaks and pictures! The first mile and a half was pretty standard although expect a lot of incline walking. Once you reach the staircases you’ve got about .75 miles left but it’s mainly uphill from there.

This was my first time hiking this trail and I really didn’t expect to literally be climbing up the side of a mountain. It was a pretty dry day and on the way up I was definitely glad that I had worn hiking boots (a bit of grip) cloud cover came in so it started to rain on my way down and my boots were a godsend!

My husband and I hiked the stairs "the illegal front side" this last jan. 2018, but due to us leaving home on an early flight we were not able to finish the hike. This jan is our anniversary and we're coming back to conquer the stairs. If anyone else is going up this coming jan. we would love to join more ppl going up!

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