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

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hiking
12 minutes ago

You'll have to scramble across a few streams along the way, but there's a waterfall at the end!

hiking
53 minutes ago

Hiking with friends. A little bit of water along the way. I really enjoyed the hike. Good workout. A lot of rock climbing

The best way to go is ride a bike to the trail head hike to the to the water fall and back and then it’s nothing but a down hill ride back to the parking lot.

hiking
17 hours ago

My favorite route to the summit of Mt. San Jacinto. Short, but steep. Great views.

Nice hike, really get a workout in with some of the elevation.

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.

If you park all the way down the hill at the campsite, then walk through the site, the sign from the campsite says that the falls are only 0.5 miles away, making the whole trip from your car and to the falls and back a flat, short, hike of just a little over 1 mile. We went on a Wednesday afternoon and only ran into a few other hikers as well as had the falls to ourselves. I liked how there were pamphlets on the local birds available to take from the info board in the parking lot. We saw the last of the fall color, some squirrels, and beautiful, clear, water since it had rained a week prior. If you’d like a short hike and are okay with crossing some streams, this little hike is very beautiful and time well spent.

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.

**Question**
Sorry not a review, but do you need actually permit to do this trail? Can any resent hikers comment on this?
Thanks.

This trail is so much fun, you have to climb over stones but it's not super difficult.

not really a good trail for taking a photo..

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

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

Love this trail so much. Unfortunate there's so much graffiti. Looking to start a cleanup group to get rid of the graffiti/trash if anyone's interested...

Beautiful hike today. Be prepared for the cold from now until late spring. I could've used another layer of clothes and gloves.

Just did my second hike here and this is a great trail. After all the rain it made for beautiful scenery the whole hike. campgrounds are well maintained.

a lot of people

Ew.

You’ll enjoy this hike if you like hikes that are completely overcrowded, not in nature, behind peoples houses, stepping over hundreds of dog shits that didnt get picked up, annoying / crying kids, no elevation gain, people playing music from their phones and mini speakers, watching people slowly struggle over a creek 2 inches deep holding their babies or small dogs lol, etc.

Avoid at all costs

Awesome hike. If you go with snow on the ground make sure to wear spikes. The switch backs up to the saddle can get slippery.

Solid workout! I was trying to find out if the trail was okay (not too soggy) after the rains and I can report they are in great shape. There are some loose pebbles, stones, rocks as you come down the trail if you start on trail going clockwise at starting point. All and all? Great workout and nice views. Had a tour of at least 40 people to pass. That was an all time first! Haha! All good tho!

Phone read 4.00 miles in 1:00:40 with 596 ft elevation gain, and I hung out at the falls for 10-15 minutes. Extremely mild hike other than a couple water crossings and a “steep” section near the falls. Falls were great a couple days after a hard rain.

hiking
7 days ago

Incredible trail, not too crowded and great photo ops if you are into that, especially if you aren’t afraid to adventure.

hiking
7 days ago

Great day hike with my young Cub Scout

When recording, it says the trail goes much farther. As the canyon narrows it gets to a point where you are unable to hike any further due to fallen tree, brush and large rocks. (roughly about three miles in) We did make it to a small waterfall, but a tree had fallen on top of it. I am not too sure how people went any further than that point.

good trail. Took my dog and all went well. Hiked up to where you start climbing over some rocks to get the waterfall, but decided to turn back after a family said there wasn't any water. hopefully that changes soon, definitely want to come back when there is water

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

Favorite hike in southern CA so far

good trail and nice waterfall, not my favourite hike, but its a good one.

hiking
11 days ago

We had two hours spare before brunch so quickly shot up here for a hike. You cannot bring your dog unfortunately, however, for a busy hike, everyone was friendly and the views are quite good for such a short city hike.

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