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Hawaii Map

Incredible!! Only did the first two miles to beach, full of gorgeous views the whole way. You can continue up to a waterfall an additional 1.8 miles from the beach. Any further along the trial and you need a permit to continue. We reached the parking lot at 830 and there was plenty of room in the farther second lot, but this fills up fast and people start parking along the road. Bathrooms at the trailhead and the beach at 2 miles. Several stream crossings but able to stay dry with balancing. Recommend hiking shoes or waterproof hiking sandals with straps, though saw plenty doing it in sneakers. Nice to get out early but also be sure to catch some views post noon on the way back, as the light changes and water turns a beautiful azure blue.

My family and I had an amazing experience. It is kid and dog friendly and as well very easy to make it up with a stroller. I recommend this trail to all age groups .

1 day ago

Throw some extra weight in your backpack for a good time. It’ll be worth it.

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!

Yes absolutely should you rent a bike, and I command you to rent it from Stretch, the gentle giant with plush spirit animals tied to his bikes for half the price of the competitors. No, you do not need no stinking map, it will be obvious where to go, there's smoke. You will want to mark the location of your bike on your map though, as you'll be hiking back to it in pitch darkness, unless there's something wrong with you and you don't want to see lava in the dark. You want to see it in the dark. From the bike ditch point we hiked about 2 miles to the north east towards the slopes, there was no flow into the ocean that day. After your hike at dusk over crispity crunchy newly formed earth, you will come upon an the active area, active with lava and active with people. At this point you will start to notice many people freaking out as they realize their feet are burning. This should alarm you, especially if you're wearing Converse Chuck Taylor's (humanity's greatest hiking shoe), as you soon become aware that your feet are practically on fire because you just ran right up to lava and locked eyes with it, unable to look away. There is a simple trick: Move to a cooler rock. Yes, there are cool rocks right next to the hot ones, they are typically the ones that don't look like there's a BBQ underneath them. Another trick for not dying: try to stay upwind of the lava. Death tends to occur when one is standing near the lava, it begins to rain, and POOF! a beautiful hot cloud of sulfurous death envelopes you! Now that's what I call fun. Certainly someone has died trying to cook a hot dog over the stuff. Some people deserve it, hot dogs are bad news. Be sure to have fresh batteries in your headlamp, the hike back to your bike will take longer since you're not racing towards sexy magma in the daylight, you're stumbling around in the dark and giggling. Stretch had already closed up by the time we got back, but we ran into him the next day and he was thankful we put the bikes away under the tarp. What a guy. Thank you Stretch. Thank you Pele.

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.

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

3 days ago

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

I’ll climb the stairs again Sat, Mar 17th for the 233st time.

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

4 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. Both times the projectile broke the skin. 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”.

3 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!

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

3 days ago

This was amazing.. if you go deep and explore the caves you get the full experience. Bring a headlamp and hiking boots..you will get wet

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

loved this hike! It took me a bit but the view was amazing!!!

Great trail, lots of tourists though.

We were a mixed crew of experience but Jeramiah our guide coaxed is along and it was spectacular. Our 32 year old son- in - law said it was the hardest hike he’s ever done but worth the 10 hour flight from NYC.

This hike was gorgeous at the top with beautiful views of water and Waikiki. The only negative thing I could say is that this hike was definitely harder than other people have described. I am a runner and in great shape and this isn’t a walk in the park. I saw people in flip flops and Sandals and I was shocked. There are a lot of crowds and I would definitely recommend coming early.

Neat hike through island rain forest and down into an inactive volcano's crater. According to the NPS, the volcano last erupted in 1959 sending lava 1900 feet into the air. Incredible to consider all the plant life that has grown in around the rim of the crater considering what must have been left after such a violent irruption. The rainforest along the rim was lush and green which was an amazing contrast to what you find in the crater once you descend in. It was like walking through an asphalt paved valley, complete with steam as if parts of the asphalt were freshly laid! Also amazing was the plant life that has begun to grow through the lava to begin reclaiming the crater floor. We hiked this on a day when the air quality was rated as unhealthy for sensitive groups, but felt no effects. Bring water, as it does get hot on the crater floor. The descent and ascent back out of the crater are a good workout. We also through on the Lava Tubes at the tail end of the hike before returning to the parking lot where we parked the rental car. Great hike!

Very cool hike

Very easy hike with beautiful scenery. I went on a Monday when it was pouring which made it not so crowded.

The trek up to the towers is paved and easy. If you choose to continue the loop it will get fairly technical. At times the trail fades. Use your app to stay ion track and have fun. Beautiful views of the bay, ocean and Koko Head Trail.

This is a legit hump. Prepare to get your heart rate up! Enjoy the views.

Great fairly easy hike. Closer to 4 Miles making the whole loop. I advise taking the recommended path starting with the long side of the crater rim on top. Awesome flora and fauna along the way, and the descent into the crater is steeper that way than the ascent will be in the other end. Plus, you will end up close to the entrance of Thurston Lava Tube which is just under 0.5 mile lava tube you can walk through.

on Koko Head Crater Trail

6 days ago

Hard, but worth it !

6 days ago

Let me add some details. When people say get there early, 8:15 on a Sunday morning is not early (when we got there). The parking lot was full, several buses were parked and the place was jammed. We went back out and parked across the street from the entrance at the Community College Park lot. Easy walk in from there. For the actual hike, you basically queue up and march up the path/stairs. During the hike up and down you are single file because people are going both directions constantly. In the 1.5 miles up and down we probably passed 500 people? 1000? Just a lot of people. I prefer hikes where miles covered+dogs seen > number of people seen so this wasn’t for me. Still gave it three stars for the views and the fact that the queue actually moved at a decent speed. My wife also recommends using the bathrooms at the community college park as well since the bathrooms inside Diamond Head had lines out the door.

My wife and I hiked this and it was a great view from the top. It is relatively busy hike with numerous tourists, but worth it for the view.

One of the best hikes I have been on. Most of the reviews and you tube videos are pretty misleading about the dangers. Crawlers ledge is not a big deal. At no point did I feel like I was in much danger. Yeah if you fall it would be bad but honestly by the time you get there (mile 7, 8 or 9 not sure) you have pretty well been tested. Just keep your eyes on the trail as you go and stop walking if you want to look around. The river crossings were not a big deal either. I know that can change but just do what the signs say. If it’s really muddy and fast looking don’t cross. If the river is moving rocks (you would hear) don’t cross. I feel like people make a big deal about that stuff more to seem extreme or daring than to warn people. No body wants to see anyone get hurt. Be smart but don’t let the dangers stop you from going. It is an extremely rewarding experience. It would be even more so if you were scared of those things and did it anyway. The thing that surprised me about the hike was how hard it was. I have done some 20 to 25 mile days before so we thought about doing it in one day but decided we wanted to camp at the beach. Good thing to because by the time we got there we were ready to call it. I don’t know if it was the humidity or the constant up and down but it was a hard 11 miles. I saw some people recommended staying at the camp at six miles. If you have 3 or 4 days and your worried about the difficulty that’s probably a good idea. Take two weeks if you need to. It would be worth it.

The place is certainly historic and an icon for the area, but it's not a trail I'd hike again with anyone given the number of tourists that frequent the area. Recommend any diamond head crater seekers to gauge the number of buses in the area before committing to the hike.

The views are great and would have been better with a sunrise but cloud cover didn't allow. Also, wear good shoes, lots of uneven terrain and stairs.

7 days ago

A very easy and relaxing hike.

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