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I typically hike up 1-3 times a week for almost 3 years now. Went up 5 times in the last 11 days. Had an awesome time going up today! I will be going again this Thursday, Friday, and this upcoming weekend. 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 and gloves) which are 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.

Hiked January 2019,
This was a great trail. It started off a little sketchy just because you have to enter the trail in the back of government property complete with construction workers and warning signs telling you not to enter. There are probably a number of ways to reach the top, but I’m sure if you follow the actual river coming from the water fall you won’t miss it.
It’s pretty dog friendly and off of the beaten path so it makes good for a cool evening stroll.

hiking
muddy
15 hours ago

I would say this is tougher than the rating but only due to the fact I carried about 30+ extra pounds on my back (baby+carrier). The “waterfall” wasn’t anything really worth the trip today but the view overall is amazing. The hike was up and down challenging and was a good workout overall. I’m sure there’s more of a waterfall when there’s more rain but not on a day like today.

I went up on Saturday. it's been pretty clear up top the last few times I went. I have done this hike many times. If you want to avoid getting fined/arrested I will be going up this weekend this legal backway. I have some clean up to do up there.
In my opinion going up the stairs all the way gets boring, the backway is more of an adventure and there are better views. It can get pretty muddy and windy. Crampons(spikes) recommended, I do have some spare spikes.
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.

Completed this hike 3 days ago with my mom! So proud of us.

This is not an easy hike! Several older hikers had to turn back. AllTrails has a tendency to underestimate the hikes. The falls at the top are tall but not too much water. It’s not Yosemite falls. You’re not suppose to go in the small pool at the bottom of the falls. Lots of steps to the top make it strenuous. When it’s flat then it’s easy. Very slippery and muddy because the trail is in shadow.

worth it! not anyone there with us when we got there. mostly up hill but super easy

Beautiful scenery! We all loved this hike! The light mist was refreshing!

Gorgeous hike got lost at the top of the crater. Don’t if you don’t want to go all the way around once you get to the top hang a left of the creek before the crater and it will take you back down.

This was a really great hike very worth it for the views at the top. It is definitely no joke, especially if you complete the crater and don’t take the shortcut after the third waterfall.

birding
2 days ago

Great hiking but watch out for the off-road vehicles. Look for whales on hike. Albatross nests at point and monk seals on beach.

I will climb the Stairway to Heaven with some others tomorrow, January 13th, for the 317th time. “Haʻikū Stairs v. 317” - 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

hiking
3 days ago

A good distance. I did get dirty but it was well worth it...the area is pretty. The weather was amazing and the elevation isn’t bad at all; almost flat compared to other hikes I’ve complained.

I took my 10, 9, and 5-year olds on this hike and they managed better than I did! It has some great views during the first half, and then gets quite steep as you descend to the pools. Lots of folks were jumping off and doing pull-ups on the ropes that cross the water - it was fun to watch. It was very dry the day we hiked, which meant that the steep parts (hard-packed dirt) were extremely slick. We fell on our butts a few times, just due to skidding out. I will say I saw a few people hiking barefoot, or with Crocs - would not recommend that. It took us almost three hours RT, but that was with some snack breaks, and lots of time at the bottom of the trail to watch the jumpers. It was fairly busy on a Saturday, but not obnoxious -- and definitely not as crowded as Manoa falls. Don't be tricked by the first 0.8 miles -- really easy and fun. Then it gets quite steep... Definitely try it wth kiddos - they will like it a lot (if you continue tossing in the breaks for granola bars and fruit snacks!).

Great hike! A little muddy in certain spots but good steady incline and loop.

Aloha!... Planning on hiking this trail tomorrow...
I see a few other people are also going to be on the trail. Hit me up on instagram @pushing_further if your keen to link up

Short, sweet, side hike. Saw humpback whales. Lovely views and easy path.

Aloha! Planning on doing this hike on Sunday!
If anyone wants to join - dm @vikanilsen on insta :)

Spectacular hike! I loved every minute of it. The views are breathtaking and the silence was golden. I was the only person in site for 90% of the hike.

hiking
no shade
4 days ago

Love this hike.

I first reached the summit with my wife on our wedding anniversary.

I did it on New Year's day with my friend and my son. We only went halfway.

This past Saturday i did it with my friends and we tried to be there at Sunrise! Well worth it

Hey there!
I have planned to do this hike the legal way on 14th Jan (as early start time as I can muster). I have not done this hike before and am looking for a buddy to go up with. DM me on IG @deevsingh to suss it out.
Kia ora!

I went up on Saturday. it's been pretty clear up top the last few times I went. I have done this hike many times. If you want to avoid getting fined/arrested I will be going up tomorrow Saturday the 12th this legal backway.
In my opinion going up the stairs all the way gets boring, the backway is more of an adventure and there are better views. It can get pretty muddy and windy. Crampons(spikes) recommended.
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.

Anybody planning to hike this trail between the dates of Jan 24-28 and dont mind me tagging along??? Pls hit me up :) ig @dhnmrk

trail running
5 days ago

Steep climb on an old train track. Great workout with very rewarding views

Awesome views! Some slippery spots, wear your climbing shoes/boots!

Amazing view at the top! It’s a steep climb! Enjoy!

Went right after Christmas cause my friend said there was a Christmas tree up there. Finally made it up the damn stairs and sure enough, there was a Christmas tree. The trail up is hard but manageable, some of the steps where there are no rails are almost half my height (im short so yes its possible) and where very hard climbing over. There are alot of people closer to the afternoon so it will get crowded and not everyone is nice for those that go slower. But the view.... wow the views are so worth it. The way down, made it beyond HARD though. I hope in the future they do what Colorado did for their incline and add a separate trail for those going down so they don't have to crowd the narrow rails anymore. All in all, loved the view but not enough to do this again unless tricked into it lol

I went up on Saturday. it's been pretty clear up top the last few times I went. I have done this hike many times. If you want to avoid getting fined/arrested I will be going up this Saturday the 12th this legal backway.
In my opinion going up the stairs all the way gets boring, the backway is more of an adventure and there are better views. It can get pretty muddy and windy. Crampons(spikes) recommended.
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

The hike is really hard and sometimes dangerous, but it’s so worth it! It gets very crowded byt the afternoon so it’s better to go in the morning.

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