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hiking
5 hours ago

Left for the trail at about 11 AM right after it rained, then had to pay 5 dollars upfront to enter the trailhead and there was still plenty of parking space available. Because it had just recently rained there was lots of mud which made the rocks we were climbing on slippery. The hike itself was about an hour of steady hiking with a beautiful waterfall at the end.

My fiancé and I just completed this climb. We loved it. The trail is marked pretty well, which was a huge plus. The trail starts out easy; a mix between paved, gravel and dirt. Then comes a more muddy section. After that you come to a point with an arrow and H painted in green on a rock. At this point the trail will level up in difficulty. The trail is marked with pink ribbons. When you come to a tree with two pick ribbons on it you’ll notice the left trail has a dramatic increase in incline. At this point you’ve reached the final and most difficult portion of the climb. 70 degree incline with ropes, mud and drop offs if you lose your balance. The path is incredibly narrow as you are literally following a ridge to the top; on most of this route you can’t even put your feet side by side. At the top you’ll see a sign that tells you it’s the end of trail with one of the most amazing views. Definitely a hard climb but the pay off is worth it. Never seen a view like that in my life.

I will climb the Haʻikū Stairs, aka Stairway to Heaven, Saturday, July 21st for the 274rd time.

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

5 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!"

Most neighbors are friendly, but some are aggressive and even violent. Tourist blood has spilled in the neighborhood more than once in the past year.

(4) The back way is less safe, but worth considering.

A ticket on the stairs is common and the judges have gotten tired of the case. The charge is Second Degree Criminal Trespass with these components:

(1) $1,000 fine
(1) Three dates, each about two months apart at the Kaneohe Courthouse
(2) Jail, no longer than 6 months. (incarnation is rare, averaging 1.6 out of 100 tickets)
(3) Legal fees (a defense attorney charges $800 - $1,500 for the case)
(4) Usually 60 hours of community service.
(5) Legal fees for expungement after some years of a clean record.
(6) Visa/Immigration hurdles.
(7) Impact on professional life.
(8) Return travel and accommodations to attend court, community service, etc.

The financial setback ranges from $3,000 for an average local, up into the hundreds of thousands over the length of a career for military members reduced in rank, professional licenses affected, working visas denied, etc.

Public record shows hundreds of tickets a month, but I suppose everyone standing in court started their morning hike knowing they had done the research.

There are techniques, but to be fair, everything posted online is a bit comical.

Two tips:
⁃ The guard is usually friendly and does not have the power to give anyone a ticket.
⁃ The police have internet also and are good at what they do all day every day.

(5) This is the real Hawai’i!

When I go, I approach peacefully and respectfully.

As we climb we are immersed, perhaps because we step “into” the experience 3,922 times. The activity melts our physical senses, and opens us to sense spirit. We rise from civilization to magic.

At the top, we savor hot foods and reflect for a couple hours in comfort, allowing the memory of the feeling to become part of us before the senses of civilization erase the nuances of that raw truth from our attention.

People think I go for the epic view, but along the way they recognize their own reflection in nature. They discover that they share an energetic blueprint with a land so majestic and find new appreciation for the landscape of their own soul.

They find that they climbed a mountain to see themselves in new light, so that the sunrise was the second, third or forth best part of the day.

They alway say: “I had no idea it was going to be this good.” Always with smiles, sometimes in tears.

I might skip a week or go twice a day, but even after so many times, once I start I’m lost on it again.

Aloha
@Hawaii_Mountain.Man.Matt

hiking
12 hours ago

My wife and I enjoyed this hike. Our shoes got a bit muddy. I tried hard to keep them clean and dry. One slipped into the creek and got wet. It was our first hike in Hawaii and I felt like i really got a feel for the tropical terrain. The falls were beautiful.

hiking
21 hours ago

Great hike. Pay attention to the weather. Bring lots of water and some snacks. I wore running shoes and they worked just fine. Be safe!

Nice hike but way too many people on small trail.

Aloha! I will be hiking almost every day this week and this weekend too! Had an awesome time hiking this past weekend and last week as well. 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 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.

Went with a group of friends, loved the hike..... but definitely not for the faint of heart. This is the most difficult hike I have done on island, and I feel it the next day. Do it when it isn’t raining

Hey everyone I just completed this hike today on the legal side with my brother in law and one of my best friends. And let me tell you I still got to see everything I wanted to see on this hike and it was well worth it...overall the trails weren’t to bad however... there is a lot of climbing up I would recommend bringing gloves as well as a lot of water and of course food. For the most part the trails were pretty clear today a few muddy spots but overall nothing to crazy. I definitely recommend this hike if you’re looking for a once in a lifetime view as well as challenging yourself. And if you don’t want a fine the legal way is the best way to go! - Michael

Enjoyable, Easy, and worth it at the end!

hiking
1 day ago

Incredible! The biodiversity as you move up the steep mountainside is spectacular. It’s my favorite hike to date!

Great hike and challenging. What makes it hard is the steep decline with the muddy wet areas. However retiring was faster, but more strenuous due to using leg muscles allot. The water fall was great and there are cliffs where you can jump into the pond.

I would describe this as a muddy obstacle course.
Nice little waterfall and swimming hole at the end and pretty creek that runs along side part of the trail which you must cross a few times. Not really hard in terms of steepness but it is very muddy and slippery with some rocky and uneven ground to cross. We did find out as we were leaving that the road you enter on is an easier 3 mile hike up through the forest to a different area but is not as challenging.

hiking
2 days ago

Did this last week, great hike, awesome pictures.

Great hike. Second waterfall is the best. You’ll be in the clouds around the crater depending on time of day. Great views.
5.4 miles, 3 hours without a pack or water, minimal stopping and some light jogging. Wear Trail running/water shoes with good grip as it’s extremely muddy, slippery, and you will have to cross the stream multiple times.
This hike is not for beginners. If you don’t have the upper body strength to use a rope to help pull yourself up a steep incline...steer clear. You’ll have to hike up the third waterfall to get to the ridge around the crater. It uses ropes almost all the way up. Those who take 6 hours have a full pack and are walking the trail slowly.
If you’re tracking your movement on All Trails you will not get lost.

hiking
2 days ago

The beginning of this trail doesn’t not start where the directions take you. Park on Auloa Rd, walk 0.85 miles to the actual start of the trail. Go along the interstate towards the royal Hawaiian golf course, the beginning of the trail is about 0.5 miles pass the guard shack. Overall the hike is a great work out however there is a good bit of rock climbing in order to get to the peaks! Some are literally a straight climb up the side of rocks, very thankful for the lovely souls who incorporated the ropes! This hike is not for everyone, depending on your mobility you may be limited to how far you can go. Views are great but if you can go out a clear day they will be even better!

Great hike. Easy for the first few miles. Then an immediate uphill climb up the finger of the mountain. You get to the top and then walk along the ridge to get to the stairs. Very challenging. Bring food and water. Very stretchy going back down the mountain. Overall solid adventure. You will be smoked at the end of this hike.

Plan on attempting this on Tuesday morning July 17. If anyone cares to join hit me up at dleible@satx.rr.com.

Excellent hike. A great workout and the view are crazy. If you fear heights, don’t go all the way up.

way to many people!!!

unique in that you are hiking down to a waterfall. moderately steep decline over many roots but there are plenty of ropes and trees you can hold to help you down(and back up).there's only one part that opens up for a view but mostly it's thru narrow paths with alot of tree cover and mud. we ran into a hunting party with 6 dogs who just killed a boar. pretty awesome. don't forget to bring a swimsuit to swim at the waterfall.

3 days ago

Pretty easy hike with a waterfall at the end as a reward. Went early before the lot attendant arrived, but we still had to pay upon leaving. Go early as the parking lot was full by 9am.

The trailhead is to the right of the lookout behind the yellow chain link fence and sign that says “no trail”. The majority of the hike is pretty steep and has the potential to be dangerous if you make a mistake. I would recommend having a little bit of climbing experience as both the first and second notch require somewhat difficult climbs. Amazing views though, definitely worth the hike!

Beautiful and so worth it. The most crowded times is early morning/noon, later on gets a bit better. Fun for everyone, would suggest to wear safe shoes since it’s gets muddy/slippery places. For a tourists, I would suggest this waterfall as a must to visit what doesn’t take a lot of effort but are so beautiful.

Muddy, slippery but overall easy hike. Took us two hours with all the pictures. All the warnings about bacteria in the water is true and serious, think twice before you step in the water or consider to swim.

One of my favorite waterfall hikes on the island! Make sure you wear water shoes or sandals, there will be multiple times that you have to pass through a stream and it is difficult not to get wet. At the end of the trail, the waterfall is quite beautiful! I’ve noticed that compared to other times of the year, the summer is a lot more crowded. Try hiking up the first waterfall to find the moss slides and an even more private falls! Cheers!

5 days ago

Dangerous hike with a huge payoff. Cliffs are steep, the trail has about 7 rope sections with the last one being the most difficult. All of that is to the first peak, didn’t go to the second or third. See other reviews for that. The words from people who have “the views aren’t any better and it just gets more dangerous”.

This is a hard hike!! Very very muddy and slippery. Before I went (7/9/18) I read comments and thought I was prepared. But it is muddy from start to finish. While hiking around the rim I had quite a few close calls with slipping and nearly falling off the ridge. You really need to give yourself time to take it slowly. I would recommend starting this hike no later than noon. My boyfriend and I started at 11:35 am and didn’t get done until 6 pm. We are in fairly good shape, but can get turned around a few times. Sometimes the bright pink or orange markers are not very clear. Keep your eyes peeled for them, near the ground tied around a tree or within eye level. I hiked the legal way to stairway a few weeks ago and thought that was much easier than this hike. Not positive if I will be doing this hike again or recommending it, especially not to people from out of state.

the trail splits at the very beginning giving you the option to go down or stay up. I would recommend going down then take the top on the way back. I went with my 15, 10 and 8 yr olds. it was a little challenging because the trail was slippery but we made it!

Yes, a great hike. Must park off the golf course road and walk one half mile to trailhead. If you’re a regular hiker and in good condition with plenty of mobility, you should be ok. If you find it challenging during the first half of the hike, the second half may be too hard. Regarding the ropes and the rock scrambles, it will depend on your physical ability and mindset. This is a mostly shady hike, so good if you had too much sun the day before. Early morning would be the best time if temperature is an issue for you. As a 61 year old regular hiker with good mobility, this hike became a challenge in places. But the top was worth it. Kind of fun to see the sightseeing helicopters flying past at a lower elevation. If you’re realistic on your abilities I highly recommend this hike.

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