Explore Hiking Oahu - 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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Will anyone be doing the hike tomorrow, 9/24? I know it’s last minute but I’d love a buddy. I have a great camera and I’m a skilled photographer who can take pictures of you! Dm me on Instagram @davidinaustralia

hiking
1 day ago

Wow we only did the first peak but it was so worth it. My wife decided NOT to do the vertical climb, which was a good decision as she would probably not been able to get down or the shear ridge part. I would have continued if I had more water and she was on top of the first peak. Bring LOTS of water, I had 2 litres and ran out at the end. There is some good parking beside the bus stop. Do not park anywhere that says no parking or on the sidewalk across from the bus shelter as you will get towed or a ticket. Thankfully some locals gave us the heads up.

Aloha! I will be hiking this weekend and possibly during the week. We went the last two days and it was amazing out! I have went 13 times the last three weeks. 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. 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.

I will climb the Haʻikū Stairs, aka Stairway to Heaven, this week for the 288th time.

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

6 things about stairway:

(1) It is the safest way to reach the summit. People die every day falling downstairs at home, but in 70+ years no one has died falling on the stairs. There has been one death - a heart attack.

(2) I clean the stairs every three days on average, but it builds up fast. To make it convenient to pack trash out, bring a trash bag so you don’t soil your bag.

(3) Please dont poop anywhere on the mountain - even off the beaten path. Squat over a one-gallon ziplock bag, toss the wipes in, press the air out, double bag it and pack it out - just like a kid’s diaper.

(4) Take it easy on the neighbors.

When was the last time you woke up at 3am and whispered: "Honey I think there's someone outside the house"...?

Most locals are friendly, but some are understandably aggressive. Blood has spilled over this hike more than once in the past year.

(5) 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. We got caught by police before we reached the stairs, so we went back to the hotel and slept. We really wanted to see the stairs up close, so we decided to try the ‘back way’ another day. It was harder than we expected, and when we got up to the top, we decided to take the stairs down because we would rather get the ticket than die.”

a. The ‘back way’

If you are considering skipping the magic of the stairs and going the legal way, it only makes sense to choose companions who can manage the challenges of retuning down the back way as well.

Legal access to Moanalua Valley Trail is from 7am - 7pm. I recommend starting right at 7am because it is reckless to rush the mountain. It’s common for people to get lost a few hours, so you need extra time.

If you want to catch sunrise, I recommend beginning at noon and spending the night. As long as you don’t sleep inside the railing or access the trailhead out of hours, you won’t get a ticket. The mountain is usually cold, wet and windy, so prepare accordingly. The ground is especially freezing so bring an insulating mat.

I recommend hiking cleats (‘good’ hiking shoes are insufficient), a GPS device, cautious confidence, and enough internal fortitude to enjoy this day of frolicking, rather than to just survive it.

Note: keeping the stairs illegal endangers the public. Tearing them out, as currently proposed, permanently removes our ability to channel traffic safely. If the stairs were legal, Daylenn Pua would still be with us.

b. The stairs.

If you’re considering the stairs, it is important to be personally and professionally prepared for legal exposure, and know which actions increase that risk.

The financial setback can be anywhere from $3,000 to the loss of a career. I recommend handling the choice soberly.

Send me a message at Facebook.com/MatthewKievlan for more advice there.

(6) Linger in the mountain.

People think I go for the epic view, but when we go, 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’ve stepped “into” the experience 3,922 times, as we move from civilization into heaven.

After a while at the top, our group fades a bit 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 - often in tears.

Most visitors get to the top, take photos, and head back down. I suggest staying for the ‘main event’. The magic begins when you settle in with comfort - looking back on your work while you’re still in the environment of it.

We create space with good scents and music and soak in the bliss of it. We write our names, share our stories and sit on memory foam eating French Toast with warm maple syrup.

If you leave the top and start down right away, the noise of civilization drowns out your senses and erases the fragile nuances of new truth you found along the way - before those memories have time to settle into your heart.

Reflection in-space is the actual gem of this priceless experience. We change lives up there. Even after so many times, I haven’t gotten tired of it. Once we start up again, I’m lost on it too.

Dm me for videos of how we hike.

Aloha,
@Hawaii_Mountain.Man.Matt

Really enjoyed this trail. When it has rained it is a bit slick, but when dry, it is very nice.
Certain areas were soft enough to even go barefoot which I truly love.

This hike was a lot of fun. We started just after 3am, got up there about 7:30am, left about 8:30am, and was down at 12pm (9hours total). We ran into many groups on the way out. Going early helped save us from the heat, but headlamps are needed. A flashlight can be used but you need both hands to rope climb at parts. The ridge can get windy, muddy, theres many roots, and parts where you can slide off if you don’t watch your step. I consider myself an average hiker and would rate this hike as an 8/10. There were people of all abilities hiking the trail. I am very sore after this hike. I recommend hiking before so you have the stamina and you are comfortable with your ability to hike a ridge with mud and wind, and be out there for a long time. This hike will push you if you’re not an avid hiker but it’s amazing either way. Bring water, snacks, and a camera! The views were gorgeous and the light on the mountain was breathtaking.

Did this the other day. Went the wrong way first! If you don't pass a sign for the Kulanahane trail right before you cross the creek then you're going the wrong way. There's an option not far from the creek where the track has a clump of trees to go right. Go right there.

Aloha! I will be hiking tomorrow on Sunday! We went today and it was amazing out! I have went 12 times the last three weeks. 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. 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.

hiking
3 days ago

I loved this hike. After doing the Notches, right across the parking lot. I decided I still needed a little more.
This hike entrance is right were all of the busses park. Just look for a break in the walk and a white sign.
When you first start, you can go left up through some bamboo or right and head straight up. The first bit is through the trees. If it is dry, the roots are great to walk on. If it is wet, be extra careful, they are slippery.
Once you get past the tree section, you follow a good amount ridge walking. Straight drop off on one side and bushes on the other. If you are truly afraid of heights, you might want to think twice about this hike.
There is one section with a good stretch of rope use. On a dry day, you can easily do it without using them. Keep following the trail until you get to the sheer cliff face and that is where you will find the puka. Actually, you will have already walked on top of it. Climb down a little and you can then explore the opening.
Here is also where you get an amazing view of the waterfall off in the distance towards Honolulu. Look to the left if you are facing Honolulu.

hiking
3 days ago

There are 2 hikes right at the Pali lookout. One is the Notches and the other is the Puka. They are on either side of the lookout. I did both on the same day. The notches was my least favorite of the two. The hike starts out right behind the parking pay meter. Goes up through a wooded area. You come out of the woods a couple of hundred feet up. From there you have a pretty steep incline with minimal ropes for assistance. Once you make it to the first notch, the view becomes incredible. This was the highlight for me. I continued onto the second and third notches. At the 3rd I was half way down and decided it was not for me. You are basically free climbing down and or using the rope for 100% assistance. The face is completely vertical and many of the rocks were loose and or already coming off the face. This is where I decided not to push my luck. If I would have been hiking with a partner, I would have probably pressed on. Since I was by myself, better safe then sorry.

Overall, the hike was short but steep. I would have liked it more if there weren’t as many loose rocks on the cliff faces.

hiking
3 days ago

Also known as the three peaks hike. I parked in the recommended parking area outside of the golf course rd.
The hike was fantastic. I went to all 3 peaks. It was a dry and mostly sunny day with no real rain for a bit. So the entire hike was dry. It is about a mile to walk to the trail head along the paved rd. Keep going past the guard shack and eventually you will see a big white sign. You really can’t pass it.
The majority of this hike is getting to the first peak. There are a couple of rope areas but nothing to crazy. The first peak is the tallest and has the best views. Lots of people stop here.
However, if you are like me. I couldn’t pass up the 2nd and 3rd peaks. Getting to the second peak is about the same difficulty as getting up to the first. Going from the second peak to the third is where the difficulty increases by a lot. Right off the bat, when you leave the second peak, there is 100ft drop with rope use. Then the rope stops and you keep dropping for about 80 or so ft. If you make it down that, you are not home free, but you can relax a bit. In between the 2nd and 3rd is the flat rock with a large hole in it, a great spot for photos. After that you have a straight climb up the third peak. Lots of rope use but nothing harder then the 100ft drop earlier.
There is a small can at the very end of the trail on the third peak which has some small medical and paper items in it. Good to know if you cut yourself on the way.

Overall I really enjoyed this hike.
It took me 3.5 hrs with .5 hrs being the walk to and from the car to the trail head.

hiking
4 days ago

some of the photos and hike descriptions in here reflect pali notches and not the puka. The cover photo is the notches.

rock climbing
4 days ago

Holy moly!!!! i hike a fair bit and this was one of the hardest trails I've ever done. I think a large part of it was that it had been rainy the few days before so the trail was as muddy and slippery as all get out. With that said, if it hadn't been as slippery this probably would have been a bit easier, but it's still a solid, hard workout. Would have loved to hike it in better conditions, but we didn't have too much time on Oahu and I really wanted to check it out. About 8 rope climbs to the summit of the first peak, none are too bad until the last rope climb where it's a vertical rock wall lol. Still not that bad if you have shoes with good grip and some body strength. We didn't have time to go to the 2nd (or 3rd?! probabaly wouldn't have even done that if we had time) because we had a flight to catch at 11 am that day, but took us about 3 hours RT to summit the 1st peak - that includes time we took to stare at the amazing views from the top and take some pics. The 3rd peak was almost in clouds, views were still cool, but would def suggest hiking on a day with ZERO chance of rain or clouds (if thats even possible in Oahu). enjoy!!!

I went up the other day, it was very muddy and slippery. Crampons(spikes) recommended. I've done this hike many times. Thinking of going up tomorrow Saturday or Sunday. if you'd like to join send me a message on instagram @angelo_q or email me at chicolo@hotmail.com Make sure to bring plenty of water and food and maybe some layers because it can get pretty windy and wet up top.

Hi there! I will be attempting this hike with me myself and I next Wednesday on September 26th. Is there anyone out there who would like to join me in this hike? Contact me through ig: instantlinda or email me at lindahasanewemail@gmail.com

:D

Beautiful end to a challenging hike. I went yesterday, Thursday 20th and it was very hot out. Parking is right across and there are a few entrances that all lead to the path. Be careful on this trail and take your time. I found myself sliding down for quite a few parts to avoid slipping on gravel and loose dirt. Bring lots of water it’s a short hike but you will need it.. Especially if you also like to enjoy and explore the top. Enjoy this hike it’s easily one of my favourites I have done on the island.

So so so worth it. Did this trail today at 0800. Took us until 1530. You need spikes on your shoes, 2 L of water, and prepare for muddy conditions. The views are incredible.

While on Vacation decided to go check this hike out. At first it was scary to go on this hike seeing evidence of how some people didn’t make it back... This hike is not easy to go up and down but it’s all worth it! The views on the top is Amazing! Going down had to mostly crawl down and hold on to the ropes... If I have to do it again? Definitely I will!!!

Amazing views. Slippery and muddy in quite a few areas

hiking
6 days ago

Heard lots of island chatter about this hike and decided to conquer it. The trail head is very close to the K-hwy and there are 3 entrances, take the one to the far left.
It was dry when completed but if rainy and wet it would be much tougher. There are a few ropes and straps on the tougher incline spots, but very frayed and thin, so be wise.
The views atop are amazing and there is direct evidence that the cliffs are no joke. Tread carefully!

Great trail. Beautiful waterfall.

trail is great. I have been a few times a day haven't regret it yet. when you go make sure you jump from the high point on the waterfall (the left if you're looking at the fall)

7 days ago

I do this hike regurlarly and constantly see people who shouldn't be on this trail. give aways:

1.) Wrong shoes: you really need something with grip. If you want to hike in Hawaii, invest in a good pair of hiking shows. the situation can quickly become hazardous if you are wearing flip flops, running shoes with worn grip, etc.

2.) This shouldn't be your first Hawaii hike. I've seen people on this trail, nearly each time, who are clearly terrified yet soldier on. There is no point in being a superstar on Hawaii trails. If you can't handle it, turn around. Dont put yourself or others at risk.

3.) Don't put all of your weight on the ropes.

And lastly:

4.) Know something about this area before you go. It was the site of the final stages of the Nuuanu Pali battle. 800 people perished on these cliffs. This is a sacred place. Take your trash home with you.

hiking
7 days ago

Super hard, but worth the rewarding view!

Going on Saturday morning starting at 7a from Moanalua

Great hike. Very difficult. Suggestions for people going on this hike. Don't do it if you're hungover you won't make it and if you do you wont enjoy it as much.

Waterfall was great. Hike past the waterfall was an adventure

Aloha!

Going to be in Oahu Sept 19-26 and wanted to give this hike a shot! Was hoping to link up with some people so we can motivate each other and less likely to get lost. If anyone is available, please email me at yanseung@me.com or DM me on instagram - yanleslie.

Thanks!
Yan

So much fun and a great view! Be careful not to go right after a rainstorm, the trail definitely gets muddy.

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