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I went the other day, 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

Aloha! I typically hike up 1-3 times a week. Hiked three times last week. Will be hiking this weekend on both on Saturday and Sunday. 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. (over 100+ times) It is often windy and/or rainy but we never have issues as we always have the right gear (including microspikes) 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.

A different perspective and perhaps a few controversial “hot takes” on this hike (I am referring to the the Moanalua Valley to Ha’iku CCL Station route):
1/ Spikes/crampons are not recommended. Hiking through the Moanalua Valley via the Kamananui Valley Road Trail and on to the Moanalua Middle Ridge past Pu’u Keahi a Kahoe and finally on to the CCL Station (building where the Ha’iku stairs descend into to Ha’iku Valley) does not require micro spikes. I have seen people complete it barefoot and in a variety of inappropriate footwear (i.e. slippahs and skate shoes). That said, the best option is to wear, you know, actual hiking shoes or trail running shoes. The problem with micro spikes is they can damage tree roots. In the lower portions of Middle Ridge they would mostly damage invasive guava but in the upper sections they could be causing harm to Ohia and other endemic plants. Is that the mark you want to leave on Oahu? This trail sees a lot of traffic and is facing issues with erosion, spikes are not helping. If you are really concerned about traction, consider bringing spikes but only wear them along the steepest portions of the ridge. Bring gloves and use your upper body to help you up to the top in the steep sections. I don’t own spikes and would never use them on any trail in the upper Ko’olau. This isn’t the Himalayas.
2/ Use the term Ha’iku Stairs and not Stairway to Heaven; get excited that you will reach the Keahi a Kahoe peak (one of the highest in the Ko’olau) shortly before arriving to the CCL station (the spot at the top of the stairs where you will get some amazing views). This hike should be called the Ha’iku Station hike, reflecting two pieces of the history of this place. So… learn about the history of the Moanalua Valley, the Haiku Valley, and the construction of the stairs. How many have walked right past the petroglyphs in the Moanalua Valley and never noticed them? Learn about a few of the special plants that are only seen near the top of Ko’olau range. This place is not about getting the best Instagram shot. It is about having a great day in nature, getting some exercise, building great memories with friends, and most importantly, showing some respect for the cultural and environmental aspects of Oahu. It is a damn shame that this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJV1U8uPVb0) has 7k views and this one (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKVxq7RLN30&t=24s) has 1.2 million views. If only this website was visited by a million people (http://koolaupoko-hcc.org). Stairway to Heaven is a Led Zeppelin song, prefer Kashmir anyways.
3/ The hike does not take that long to complete. People complaining that the “legal” way takes too long are, hate to say it, slow and perhaps unqualified to be on these trails to begin with. I have made it from the neighborhood park to the CCL in 2:15 and the reverse in under 2 hours. I am sure there are some speed demons who have run the Kamananui Valley Road part of the hike as far as the Middle Ridge and made it up in about 90 minutes. Everyone deserves to be able to access this area but stay within your limits, stay safe, and don’t risk getting hurt.
4/ The biggest issue with going the illegal way is you will be trespassing through people’s homes in Kaneohe. The stairs “should” be open the public but they are not. They “should” be managed by DLNR or a preservation organization that ensures maintenance is done but they are not. Mark Zuckerberg should donate $100 million to set up a park that opens the stairs and preserves the history and environment of the area but he has not. I don’t live in this neighborhood but I would be extremely frustrated with the situation if I did. Additionally, the stairs are the not the “tough” way to go. The allure is just that they are illegal and fetishized by the Instagram Imperialists. You get the same views whether you ascend Red Hill, Middle Ridge, Tripler Ridge, Bowman Ridge. The views from the H3 saddle are pretty great if you are more of a novice Hawaii hiker. If you want to be extreme on Windward Oahu there is the Kalihi Saddle or Piliwale Ridge. I have not and won’t climb the stairs until they become legal. Bowman to the KST, past Tripler Ridge, past Haiku Station, down to the H3 Saddle is far more of an adventure and offers the same if not a better series of views and all are on state lands (DLNR Forest Reserve).
5/ You are willing to pay the $1000 fine for the experience of hiking the actual stairs? Really? If you have a grand to just blow consider donating like $50 bucks to Friends of Haʻiku Stairs (https://www.haikustairs.org) who are actually working to save the stairs and the valley for future generations. Consider donating another $50 to the Koʻolaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club (http://koolaupoko-hcc.org) who work to preserve Hawaiian culture in the area in and around Hai’ku Valley. Then buy some granola bars at Foodland and do this hike via Moanalua valley and Middle Ridge. There, I just saved you $895.

6/ If you are visiting Hawaii, don’t do this hike unless you are regularly hiking/trail running wherever you are coming from. If you do live here and are just starting to hike I recommend you start with some more intermediate trails first (i.e. Kuliouou Ridge or Moanalua Valley to H3 Saddle). I have had to intervene with directions, escort, and water for lost and/or overwhelmed hikers on multiple occasions in the last year (both in this area an other places on Oahu).
7/ Packing list: 2-3 liters water, high calorie snacks, headlamp & whistle (just in case), extra pair of socks, hat, sunscreen, phone/camera, binoculars, rain jacket for precip. and wind/cold, leather palmed gloves, map/app, another hiker.
8/ Pack out what you bring in and pick up all the additional trash you can; don’t play music from speakers while hiking; hikers on the way down yield to hikers who are on their way up; yield to faster hikers; be friendly to other hikers; offer help to others; be friendly to dogs; be hydrated when you start; park your car properly; cigarette butts are trash too; check the weather before you go; don’t be an Instagram Imperialist.
9/ Get dirty, step in the mud. You are hiking. People trying to avoid mud are causing erosion around the edges of the trail. Often the safest place to step is in the mud in the middle of the trail. If you don’t like mud, go to the mall at Ala Moana.
10/ Have fun and be safe.

I’ve hiked the Moanalua valley trail a few times now to the top of the stairs, I try to do it once a month if time permits. If you don’t have crampons I’d suggest getting them for the more rainy days. I’ll be doing this hike again the week of Christmas. My favorite view and hike on the island

hello my name is maximilian, I'll be heading up to the stairs on Monday early morning 12/17/18 if anyone would like to join. I live on island and have never tried heading up the back side to the stairs if anyone is interested in tagging along dont hesitate to direct message me on Instagram (:
@m.aa.x.x

Visitor center tries to make you pay $16 just to hike up the trail to the falls.

Beautiful jungle botanical garden walk (best botanical garden we've ever seen) with a nice waterfall & pool at the end. The swim was nice and fun grtting right up under the falls. We started at 9am and walked around the park for 4 hrs then spent the rest of the afternoon swimming at Waimea Beach. Finished the day off back at the park with a Toa Luao. Great Hawaiian experience!

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

Beautiful jungle botanical garden walk (best botanical garden we've ever seen) with a nice waterfall & pool at the end. The swim was nice and fun grtting right up under the falls. We started at 9am and walked around the park for 4 hrs then spent the rest of the afternoon swimming at Waimea Beach. Finished the day off back at the park with a Toa Luao. Great Hawaiian experience!

I didn’t know I would be charged, but was willing to pay to support the maintenance of the garden and education center. I was solo so I also paid $5 to hold my gear while I swam in the waterfall pool. You had to wear a life jacket and there was a lifeguard but I understand they do it for the liability. Water was nice and cool.

hiking
5 days ago

Very muddy , but other then that really liked this hike very pretty . Took my 9 year old and 7 year old and they did really good with this hike

Trying to do this hike on Monday December 10th if anyone is planning on going. As of now I’m going alone going to start around 7am

Nice easy trail along a 4WD dirt road. Go before sunset and bring headlights to come back out. Great sunset and no one else around

hiking
7 days ago

Nice trail for forest and H3 views. Moderately trafficked on a Sunday, and quite a few runners on the trail. We brought our dog, and even though he was worn out towards the end, it wasn't too hard for him. The ending is a little rough, very muddy. Very nice, well rounded hike.

Aloha! I typically hike up 1-3 times a week. Hiked today and will be going again this weekend on Sunday as the weather for Saturday does not look good. I will also be going next weekend Dec 15/16 and possibly during the week as well. 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. (over 100+ times) It is often windy and/or rainy but we never have issues as we always have the right gear (including microspikes) 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 enjoyed this one! flat and easy. I left a little late in the day and missed most of the sunset, will more than likely do this one again and go all the way around the point to take in all the views from the Ka'ena Point Trail (South) also. Only recommendation on this one is if you are heading out later in the day to catch the sunset bring a headlamp as the path back has several water hazards and can be a little tricky to navigate in the dark.

Excellent trail to see the haiku stairs. I ended up being more impressed by the trail than the stairs themselves. Weather was a bit intermittent through the passes but with spikes it was fine. I did see some people on the trail in regular runners but I would not recommend it.

A group of 3 (relatively fit) looking to join someone that is a little more experienced! Hoping to attempt this between the 8th to 12th of December. @jaasoonl is my instagram!

Look up HTMC Kawa’ea’e (Friendship Garden/Kokokahi/Oneawa Hills) hike schedule and it should be cleared before they hike it. They will usually hike it in a loop.

Hi, we are looking for someone who has already done this hike before to do it with us tomorrow...
Thanks

One of the easiest way to get to the top of the Koolau Range. Today it might be the easiest route since they already closed Mariners Ridge and Kamehame Ridge to the public. Oh well if you are too lazy to walk, just drive up to the Pali Lookout and you can boast to all your friends you made it to the top of the Koolaus!

This is definitely not a difficult trail unless this is your first ever hike in your entire lifetime.

This hike will take anywhere from 2.5-3
hrs to complete on a walking pace.

Awesome one!

very easy hike. dog, family, and kid friendly.

hiking
13 days ago

Easy hike. If this was a free hike I would give it 4 stars. Nice waterfall at the end. Paved path with some history and scenery. Overall I think its worth the cost.

Enjoyed this hike. Pretty flat and easy. Not much shade, bring water and sunscreen. Takes a while to get to the wildlife reserve for birds at the end. Monk seals were on the beach in a couple spots. Also, the mountain and ocean view is beautiful at the end. Not too busy due to the wide paths. Be aware a decent amount of people have a pass to drive on the path.

nice view of the mountains and h3. muddy at the end. not too difficult and wasn't too busy. pretty safe hike.

Just finished this beautiful hike (12/1/18) Absolutely gorgeous when you hit the end and we were lucky enough to see a pup seal basking in the sun!

P.S. also if any kind soul happens to find a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses, I'll be on Oahu until Tuesday! email me @ kathy7583@aol.com. Mahalo

Will be in Oahu for 4 more days. Had my companion from Germany, but she left a few hours ago, if anyones down to meet up, dm me @joshuavillegas_

*if anyone has a mavic air charger please message me!!”

11/30/2018. This was a nice hike if you have lots of time, it’s quite long and thankfully I went on a day when there was no rain so the trail was very dry. It wasn’t busy at all, only ran into a handful of people. It is relatively easy for the first half and then the rest is quite difficult with lots of steep hills and steps. I found the hike to be somewhat boring but the views when you get to the top we’re amazing. The trail is also hard to follow at times with no clear path, I had to access the AllTrails map a few times to make sure I was staying on the right path.

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