Explore Last Days In Hawaii - 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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Hey Guys, I arrive Wednesday afternoon and planning on hiking the legal way between 11/23 - 11/25. Is anyone experienced planning on doing it any of those days and can show us the way both ways? Based of the reports posted (and thanks so much for sharing -great stuff) I’ll be carrying my crampons. Email me @reachuk23@gmail.com if you wanna coordinate.

This was my first hike in years, we took our Cub Scouts. Not hard but the incline, traffic and terrain made in a bit challenging for this out of shape mommy. But we made it to the top! It’s a nice challenge and the kids loved it!

My favorite hike but a challenging hike. Anywhere from a 3 to 6 hr adventure depending how many waterfalls you cross. Most will do all 3 waterfalls but not the ascending ridge to the summit. The ridge should only to taken on drier days because the last 1/4 mile is dirt and becomes muddy on the wetter days and at the most 3ft. wide with steep cliff on both sides dropping down as far as 200ft. (2 women has fallen to their deaths within the last 5years) So be careful.

If this will be your first time on this trial you should be accompanied by an experienced hiker of this trail. Have at least a liter of water per person and some snacks because it will be awhile before you encounter civilization again. You will be utilizing every muscle in your body on this trail so be physically and mentally prepared.

Safe journeys to all.

Hiking on O'ahu can be fun as long as you come prepared before your hike. Here are a list of suggestions and things to do before your hike.

-Hydrate 16 oz to a liter an hour before a hike
-Hiking shoes is best for this trail, you have been warned, lol!!!
-5 mile + hike, a 3 liter bladder might be a good idea (mix it up with performance flavor water)
-Plan ahead by knowing the weather
-Bring body lotion for thigh chafing
-POWER Pack battery
-Cell ph cord
-Cellphone
-Headlight (just in case) keep your hands free hiking at night
-Watch (know how long it took to reach your destination)
-Find out when the sun sets (don't get caught hiking back in the dark, I can tell you countless stories of tourist and locals stranded in the dark with tons of mosquitos)
-Pack SPAM musubi and snacks (you’re burning a lot of energy)
-Portable water purifier pump (no need to bring extra water)
-Know where water sources are
-Pocket knife
-Be courteous to other hikers
-Bring along some Aleve just in case your knees starts to ache
-Blister free crew socks or mole skin patch
-Take a buddy on a hike, aka buddy system
-Finally tell a friend where you are hiking and when you expect to finish the hike (keep in touch by text is best due to low cell signal)
-Placing your cell in airplane mode might be a good idea to save battery. On the other hand, if your hiking alone and you fall off the edge the authorities cannot GPS your location.
-Keep your hiking pack as light as possible. The added weight plus Hawaiian heat and rugged terrain will make this hike miserable. Unless your one of those crossfit buff person who luvs to burn those calories then keep that pack heavy.
-Hiking shoes is best for this trail, you have been warned, lol!!!
-Yard work gloves or Mt. rappel gloves
-High top socks or long pants to keep your sexy legs scare free
-Crampons—during poor trail conditions (muddy and slippery)
-“Leave No Trace” rule
-Hiking Trail Manner: when your hiking down a trail, stop and give way to the person hiking upward. Show some ALOHA :-)

Hey guys I’m here in Oahu traveling alone and definitely the top of my list is the Haiku stairs preferably getting from the back way to avoid legal issues, anybody interested in joining me this upcoming Sunday the 18th or Monday the 19th? Please get in touch with me IG @juaaaness or my email Juan.sanchezme@gmail.com

I went up recently, it was very muddy and slippery. Crampons(spikes) recommended. I've done this hike many times. Going up tomorrow Saturday or Sunday. 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

Amazing 360 views of the city and the ocean! Not the hardest hike by any means, but the views over the city are picture perfect !

Great information on this thread. Thank you to everyone.

I will be in Oahu from Nov17-20 and would appreciate if an experienced hike would like to show the way.

I have homes and rock climbed most of my life. This is the only thing on my bucket list ( I don't believe in having bucket lists- just do it! - lol)

my name is Matt and I can be reached at matt99walker@hotmail.com or Instagram : matt99walker.
Aloha!

Nice and easy hike with the gorgeous view from the top.

my friend and I want to do either way up this monday. we are both good hikers. is anyone that has done this before willing to come up again.

hiking
3 days ago

Sorry, Colorado, this is my favorite hike that I’ve ever done. And one of the hardest. There are quite a few rope sections that require a fair amount of skill. But the views are totally worth it. We didn’t hike to the second or third peak but that was because we were told the first peak had the best views and we were pretty exhausted by the time we got there.

You can park on the side of Auloa road and walk to the trailhead past the guardpost for the golf club. (Just make sure not to park on the sidewalk at all! I got a 35$ ticket for my front wheel being on the sidewalk). Be sure to wear sturdy hiking boots - the trails are extremely muddy which makes it fun but not tennis shoe friendly. And bring some sandals to put on after - you’ll thank me later.

Easy hike, suitable for all ages. The only downside is it's crowded.

The hike is on private property. You need a permit from the Hawaii Reserves office, which is on the way to the hike in the same building as Foodland, within minutes of the trailhead. The permits are free and good for four months. The whole process took about five minutes. (I don’t know if the need for a permit is enforced or not, but I support doing what is needed to keep private lands open to the public).

This was a mediocre hike at best. The elevation gain was slow and easy, but it’s horribly muddy (shoe sucking) and slippery for at least 2/3 of the way. I wouldn’t do this hike in bad weather, as most of the trail will be a creek. There are some fun spots—there are beautiful views in a few pockets, I loved the segment through the Cook Pines, and I always love a Hawaii hike that requires ropes. The falls were also lovely, but we didn’t swim due to the risk of leptospirosis in Hawaiian fresh waters (http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/disease_listing/leptospirosis/#risk_in_hawaii).

Would I do it again? Probably not. I’ve done many far better hikes on Oahu. But it was a decent way to kill some time, get some exercise, and see a part of Oahu that I’ve not experienced.

This hike is amazing and will test you! I’m a ex football player currently in the military. I would like to see them replace some of the ropes that are used to climb some of the steeper inclines. For example, some of the ropes were too thin to grab without cutting the circulation out of my hand. However where the ropes are that thin. You might not even need to use them, depending on your shape and physical ability. I will suggest getting the spikes for your shoes. If not you will slip all over the ridges, some areas are challenging due the the wind, amount of space to maneuver, and mud. There also multiple streams that you will have to cross that you will not be able to avoid getting your shoes wet. Suggest bringing an extra pair of socks and shoes. Other than that the panoramic view was defiantly something to write home about. Bring a jacket if your an islander and acclimated to the tropical environment. I was cold after I stopped moving at the top but hikers from colder environments were shirtless. I will suggest this hike to everyone, but go with someone who has been, if you are looking to go anytime soon just shoot me a comment on this thread.

A fairly easy hike but worth doing! The path is a bit more crowded than other area hikes so have patience and just go with the flow. Beautiful views from the top!

I will climb the Haʻikū Stairs, aka Stairway to Heaven, this week for the 300th time. It will be a special anniversary climb. I’m stoked!

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

New to hiking??? Know this rule. When hiking down and you see a hiker coming up, stop and give right of way. That hiker coming up is not looking up but looking down at his footing where to step. That person will not know your heading down until your a few steps away, unless your one of those hikers who has a boom box speaker disrupting the peaceful natural nature sounds. When in Hawaii, LIVE ALOHA!!

Easy hike. Would advise going early for sunrise. There are a lot of hikers on this trail. Plus the pineapple smoothies you can purchase at the end of the hike are pretty good too!

hiking
4 days ago

NEW ROPES!!!
Just did this hike yesterday with my wife and friend. We hiked out around 0400 to make it for sunrise at the 1st peak. You have to walk through the gate to the golf course which may or may not be locked depending on the time. There may or may not be a guard as well. Not to worry as they will pass you through and tell you the trail is about a 1/4 mile up off to the left. You can’t miss the sign. Made it faster than we thought hiking in the dark. We made it in about an hour, so we waited for sunrise for awhile and made some coffee with my jet boil during sunrise. Clear night with a cool breeze so it made it an awesome time. Views were spectacular at night. Did this hike a few times already but always during the day. My goal was to replace the sketchy ropes and straps that were their on the 2nd peak. You will now find that there is a 3k lb tow strap connected by heavy duty steel D rings attached to 500 lb synthetic yellow rope with anchor points every 1.5 ft. on the rope. It’s 200ft of rope and gets you exactly to the bottom of the 2nd peak. 3rd peak didn’t really need any ropes to be replaced. There are two stopping points going down the 2nd peak. You will notice these points. It’s basically where some of the old ropes ended or tied off. I caution everyone going down one at a time due to break limits on ropes. You can stop and yell up for the next person to come down at each of the stop points. You can’t miss it. You can’t miss the bright yellow rope as well. I tried to make it a bit safer so I hope everyone enjoys.

hiking
4 days ago

ABSOLUTELY STUNNING VIEWS!
The beginning of the hike was muddy but very mild. Maybe a third of the way up, the hike got quite a bit steeper but was still relatively easy. The top third of the hike has a bit of rock climbing with ropes to help you get up. You’ll know you’re near the top once you are climbing the spine, where you see cliffs straight down on both sides of you.
Once you reach the top, you’ll see the most absolutely stunning views of Oahu. 100 percent worth it! Leave yourself enough time to get down before sunset or you’ll be doing some rock climbing in the dark!

Aloha,
My friend and I are planning to walk up the backway tomorrow, anybody interested in joining us? Instagram: anna_helenaa

Beautiful trail, reasonably interesting and moderately challenging (any trail I can hike in my swimsuit is not hard...). Would give it 5 but it was somewhat crowded with teens playing music loud enough you couldn’t ignore it (bah I’m old and want to hear the nature)

Aloha! I will be hiking tomorrow/Tuesday and possibly Thursday as well. I typically hike up 1-3 times a week. Went 3 times last week. 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.

Looking to hike this way on Thursday 11/15/18 if anyone else is interested. Feel free to reach out at robynavila1@yahoo.com

Really enjoyed this hike with the family. Kids loved it! Did this hike about 1.5 months ago.

Taking the route this morning around 7-7:30 am after I get off from work. I have tried the back route twice and it is unbelievably easy to get lost but I believe I finally trial and errored the correct path this time around. I always come accross groups that just turned around because they couldn’t figure out the right path to the stairs. I will also be going on the stairs then returned back through the legal route. is probably too late but email justindavidsands@gmail.com if you are interested.

Anyone going up the stairs In the next 3 days?

Hike was awesome but when I finished the cops were given out citations at the trailhead said it was illegal and off limits.

Was a nice walk not to busy until you got to the top, awesome experience would recommend for 1 dollar

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