Explore Must Do - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Must Do Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Hi folks,

I‘m from Europe and now I‘m making the Hawaiian Islands for 3 Weeks. As a mountain-lover I would love also to hike the haiku stairs. I‘m in town at end of October. Let me now if anyone can help me to hike the stairs for compensation to cover the first hiking-rule „never walk alone“ peter.liebhart@gmail.com Mahola, Pete

Aloha! I went both days this past weekend and today! It was awesome out! I will be hiking Thursday and Friday still this week. 18/19. I have went 12 times the last three weeks. 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 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.

This is one of the most surreal hikes I’ve ever done! I did it 2 years ago and I’m wanting to take some friends soon in the next week or so but I can’t remember or know the best way to park and start this hike. If you have any suggestions on the best way to do this without causing any trouble to the residents, please DM me on Instagram at @shermsherm93. Shoots and Mahalo!

hiking
1 day ago

So maybe we cheated a bit on this, and instead of trekking up from Yosemite Valley floor (y'alls that do it: mad props! that's beast mode hiking right there!), we camped out at the Little Yosemite Valley, and trekked up to the rock at sunset to have a nice view with our dinner...
it is NOT an easy hike... esp. the last part (subdome and the cables). by the time we got to the rock, it was about an hour and 15 minutes to sunset, and thank god there were only three people on the cables coming down, otherwise, it was just our group of 6. i don't know if i'd be able to do the cables if there were a ton of people on them... it is sketchy as heck. do invest in good grippy shoes and super grippy gloves. you'll thank both later. our guide gave us a good advice (it goes esp. for those who have the fear of heights): don't look around, concentrate on the next plank in-front of you, and go from plank to plank in counts of five... take all the rest you need.
THE VIEWS ARE WORTH IT!!!
my personal suggestion for this hike would be to break it up... trek up to LYV, spend the night or rest up... and then continue with the trek up to Half Dome, or do it the next day. :)

hiking
1 day ago

Great hike! Did it 10/14 (first weekend that cables are down). Set off at sunrise, up the Mist trail and back down JMT. Took around 7 hours total with no traffic up to summit. I was actually expecting the hike up to be more strenuous since I’ve just started hiking, but it was absolutely fine. Most tiring bit are the stairs up to sub dome. I had perfect conditions for this and it wasn’t too hot so I survived fine on 2l of water. Saw mother bear and 2 cubs on the way back too!

I will climb the Haʻikū Stairs, aka Stairway to Heaven tomorrow, October 17th, for the 292nd 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’. It was harder than we expected, and when we got 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. You can get the ticket going down the stairs.

Legal access hours to Moanalua Valley Trail are 7am - 7pm. I recommend starting right at 7am because it’s reckless to rush on the mountain. It’s common for people to get lost a few hours, and some don’t find the summit.

If you want 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’ll be legal. The mountain is usually cold, wet and windy, so prepare accordingly. The ground is especially cold - 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 your life, rather than 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 here.

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 this decision carefully.

Send me a message at Facebook.com/MatthewKievlan for some 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 a little 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 photos, and head back down. I suggest staying for the ‘main event’. The magic begins when you settle in with comforts, and look back on your work while 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 a video of what we do at the top.

Aloha,
@Hawaii_Mountain.Man.Matt

hiking
2 days ago

Read a bunch of reviews and feel like most are somewhat exaggerated. Did this hike in about 9.5 hours, and you definitely want to start at about 2am. I started at 2:30am by myself, first time hiking in the dark with an REI 20$ headlamp, and what an experience. Couldn’t see but could hear the water falls roaring, and the night critters were frequent on the trail. The headlamp did its job and being up on the cables at sunrise was magical, as well as the dark night sky on the way up. Going down was no problem until vernal/nevada fall, when the trail was packed with people, without much regard for others on the trail. For this I probably would have went JMT, but I wanted to see the things I couldn’t see on the way up. Also the sub dome is not that grueling, and it really only lasts about 20 minutes to the base of the cables.

Didn’t do much training for this, did Four Mile Trail, Eagle Peak, clouds rest, and MT. Hoffman spread out in weeks time. Took 30 liters of water with me and a water filter, to cut down on weight and didn’t have to use the filter (starting in the dark keeps the heat down). Overall awesome experience, happy to do it. Saw loads of people going up as I was going down so start early before 5am if you want to miss that, as there was no waiting on the cables going up or down, which made it easier.

2 days ago

Awesome views from the top! If you plan on hiking during the summer, start as early as possible.

Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks with you but don’t overload yourself because this is a serious hike where every pound will be felt throughout the hike.

It was not that busy when we started out during a June 14th hike but on the way down we saw LOTS of people coming up during the midday sun.

Bring more water than you think you’re going to need. It was 95 by noon when I made it to the top. I had 5L on me and just about ran out at the top.

Excellent trip, my son and I did this solo (no guid or porter) we had a map and carried our own equipment which made the trek way more challenging. Majority or trekkers use a porter or guid to carry up to 15 kilos for them, I would advise this for inexperienced trekkers. We used the map several times however the trail is well defined in most areas, again I would advise using a guid unless you are competent with a map.
It’s an amazing trek with beautiful views all the way to EBC, while there summit Kala Pathar as it is a must, the views are outstanding.
Plan for about 3,000 rupees a day spending, the food and lodges are more expensive the higher you get. The most important advise is to have fun and take your time, altitude sickness is very serious and can get you at any time. When arriving at your destination each day, climb higher to help acclimatize before returning to your accommodation, this will help with sleep (which gets more difficult the higher you get).

It was raining and the water was about 38 degrees, but it was worth every moment of it. Make sure to have water shoes and hiking pole because the current can get a little rough when it rains. Also, pack lunch and extra clothes in a water bag.

hiking
3 days ago

Nice to have done it but the views aren’t the best. You can’t see Half Dome from Half Dome.

My husband and i are in Oahu today 10/13-10/20. We want to do this hike, but with someone who’s done it several times and knows how to get around security! We are willing to go any day between 10/14-10/20. Please email me if interested! Leyla@nezamfar.com

Second time here to the narrows and just as beautiful as ever! Make sure you wear the right shoes though and preferably have hiking poles; we passed quite a few people trying to attempt this barefoot with no poles or anything and they looked like they were having a horrible time. It’s worth it to come prepared! :)

Nice paved path to get you to the start of the water. Watch your step in the water and you should be good, take your time, it’s crowded, always!

8/14/17

Favorite hike and national park!

walking
7 days ago

very easy trail for a relaxing walk by the river. beautiful landscape.

Amazing!!! Such a cool bucket list hike. It’s the cables that make it so unique and such a cool experience. Took us about 10 hours round trip. Our feet were hurting at the end and we were definitely tired. Started at 6:15a and found easy parking in the parking lot closest to the trailhead. We were surprised that the parking lot was so full. Met a lot of nice and enthusiastic hikers. Had an amazing day! Can’t believe we hiked half dome!!!! We won our permits unexpectedly for the last day that the cables were up. Pretty lucky!

7 days ago

Awesome hike and definitely a bucket list item. Did it October 6th, took under 11 hours, absolutely gorgeous day and the views are killer as always. Took Mist trail up and John Muir trail back- though the JMT is longer by a mile the grade is much easier on the knees going down.
- while Mist trail is hard especially between Vernal and Nevada Falls, in my opinion Sub-Dome is the hardest part. It lasts forever or so it feels and the cables look easier in comparison.
- second time doing it, not sure I'll do it again but that's what I said 6 years ago so we'll see.

hiking
7 days ago

Okay, so I would definitely recommend training for this intensely. I only did one or two trails that were nowhere near this incline and it took me forever to do this. I am actually pretty apologetic to my friends for adding on extra time, but I didn't want to get injured, and I already fell coming down (no injuries other than a bruised ankle of the tiniest degree.) We started at the closest campground parking lot and walked to Half Dome through Vernal Falls and Nevada and the Valley.

The whole trip took us 16 hours! We started at 4 AM and took a lot of breaks, spent two hours at the top of the Dome, maybe 40 minutes climbing to Subdome, 20-30 minutes climbing the cables, and took even more breaks coming back down because it was worse and really difficult. Our 18.4 mile hike ended at about 7:35 PM! (48-60F weather)

I took 7L of water, which was excessive and probably why I slowed my friend group down a lot. I can get altitude sickness, so I was prepared to drink and pee a lot on the way, but my friends each drank 1.5L when they ran empty and they took 5L each. We hiked the last day the cables were up 10/9/18.

I saw people going down the cables two different ways. Do whatever works best for you. My friend had to go backwards down the cables, because her knees are bad and she had brace on one. She felt that it was easier to lean into the mountain and look down at her legs for the next purchase of rock while she was grabbing onto one side of the rope. However, I felt that I had more control facing outwards just like walking downstairs. Both of my hands were on both cables and I clenched and unclenched my fists to lower myself down with my legs and let gravity help as I got to each wood block at the stanchions. My backpack was still quite heavy from water, and I felt better balanced that way.


I recommend:

5-6L of water unless you have a filtration system to get water at the last water area before the Dome

BRIGHT Headlamp - I got a cheap one with the highest reviews on Amazon for $26

Hiking poles - They saved me coming down. I didn't order early enough on Amazon, but my Amazon ones were $25. I had to buy Black Diamond for like $100. They aren't for everyone, but I almost slipped on the rock stairs coming down the last few miles over 10 times and they helped. My arms, back, and chest are sore, but at least I didn't break anything.

Hiking shoes with treads - Oboz. I bought them new and didn't even have to break them in; I saw someone going up the cables in skater shoes and feared for his life. He couldn't even stand after 5 stancions and I told him he should go back down.

Gloves - You need ones for the cables. Some people use those thick garden gloves form Home Depot, cheaper than rock climbing gloves. Please don't leave them at subdome "for people to use." The rangers ask us not to. If you want to give your gloves away, just ask people you pass going backwards if they want some. My friend did and a stranger gratefully accepted.

Snacks - Clif Gels/Gu/Honey Stingers. Salt tabs, electrolyte tabs, a bottle of gatorade if you don't have that to sip on during the trip. (You nee to have equal water and electrolyte intake. Do not just bring all gatorade. You will dehydrate faster.) Make sure to bring a protein and carb filled snack for every hour. You WILL NOT make it without this.

Pickle Juice - THE BRAND not just the stuff in the pickle jar - I recommend this for cramps. It saved me and my friends. Maybe 2-3 small bottles for each person. They are really cheap and they work wonders. Drink before the hike to prevent cramps, but honestly, they can take cramps away during an onset too within a few minutes.

Layers of clothing - check the weather, but my feather down vest was a great help, along with my sun shaded hat to protect the back of my neck

Hand Warmers - trust me, this rocked for the beginning and end of my hike

Harness + gigantic caribiner - I saw several people have this and it made me wish I had this for peace of mind. Safety net going up and down, but you need to figure out if your gloves are easy enough to use with them while you hook and unhook each time you meet a stanchion pole WHILE you hold/balance your body.

Phone, Go Pro, external battery - some people get signal (I didn't), but your camera is so worth this view. Sometimes phones will die rather quickly on this hike, so have a backup battery. Pictures to remember the feeling of triumph!

hiking
8 days ago

Fantastic hike, very rugged. Several ropes make it challenging but the views from the top are amazing.

on Half Dome Trail

8 days ago

Scary, long but totally amazing!!!!

It's a nice stretch and you can see a garden on the rocks and squirrels and mules. Was exciting and mostly used as a trail head to narrows.

My first proper hike up a running river thru beautiful 2000’ tall narrow sandstone canyons that have been formed over millions of years from the Virgin Rivers constant flow down South eventually ending in Lake Powell

hiking
9 days ago

Half Dome is worth doing. I work out 2/3 days a week and didn't get in as many prep hikes as I had planned. I mainly walked my dogs 2 times a week for 3 miles at a time for about a month. I wish I had prepped properly. BUT I would still do this hike even though I am not as fit as I would like to have been. I went October 5th. Weather was great and the path was not overly crowded. We started at 8am because it rained the day before and we wanted to be sure the dome would be dry when we got there. In hindsight I would have gone up at 6am as originally planned. Total time took 14 hours from happy isles. The shortest version of this hike is up and down the vernal route which is over 16 miles round trip, not sure why all trails says this hike is 14 miles. If you get stuck in the dark coming down and went up the mist trail take the mist trail, it's better to go out the way you returned. It would be too much work to take muir trail out in the dark if you aren't familiar with the route. There were people on the mist trail in the dark and they got confused on the trail down between Nevada falls down to Vernal falls. Don't just follow people on the way out they may get you off track. Pay attention to the trail and don't veer off just because others do and you should be fine. If you plan to take the mist trail down poles will help you a lot. I took 3 liters of water which was a good amount I had a water filter just in case, but didn't need it. In the summer a filter might be a good idea so you can lighten your load. Pack light!!! You will be happy you did. Must haves head lamp, painkillers, bandaids, shoes with grip, gloves that cover your fingers and have good grip, and good snacks. Have patience and take breaks you need on the way up, it is the hike of perpetual almost there. I hated going up Vernal but going down Nevada sucked as well because the steps down slope a bit which isn't the best for your balance. The steps on the subdome can be frustrating but once you finish the subdome the cables don't seem so bad. Just take your time going up the cables and yes facing half dome going down the cables is the best way to go down. Be nice to your fellow hikers we're all in this together.

So pretty!! The waterfall is super small in October which is the only time I’ve done it but the fall colors in the leaves make up for it. the views from the top make it 100% worth it!

This one is a beast!!! It is beautiful, but challenging, so don't underestimate it. There are lots of switch backs and there is very little shade when you get to the top, so make sure you have plenty of water and sunscreen. Also, be aware that the falls dry up as early as July, so this trail is really better hiked in the Spring. There are a good number of hikers on this trail, but it is not overly packed. Make sure to bring snacks as well since this one is about six miles round trip.

my wife and I just got done going up and down. went up at 1145a got there at 245p. stayed up there and enjoyed the views for an hour. headed down, that took about 2 hours on the dot. mosquitoes were waiting for us, but walk fast to the base camp restaurant to refuel. we dont hike hardly at all but first time in Yosemite we wanted a challenge and the thrill of accomplishing this. went through half a gallon of water, sunscreen was a good idea as well. bring snacks for the top!

Amazing and intimidating till you do it.
Beautiful scenery and terrain !!
Definitely need to train 8 weeks before..
Once a week hike and once a week stepper at the gym .
MAKE. SURE TO CARRY THREE OR MORE LITERS OF WATER.
Wouldn’t have done it without amazing group of friends.

on Tumbledown Mountain Trail

hiking
11 days ago

While this app is helpful, the Maine Mountain Guide should be everyone’s go to for info before this hike to avoid any surprises. The Loop Trail is very strenuous and dangerous if wet. Having said that, my son and I did Loop Trail up, then the Brook Trail down, only because of the “Chimney” portion, and I think climbing up the metal rungs is easier than coming down. I would advise no dogs on the Loop Trail because of this spot, but that just my opinion.
Once you reach the Tumbledown Boulder (which you can’t miss) you start to gain most of your elevation. This is were it starts to get strenuous. It stays that way until you reach the “Chimney “ The blue blazes in spots were sometimes hard to locate but the beaten path helped guide us. Once past the Chimney, it levels off shortly, then it opens up to the metamorphic rock that you can see at the top, then eventually you can look down on Tumbledown Pond. This hike can get very crowded so we left the parking lot by 8:30 am, and were at the top by 11:30, seeing only 3 others. At the top there were a few people scattered about but didn’t feel crowded. After 1/2 hour or so taking in the beautiful views, we came down the Brook Trail. A lot of boulder scrambling at first, followed by some rocky and muddy spots, then what looked to be like a dry riverbed. Then it eventually turned into a tote road. We made it back by 1:10. 4 1/2 hrs round trip. Once back on the road, it was evident at how busy it can get with the amount of cars along the road.
Don’t let the elevation fool you. This is a very strenuous hike no matter the trail to the top. Read the guide, plan accordingly. Don’t just rely on this app as evidenced by others who were “surprised” at what they encountered. Also, have fun! This hike has amazing views!

Load More