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Aloha! I do various guided hikes with photos on Oahu. I hike often/weekly. I hiked this past week and this weekend and will be hiking this week Thursday and this weekend as well. Feel free to check out some examples of photos on my instagram @mike.karas. You can message me there or at mikekarasphotography@gmail.com

3 days ago

Actually stayed on the marked trail and not this one. The map at the top shows 2 trails. Numbered 1 & 2. This hike is number 2 and it looked like the trailhead was down the road where the sign says 4x4 vehicles only.

Going clockwise to the falls is pretty easy and straightforward, it's been well marked. I loved the falls, it was flowing well even on a sunny day! but it's been raining a lot overall the past month which is probably why. If you just want to see the falls, best to just go back out the way you came in. I decided to try out the loop because I hate repetition and loved the idea of a challenge. I think people might hunt here and that's why there's kind of a bit of excessively random trail markers? Might be wrong, but it's really just a guessing game after the falls, eventually I just started hashing my way up the ridge no trail. Accidentally ended up finding the trail anyway(After an hour or so)! You have no idea how happy I was to see that yellow rope lol from there is was really easy again, just a simple ridgeline trail. it was definitely a bit overgrown at times but nothing unbearable. the trail past the falls just needs to be remarked! otherwise I really enjoyed this trail.

I’ll climb the stairs Fri, Mar 23rd for the 234th 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!"

Two people have recently been shot on the street by a high powered air rifle fired near the intersection of Kuneki and Makena. That was wrong of the shooter, but also not surprising.

(4) The back way is more dangerous, but worth considering.

Near the base of the stairs, there is one unmarked Honolulu Police Department vehicle roaming to catch hikers.

After the November 12th escape of killer Randall Saito from the mental facility behind the neighborhood, security is on best behavior using off-road vehicles to apprehend hikers.

On a usual morning, a roving HPD officer, a stationary guard and two roving guards secure the area.

The penalty has some variables, but here are the components:

(1) $1,000 fine
(2) Jail, no longer than 6 months. (incarnation is rare)
(3) Legal fees (a defense attorney charges $800 - $1,500 for the case)
(4) Usually 80 hours of community service.
(5) Legal fees for expungement.
(6) Visa/Immigration hurdles
(7) Impact on professional life.
(8) Return travel and accommodations to attend court, community service, etc.

The setback ranges from $3,000 for simple cases, up into the hundreds of thousands over the length of a career for military members reduced in rank, folks who lose their security clearance or a professional license, etc.

Going up the front way, as amazing as it is, is not worth playing Russian roulette with the penalty, so don’t “just risk the ticket”.

Have a plane


‘Three routes through the bamboo forest’ would be where I’d be if I were looking to catch you. Just saying.

Super wet today, still made it up though. A little difficult getting down. Will definitely do it again next week.

Love this trail. Challenging at times but lots of nice pathed straight-aways, cool trees and plants that provide shade and epic views of the city. Basically you end up hiking in the clouds! Highly recommend but wouldn’t bring small children, I saw two families that had to turn around. It’s definitive not the easiest hike but worth the effort for the beautiful views / photographs! Good work out, too!

on Pali Puka Trail

5 days ago

Great short hike with incredible views!

They did put up a gate, making it way harder to get passed, unless you’re daring. So disappointing because this was one of my favorites.

Beautiful hike to the point. The hike is along a flat, dirt road/trail, but you are exposed at all times. Remember your sunscreen and water. Enjoy!

The Brochure to Kamananui Valley Road.



13 days ago

Thoughts upon completion: COUNTERCLOCKWISE! Do it counterclockwise. Not for comfort, but for safety. The counterclockwise route puts the hard, crazy incline, narrow track stuff mostly on your uphill, and then, with the exception of some slippy, narrow channel through mud stuff right after the summit, it's mostly accessible downhills, some stairs, mostly plodding. But, geeze, we were talking about what it would have been like to go down the stuff we went up, if we had gone clockwise, and folks, I think it would have been ridiculously unsafe at the least, impassable at most.

On the counterclockwise route, there's a sharp left turn out of a musclewood grove near the end, that's the one major left you can see on the route map. Easy to miss, and if you miss it you end up in the burbs in Hawaii-Loa. If you do this, you have to walk down the hill the highway, then back up the Niu valley to the car. Not sure how many miles that added to the trek, but it was a few.

Let's see...oh, spikes would have been nice. Bring spikes. Not impossible without, but there are some steep downhills on the ridge between peaks where it's like, mud, slide, dropoff to either side. Spikes would have been nice.

Beyond that, omfg, as the kids say. This hike is amazing. The views defy description, camera and memory. It is ILL to see half the island from a single point. Honolulu looks fake from the distance, like toys. Kokohead looks tiny. Super great hike. Tiring, bring more food than you want. Give yourself hours, we took 1:00-8:00. Although, as mentioned above, we tacked on 2-3 hours/miles at the end, and took our time on the ridge to avoid, well, death. (It's not that bad, you're just not gonna wanna jog up there.) But with 2 liters of water and a few kind bars, nuts, fruit things, we were solid.

If you got the feet, do this hike.

14 days ago

This hike has been on my list for quite a while and we finally did it today! It was a bit overcast with significant wind but the trail was dry. We got there at 9am on a Thursday and we were the only ones up there until we started to head down. Trail head is easy to find, look for the danger sign in the bamboo tree line behind the bus parking at the lookout. Pass the sign and start heading up. There are many options along the trail to cut into the trees if you don’t want to walk the ridge. We walked a bit of the ridge and a bit in the trees on the way to the Puka and completely along the ridge on our way back down. It’s amazing views and as long as you watch where you are walking it’s safe. The Puka could be missed if you don’t know what to look for, we seen 1 woman up there that was lost an went right passed the Puka. When you come up to a large rock face, go down it and that is the Puka. The trail actually goes up over it and you can’t see it. Parking is $3.00 for tourists and free for residents and military. Nice, quick and slightly technical hike. We did the Puka and crouching lion in 1 day.

my wife and i plan to hike the Haiku stairs next week (3/12-16/2018). It will be the first time for us. I have read lots of reviews and comments and have done some research but i am sure it will be a lot more to find out once we are there. Please give us any last minute tips and advises. Appreciate.
My email address is timdvo@yahoo.com

Puka was pretty small but the views are magnificent! Stayed by the ridge the whole time. started at the right side of the fence coming from the Makapu'u Lookout parking lot.

15 days ago

First part is a series of switchbacks to gain elevation. This is a good workout up to the picnic area. The real fun begins after this though. The elevation gain up the old fire road is very peaceful and quiet. Didn’t see another person the entire time. At the junction with the Kuaokala trail, if you take it to the right then you will hit a fence that has a gate to open and go through. From here you are treated to views of Makua valley. You can continue on the trail which is mostly a ridge hike. It’s not an overly difficult one so it is worth going a little farther for more views if you have time. I did a little less than 10 miles round trip.

I am looking to do this hike on April 30th. This is most likely to be the hardest hike I have ever done. I would love to have my wife with me but she isn’t sure if she can do it. ¿Is it really that hard? Can anyone share a video of what the hardest part looks like? Pm email: carlosh822@gmail.com

15 days ago

Family friendly, with great views of the north shore and Makua valley.

A lot of the previous reviews are pretty spot on. Fairly exposed ridge hike, Especially the first third of the trail. described as a roller coaster up-and-down which is pretty accurate as well. Definitely agree with wearing long pants. The views are fantastic. The trail is pretty narrow in some sections with steep drop off’s; however, it’s generally only on one side so you at least have some room for error on the other side. There are definitely places though that you do not want to have any mistakes or you would suffer an unrecoverable fall.

Long and tough one...but so worth it! The most beautiful hike I have taken, by far! Recommend brining either chacos or water proof boots because you walk through quite a few streams during the beginning. Then strap on spikes are highly recommended for the strenuous climbing towards the end.

I love this trail, it keeps you on your toes!

16 days ago

Not much of a historic site hike and views of Pearl Harbor along this trail are undesirable. Homeless camps and several areas with heavy tribe smell. May be better bike than hike trail. I would NOT recommend going alone

Awesome hike with amazing views ❤️

Amazing hike and beautiful waterfall at the end. Super muddy but so much fun! I decided to wear water shoes...and it was a great idea! Definitely a long hike...so be prepared! We had plenty of snacks and lots of water! I would definitely do this hike again!

19 days ago

Probably posting in the wrong spot, but does anyone want to do this hike or the Pali Notches hike Thursday March 8, 2017 ?


I did this yesterday with Sophia Hy. The hike itself was amazing. The day was supposed to be cloudy most of the day but it has been raining for weeks. The steep sections were super muddy and ropes were also covered in mud and slippery. This was definitely not for amateurs. We pass at least 6 people going back down that turned around due to the conditions. We made it to the top with a navy guy we met on the way up and also met 2 guys from new zealand on the way down that had completed it. 3 teenagers from Argentina were so freaked out they said they were going to go down the stairs and face the fine rather go back the way they came. It certainly can be treacherous when it rains. We had rain about half way up and most of the way back. I've never been so muddy or wet. Definitely worth it though.

Greatest hidden gem on the island. Also secluded and extremely lightly traveled. My fiancé and I were the first ones on the trail for the day and it had just turned noon when we started. So we definitely used the privacy for some “honeymoon” time when we got to the waterfall.
-Tarzan and Jane

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