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


Aloha! I typically hike up 1-3 times a week for almost 3 years now. Went up 7 times in the last 13 days. I will be going again this weekend Saturday and Sunday. 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 and gloves) which are 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.

14 hours ago

steep stairs at the end, quite slippery roots when wet, best when dry conditions. spectacular view from the top! definitely don't bring dogs or young kids

on Kuliouou Ridge Trail

16 hours ago

Pretty ridge hike with amazing vegetation changes. The trail is marked in places where the footpath is unclear by ties on trees or paint. The trail is easy-moderate until you pass the grove of pines and picnic tables. Avoid this hike if it rained-- descending some parts would be dangerous and undoable if slick with mud. Otherwise, this is a safe hike with no treacherous points.

The best part of the hike is the last leg, where the green vegetation, blue sky, and red dirt take on high contrast, psychedelic colors. You'll catch views before and behind you once you reach the top. We completed this hike in about 2.5-3 hours. No crowd on weekdays. Overall a beautiful and rewarding hike.

Heya! I'm looking to do this hike on Feb 19th or 20th. If anyone is interested in joining or already planning the trek, let me know! Canadian on vacation looking to get some pre-frisbee tourney adventure in! Reach me at aaron_zucker@hotmail.com or @aaron.zuck

By far the best hike I have done so far in Hawaii!!! I will not discourage anyone from doing this hike but please know that there will be some climbing to get to the top of the peaks. I only did two but next time I come back I will finish the trail. It is challenging but worth every step you take.

I've been going every weekend. it's been pretty clear up top the last few times I went. I have done this hike many times. If you want to avoid getting fined/arrested I will be going up this weekend this legal backway. I have some clean up to do up there. In my opinion going up the stairs all the way gets boring, the backway is more of an adventure and there are better views. It can get pretty muddy and windy. Crampons(spikes) recommended, I do have some spare spikes.
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

1 day ago

Super fun, super beautiful hike. I had wanted to do this for years, ever since I was a little kid riding over the Pali. It did not disappoint and I’ve gone back several times. Avoid if too wet because it can get muddy and people have been seriously injured. But otherwise it’s a fun few hours. The views from the peaks are fantastic and (most) of the tricker parts have ropes to help.

no shade
1 day ago

Gorgeous sunrise views!! Very crowded in the mornings so make sure you come EARLY to get parking if you want to see the sunrise. First lookout is maybe 15 min in and the dawn view is already good from there if you want to stop at that point and just chill.

1 day ago

I had been putting this trail off because I thought it would be just the same as Kuliouou and Wiliwilinui, just shorter. I actually might like it the best out of the three—really great views all the way in and not too crowded or muddy (although there was still some mud). I like that you start up near the ridge already, so there’s not as much dealing with bugs and rainforest humidity, but you do need state ID to access (gated community).

This was such a fun hike, but a little longer than we were expecting! All four of us were baby-wearing our littles. We loved the falls at the end and jumped in the falls at the end. Crawl up the waterfall and see the waterfall at the top!

Aloha, planning to hike this trail after Eminem concert next month. Shooting for February 16 or 17. Looking for experience hiking buddies to do it with us. Beer and dinner on me after! DM me on my IG @ mytravellovebug

Hi ! I would like to do this hike tomorrow, I’m in Hawaii with my friends but they don’t really want to go because of the difficulty of this hike. So if you want to do it with a French hiker contact me on Instagram : theo_mrc

Nice hike. Muddy. Great swimming under the waterfall.

Hard, but worth every bit of sweat!

Terrific hike!

Nice trail that can be connected to other trails to make it a loop.

I typically hike up 1-3 times a week for almost 3 years now. Went up 5 times in the last 11 days. Had an awesome time going up today! I will be going again this Thursday, Friday, and this upcoming weekend. 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 and gloves) which are 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.

Hiked January 2019,
This was a great trail. It started off a little sketchy just because you have to enter the trail in the back of government property complete with construction workers and warning signs telling you not to enter. There are probably a number of ways to reach the top, but I’m sure if you follow the actual river coming from the water fall you won’t miss it.
It’s pretty dog friendly and off of the beaten path so it makes good for a cool evening stroll.

3 days ago

I would say this is tougher than the rating but only due to the fact I carried about 30+ extra pounds on my back (baby+carrier). The “waterfall” wasn’t anything really worth the trip today but the view overall is amazing. The hike was up and down challenging and was a good workout overall. I’m sure there’s more of a waterfall when there’s more rain but not on a day like today.

It’s a great hike with great views! Be sure to take water because it can get very hot.
The hike can be done as an out and back or a loop by continuing past Pillbox #2 and hiking the ridge. The trail will dump you out on Luika Place. CAUTION!!! The trail gets really steep and narrow, the last 1000 feet or so. If it recently rained, forget about going as the trail will get slick and muddy.

4 days ago

It is a great hike that gives you an amazing view of Waimānalo and if you look back you can see town. Bring water because it can get hot if it is a sunny day. When you get close to the top there isn’t as much shade also.

Easily one of the more enjoyable routes Ive done. I didnt see another person on the trail until I was nearly back to the trailhead. Bring lots of water, wear long pants to avoid scratches.

worth it! not anyone there with us when we got there. mostly up hill but super easy

very fun trail. it can be very muddy and dangerous. great views and a nice challenge

5 days ago

Awesome but there are sketchy spots and difficult when muddy
Fun though!

I will climb the Stairway to Heaven with some others tomorrow, January 13th, for the 317th time. “Haʻikū Stairs v. 317” - 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!


rock climbing
6 days ago

Awesome hike! Respect the neighborhood and park on Kamehameha hwy by the showers at the beach lot, and walk to the trail opening (stay right for this trail when it spilts in the beginning). You can see if the main waterfall is flowing or not from the street. Went with barely anything flowing and still well well worth it. It’s over a mile for sure, watch clocked over 2 if you go all the way. This trail is not heavily trafficked at all and the trail is very easily to lose sight. Requires quite a lot of crossing the rock stream. Prepare to get wet, muddy and rock climb. If your up for the challenge follow the ropes and you’ll be rewarded. Also for dogs if they are not good at rock climbing or you can’t carry them up rock walls, they can’t make it safely up to the very top. Brought my pembroke welsh corgi and she hiked herself up then I tossed her in my k9 sport sack and rucked her to the top.

6 days ago

such a great time. this trail felt much longer on the way in as we diverted off the path and boldered our way through the dried up river bed. once you reach the first fall, climb the ropes and carry on to the final two. don't rush and give yourself plenty of time to get to the end. the ropes will slow you down a bit if others are trying to get up and down. not the most physically demanding hike, but having good balance, coordination and confidence in your strength will get you through this one.

I took my 10, 9, and 5-year olds on this hike and they managed better than I did! It has some great views during the first half, and then gets quite steep as you descend to the pools. Lots of folks were jumping off and doing pull-ups on the ropes that cross the water - it was fun to watch. It was very dry the day we hiked, which meant that the steep parts (hard-packed dirt) were extremely slick. We fell on our butts a few times, just due to skidding out. I will say I saw a few people hiking barefoot, or with Crocs - would not recommend that. It took us almost three hours RT, but that was with some snack breaks, and lots of time at the bottom of the trail to watch the jumpers. It was fairly busy on a Saturday, but not obnoxious -- and definitely not as crowded as Manoa falls. Don't be tricked by the first 0.8 miles -- really easy and fun. Then it gets quite steep... Definitely try it wth kiddos - they will like it a lot (if you continue tossing in the breaks for granola bars and fruit snacks!).

6 days ago

Parking - we had to park about 0.7 miles away on the street. We hit the trailhead at 1pm. We only expected to be able to accomplish 1 peak (we are very experienced hikers but have heard how crazy this hike is and were actually scared to even do it), but ended up doing all 3!! It took us 6 hours from when we left my car to when we got back, we were stuck in the dark on the way back using flashlights on our phone, so start early!!

People hesitate to do the third peak because they see the drop down from the second peak, and it’s sort of an optical illusion. It does look like you drop off the cliff with a rope but don’t worry there are rock edges to put your feet the whole way down. I will say though, coming back from the third peak and back up the second peak was terrifying. You are bouldering, and I saw my life flash a few times. We also saw a trail of blood the whole way back up.

Just getting to the top of the first peak is a grueling hike in itself and has the best views of the hike, so if you’re uneasy I think you should stick to the first and feel accomplished of all of your hard work!

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