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This hike is too easy, as in follow the muddy path. Gates to Moanalau Valley Trail open at 7am. Take two pairs of boots. Youll cross like 15 rivers and then at the end of the trail it finally starts the upward climb. Change your boots and socks and then follow the path. So many people have done it that it's a muddy path. Take gloves, lots of water and energy bars. I didn't have spikes and I was fine. If you have them take it. Other than that enjoy the view it's BEAUTIFUL!!!

33 minutes ago

It’s easy, but beautiful scenery is waiting for you. You can go take a child. It was muddy when I went. The scenery is waiting if you are careful.

I will climb the Haʻikū Stairs, aka Stairway to Heaven, today for the 301st time. 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!


13 hours ago

Also check out Pupukea-Paumalu track to connect up with this hike. The upper Paumalu-Pupukea segment is much nicer ( and drier) than the lower sections or in the valley ( Lilikoi Section is a mud fest).

mountain biking
14 hours ago

Me and my pal did it a while back on cross country bikes would definitely avoid that one section that had a sandy path to the look out tower we didn’t stand a chance in the sand. It was so how I had two water bottles and we ran out before half way go early avoid the sun wear proper attire cause it’s HOT

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.

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
-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

So beautiful! Me and my family went there today. Very confusing at first to find where to start the trail . But once you find it there are pink/orange tape markers to guide your way. Very muddy and some parts a little difficult to navigate. The terrain is rocky/muddy. Wear waterproof boots. You have to cross the stream multiple times before you get to the falls. There are multiple routes that you’ll see as you’re hiking the trail. For instance on the way up we took one route and coming down we took an easier way. The falls are beautiful. I highly recommend this trail! Happy hiking!

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

Beautiful views the whole way. Will do this one again!

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.

nice little hike & you can go on top of the rock -> when you arrive the hole, you can go on the left :)

Great views !

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.

It’s pretty fun, and the falls is worth the trip. A couple beautiful spots for photos along the way. It’s totally muddy, but so is everything!!!!

4 days ago

Did this hike today with my 13 year old daughter. First time in Hawaii. Very few people on this trail this morning and the views from the top are amazing! Definitely worth the drive from Waikiki.

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.

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!!

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

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.

Wonderful hike, but it's more like a walk. No shades so it's better on a cloudy or cooler day. Be sure to put your sunscreen on, hats, shades, and plenty water is a must. We walked to the tip of the island, then we walked all the way to the North shore parking lot, and then we followed the metal fence back down to the Waianae side parking lot. We saw the ground nesting birds and seals at the tip.

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

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?

6 days ago

Not sure why it has a difficult rating. It’s very easy. There’s a small part where you sort of have to scramble up some rocks and butt scoot down but it’s only for like 20 feet.

I loved this hike! Definitely bring shoes that u dont care for since it will get super muddy. Bring bug spray because there are LOTS of bugs. I got bit everywhere. I’d recommend starting the hike around noon or early afternoon the latest. Make sure u dont stay there when it gets dark because it’s easy to get lost. The waterfall is nice and there’s an area you can jump from. Also, make sure you bring covers for your car and/or extra clothes so you dont get your car ruined or muddy.

7 days ago

The hike is short and steep along the cliffs to an amazing view of the west side. We went at sunset, and it was so beautiful that our friends actually ended up getting engaged at the top! :)

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