Explore Oahu Hard Trails - 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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This was absolutely amazing. The most gnarly hike I’ve ever been on. I was terrified on the last hour to the top as it was super windy and you are walking on the ridge most of the time. Did this two days ago and I’m still sore. Super worth it but not sure I would ever do it again. This is a HARD hike and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Use spikes if you can - seriously muddy and the spikes saved my life. The way down seemed much easier after what we experienced on the way up but still sketchy. If you do it alone, guaranteed you will find some people to chat with and help you out. I suggest starting before 8am.

Hiked this solo on 7/8/18. Forgot to review. Did the ridge starting in Moanalua, down the stairs, back up the stairs, then back across the ridge where I started. That was pretty brutal! 14 miles, 9 hours or so tracking on the Apple Watch. It was rainy for part of it and windy on the sketchy parts. Not for the timid.

I went the other day, it got pretty muddy and wet towards the top. If you have crampons that will help. I'm going up the "back way" this Sunday the 19th. if you'd like to join send me a message on instagram @angelo_q. Make sure to bring food and water and maybe some layers because it can get pretty windy and wet up top.

I went the other day, it got pretty muddy and wet towards the top. If you have crampons that will help. I'm going up this Sunday the 19th. if you'd like to join send me a message on instagram @angelo_q. Make sure to bring food and water and maybe some layers because it can get pretty windy and wet up top

Probably the best hike in Oahu in terms of difficulty, beautiful scenery, semi-challenging rock climbing sections, and then the viewpoint from the first peak. We made it to the second peak, but decided not to go all the way to the third peak due to the sketchiness of the ropes on the backside of the second peak. Nonetheless, it was simply beautiful from the top! Highly recommended! Hope the weather is in your favor!

Hiked 8/12. Challenging but enjoyable hike. Agree with earlier reviews…wear pants! It’s extremely overgrown most of the way. I also stopped at the 3.5 mile peak due to heavy cloud cover and fog. The risk wasn’t worth the gain to fight my way the additional quarter mile to the Lanipo peak. That portion of the trail is basically non existent. Plenty of flowers and creepy crawlers to check out along the way.

Completed this hike on 2018-08-07 via the "legal" way (start from Moanalua). My review does NOT apply to the Haiku Stairs. There are a lot of invitation to hike/ solicitation for guides on this review page. I'd like to provide some objective info regarding the risks and difficulty for people considering this hike.

Conditions on that day: No rain. Good visibility. Trail mostly dry, which lowered the risk factor significantly for us considering the wind (see below), but we encountered some spots that are very muddy. *Most* of the time we found a way to walk around the mud. Very strong, and more importantly gusty, wind on the ridge (~40+mph gusts). I'm reasonably fit/agile and I got knocked off balance and stumbled a couple times. Consider this with the fact that, in some parts of this trail you're hiking on a narrow ridge with steep cliffs on BOTH sides. Sometimes your margin of error is 1 or 2 steps. Yes you read that right.

Technical difficulties: Can be very muddy/slippery. Some steep climbs that require using your hands. Narrow, exposed trails. Spikes and hiking poles will make the hike easier, and more importantly, SAFER. You will encounter some loose dirt/rocks. People in my group were young, active people of average to above-average fitness. No expert hikers. Undoutedly a strenous hike, but we all completed the trail. ~3 hours up, ~3 hours down.

The risk of this hike depends heavily on rain and the wind. Both can change quickly. If the trail is not slippery AND there's no wind, this trail is manageable for reasonably agile, sure-footed hikers. However, slippery/windy conditions can make this trail very dangerous. If you want to do this hike, fully recognize the risk you're taking and use common sense - don't go alone; don't go in the dark; don't do it when you're not well rested, etc. Even then, go with the expectation that you might have to turn back if you don't feel safe. Falling off a mountain is a shitty way to die and your friends will have to have a very awkward conversation with your family.

Oh yea the views are phenonmenal, but you already know that. you get to take in full views of both the windward and leeward sides of the mountain.

Just bear in mind that a large portion behind Treetop Restaurant and the formerly Paradise Park is owned by Roman Catholic Church of Hawaii and a major portion around Waiakeaua and Waaloa by BWS.

Aloha! Hiking tomorrow(Monday), possibly other days this week, and this weekend for sure as well. 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 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.

Aloha! Hiking tomorrow(Monday), possibly other days this week, and this weekend for sure as well. 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 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.

Quiet technic but ok ... super place to see ... we enjoyed it . Not for raining days at all ... our 9 walked easily to the fall but he is used to .

News Update Lost Hikers on Olomana Trail

http://tinyurl.com/ydfqqngk

Anybody trying to do this hike tomorrow sat 11th August anytime hmu I’m trying to do it but I’m hoping to tag along with someone that knows the way lol thnx

I will climb the Haʻikū Stairs, aka Stairway to Heaven, Monday, August 13th, for the 278th time.

The most recent post on my Instagram @Hawaii_Mountain.Man.Matt will give you an idea for an impactful photo perspective.

Here’s some helpful bits:

(1) The stairs are the safest way to reach that point on Oahu. Every year thousands of people die falling on the stairs in their house, but no one ever died falling down the Haʻikū Stairs.

(2) You are able to just walk right past the guard.

The security guard has two jobs: to remind you that you are trespassing, and to write down the number of hikers going up and coming down.

Those numbers go to the security company who compiles a report for the Board of Water Supply, the current land owner.

There are 3 regular guards. Two are friendly, one is not - be friendly anyway.

(3) The police have an independent strategy for issuing tickets.

Since August of 2017, the Board of Water Supply provided additional funding to station police on-site. This has been much more effective, but some people get through still.

(4) Every game has elements of skill and luck.

Because this is your first game, a win is beginners luck. The police play this game once an hour for months. If they win, that is skill. You have some technique, but mostly luck, so before the hike I recommend identifying the level of risk which is right for you, and sticking to it so you are comfortable knowing you’ll be okay either way.

(5) Use your spidy senses.

Make your own plan, and do your own thing. Don’t try to be like everyone else - the police read blogs too.

A review on Stairway is like a review on Russian roulette. Yes, he set down the vodka, held the revolver at a 15° angle, squeezed the trigger ‘really slow’, and yes it did go ‘click’. But no, that’s not the trick to it.

You down hear from the guy when it goes ‘boom’.

People standing in front of the judge facing 6 months in jail just want to be forgiven, they are not online reviewing or incriminating themselves.

(6) Don’t increase your level of acceptable risk mid-hike.

For instance: most of traffic goes up the back way and down the stairs. This doesn’t make sense from a planning perspective. The magic is in the ‘up’ portion of the stairs.

But everyone is suffering the long walk up the back and then goes with the risk of cops for an admin-style descent to the base of the stairs.

These people would have skipped the hike entirely instead of facing the police. But they did feel comfortable with the sound of the legal route. They saw pictures of the beauty and brought equipment appropriate for the stairs - but dangerously inadequate for Moanalua Valley Trail.

They reached the top having survived the day, but can’t say they enjoyed it. He was going to propose to her, but now the girlfriend is shaking and crying and talking to some Hawaii Mountain Man. I hear: “I’d rather get the ticket than die”. So they go down the front, and by that point, they have chosen all the lesser rewards and faced all the greater dangers possible for that experience.

The better way was to set a realistic plan and stick to the plan.

For the same principle, don’t start with accepting the risk of a ticket, and then run if you see a cop.

You are boxed in by mountains and those officers grew up trespassing there before they were cops. They know where you’re going. Running moves your risk from a ticket to a second criminal conviction (evading arrest).

Its better to take the ticket than to sit in the back of the cop car thinking: “I didn’t mean for this to go that far.”

Another ‘trick’ is to give a fake name. You wouldn’t be the first. That becomes false report to a Police Officer and identify theft - a felony charge. No hike is worth a felony. This is supposed to transform your life, not ruin some years of it.

(7) The nuts and bolts.

There can be a few court dates. In the first, the judge will ask for your attorney, and because of the possible imprisonment, won’t allow a plea until you have counsel. It’s smart to show up to your first court date prepared to proceed.

The total setback ranges from $3,000 for a local with the time off work, the thousand dollar fine, community service and defense attorney for their initial case and a motion to expunge after a couple years of good behavior. It’s appropriately $5,000 for a visitor with the cost of flying back on the days required. And of course, the impact on visa/immigration and professional life is unique to each individual.

In summary, to lose this game feels like your house got broken into so march to the beat of that perspective.

(8) We can change this.

Its disappointing that walking somewhere healthy and safely (and hopefully respectfully) garners extreme disapproval from the court, but it does. Hopefully with our smiles and stories of the epic life-changing m

lots of ups and downs and good views along the way make this a fun hike that I'll definitely do again. pretty exposed though, so make sure to have plenty of water. last portion rather muddy but not usually so for a ridgeline hike ascent. final 0.2 miles along KST has a lot of slick spots and a few portions without a real trail, which I'd avoid if you're not looking for a challenge. about 4:30 in decent weather by an experienced hiker, suggest pants for second half or so.

Hello!
I've been wanting got the longest time to do this hike! Can anyone tell me how to access it from the back side, the legal (and long) one?
I would appreciate it! Mahalo!
clawdia_jimena is my IG.
(claudia jimena my name)

I’m in Oahu looking for a hiking buddy to do it. Anyone ? Hit me up

I will climb the Haʻikū Stairs, aka Stairway to Heaven, Monday, August 13th, for the 278th 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!"

Most neighbors are friendly, but some are aggressive and even violent. Tourist blood has spilled in the neighborhood more than once in the past year.

(4) The back way is less safe, but worth considering.

A ticket on the stairs is common and the judges have gotten tired of the case. The charge is Second Degree Criminal Trespass with these components:

(1) $1,000 fine
(1) Three dates, each about two months apart at the Kaneohe Courthouse
(2) Jail, no longer than 6 months. (incarnation is rare, averaging 1.6 out of 100 tickets)
(3) Legal fees (a defense attorney charges $800 - $1,500 for the case)
(4) Usually 60 hours of community service.
(5) Legal fees for expungement after some years of a clean record.
(6) Visa/Immigration hurdles.
(7) Impact on professional life.
(8) Return travel and accommodations to attend court, community service, etc.

The financial setback ranges from $3,000 for an average local, up into the hundreds of thousands over the length of a career for military members reduced in rank, professional licenses affected, working visas denied, etc.

Public record shows hundreds of tickets a month, but I suppose everyone standing in court started their morning hike knowing they had done the research.

There are techniques, but to be fair, everything posted online is a bit comical.

Two tips:
⁃ The guard is usually friendly and does not have the power to give anyone a ticket.
⁃ The police have internet also and are good at what they do all day every day.

(5) This is the real Hawai’i!

When I go, I approach peacefully and respectfully.

As we climb we are immersed, perhaps because we step “into” the experience 3,922 times. The activity melts our physical senses, and opens us to sense spirit. We rise from civilization to magic.

At the top, we savor hot foods and reflect for a couple hours in comfort, allowing the memory of the feeling to become part of us before the senses of civilization erase the nuances of that raw truth from our attention.

People think I go for the epic view, but along the way they recognize their own reflection in nature. They discover that they share an energetic blueprint with a land so majestic and find new appreciation for the landscape of their own soul.

They find that they climbed a mountain to see themselves in new light, so that the sunrise was the second, third or forth best part of the day.

They alway say: “I had no idea it was going to be this good.” Always with smiles, sometimes in tears.

I might skip a week or go twice a day, but even after so many times, once I start I’m lost on it again.

Aloha
@Hawaii_Mountain.Man.Matt

hiking
7 days ago

Last time I did this, one of the ropes snapped and this guy fell 15ft. Luckily it was into about 12-18in of water, but he took a bad tumble down some rocks. He was seriously shaken, looked like he broke his wrist, but he was stubborn and his partner wanted to get he out of there so after a few minutes of recovering they just left.

Sobering reminder, don't trust ropes. On unmaintained trails, nobody is checking them and it doesn't take long for Hawaii's wet humid climate compromise the strength. You fall and get hurt it's on you, nobody is footing the bill for you.

FYI find the trail via the Pu'u Pia intersect. Do not follow the map/GPS directions on this page, it will take you to a closed trail head

Omg, it's a killer, but it was so so good!!! I went with @mvrkb who does local tours for the low low, and we became instant friends! He's a superrrr awesome and friendly af local, and can help you out with whatever hike you need! If you decide to go by yourself, really consider the weather conditions, because I prob wouldn't have been able to do it without the spikes mark lent me.

Finally did this today! Started at 630 am ended shortly after 1 pm. Went with 2 L of water (Drank maybe half) and some granola bars. While it’s long, it’s not a super difficult hike. A good portion is slippery but as long as you’re careful, you should be okay. Really isn’t any need for spikes or fancy equipment. It was easy to find and navigate.

I am hoping to find a local or hiking enthusiast would be willing to take myself and 2 other girls on this trail while there from September 11th- September 18th. Email me at emily.skelly11@gmail.com or Instagram at skellllz1

Thanks for considering!

Great hike and worth your time. You’re going to want to go on a clear day when it hasn’t rained much. Note parking may have to be in the neighborhood below.

BIG ORGANIZED HIKE COMING UP on MEMORIAL DAY.
Join us on Facebook at HIKING HAWAII. https://www.facebook.com/groups/160974214688510/permalink/196416124477652/

rock climbing
10 days ago

did this home on a very windy day. very fun and awesome views. a little slick but I think as long as you've done a few hikes before you won't have any trouble

hiking
10 days ago

Be careful! All Trails does not lead to the correct trailhead. I ended up on the Notches trail and it was intense and dangerous due to wind and slippery slopes.

You will know you’re at Pali Puka trail if you see the “Trail Closed” sign. Facing the Pali lookout, the trail is to the left NOT RIGHT. It was a great hike, definitely recommend.

I would not attempt notches trail in wind, rain, or alone.

hiking
10 days ago

It's a great hike, it's a little more than 4 miles though. With the few times I lost the trail the app logged me at around 10 miles in 4 hours. once you get near the middle of the course the app shoots of in all directions (assuming it uses courses other people recorded) so use the app but expect to do a little pathfinding, also wear long pants there were leeches in the river.

Aloha! Hiking Monday, Tuesday, and Friday this week most likely. Maybe other days as well. 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 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.

hiking
11 days ago

Fun Trail, lots of up and downs. Would not say it's Olomana 'hard', more like moderate+. Park on street, be respectful of driveways and you'll be fine. fyi, We did not see one other person when we hiked it. So, after water-tower go right-ish...not right along fence, to open paperbark tree area. Short walk thru, then left down big hill...it will look like a trail. Rest is pretty well marked from there. You will get your shoes or feet wet crossing the stream (you cross it twice). Bring suit to jump in. Toward middle of trail, there is a pink ribbon indicating the trail goes right down a hill. This is not the trail, but rather a nice place to swim. The trail goes up hill...even though there are no markers for a bit. It gets really muddy near stream when raining. Watch out for hidden roots under leaves. There was fire a bit back, so you will see evidence of that. Have fun!

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