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

to do Map

So beautiful.!!! I was so apprehensive, because of its reputation of being treacherous and difficult, but it must have been made safe lately, because though it’s tiring on the way back, because on the way TO the falls it’s pretty much downhill, there was nothing dangerous about it. Honestly, the biggest pain to me was the driving there. I had my regular slightly low car, and some of the roads are dirt-ish. Then again, if I’d had my husband’s big truck, I would feel insecure that it was too big because some parts of the road are very slim. Back to the hike, the destination is so gorgeous. Though it’s too cold still to go swimming, we put our feet in and walked around. Two couples went, and I saw the guys going down the small waterfall into the lower pool.Thank goodness they hurt!

Amazing and beautiful! The drive in on the dirt road is bumpy but bearable in a sedan. The drive in the hills toward the trailhead is so pretty! The first few hundred feet on the trail is awesome, but looking up you'll miss some of the rock arrows on the ground. There is a giant arrow that points left to a pile of boulders. Without investigating, we assumed it was wrong because we didn't see a path, so we stayed to the right and took the trail counterclockwise. Going clockwise, you'd need to scramble some rocks and climb some ladders off the bat. In hindsight, this is probably the easier way to go because you go up the ladders instead of down, and it seems less likely you'll get lost. Alas, we went right, which I think ended up being the prettier route but we would have gotten lost multiple times if Google Maps hadn't been working on our phones. If you go this way, know that anytime you see a row of rocks clearly man made, it means don't cross that line or you'll go off trail. At the top of the loop, keep an eye for a long row of rocks across the wash. Here, look left and you'll see the trail goes up the hill. Coming back down the loop back towards the trailhead there are a couple of forks where you basically have to guess where to go if you don't have GPS. Our maps were useless because they didn't show these forks. Either way, this hike is AMAZING and is a must see for any able bodied person in the area!

Amazing views of DP Harbor and Cottons Pt.

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

I want to do the stairs but have no one to go with as of yet. I’ll be here until March 26th if anyone’s going and wouldn’t mind me tagging along pleae let me know! Message me on IG: chris_paini

The trail has been fixed to make it easier to get to the falls since last summer. No more climbing down an embankment on a rope. The water is flowing good as of today, March 20 2018. It was 65 degrees and I still drank down two gatorades and a water bottle going back up the trail from the falls. Be sure to bring plenty of fluids, especially when warm out. You might want to bring mosquito repellant if you climb to the top fall and stick around a bit. Only small portions of the trail provide shade from the sun.

It was a fun and relaxing hike. Thank God for the arrows haha

This trail is as described- strenuous! It kicked my butt!
It’s straight up - be sure to wear hiking boots or sturdy shoes with good ankle support.
I brought my dog and made sure to take breaks and give him lots of water.
I was worried about all the trash mentioned so I brought bags and gloves thinking I could help by picking up along the way ... but I found no trash?
The trail was clean.
This is certainly a cardio workout.

Lovely, easy hike. Not too steep, really nice views. A little muddy due to snowmelt, and a little windy at the peak, no real worries though. The campground at the start provides nice bathrooms n parking.

Parking lot now closes at 7pm. I waited until after a nice rain which made the views spectacularly green. The DG was perfect for a good foot hold - no sliding especially going down those granite slopes. I brought 3L of water - drank most of it on this cool day which was perfect. I'm not an expert hiker...nor in fabulous shape, but I made it. It was a challenge both physically and mentally. I took many many breaks having to snack to keep me from shaking and feeling weak. Took me almost 7 hours. This was a "one and done" for me cuz this hike nearly brought me to tears! lol.

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 plan.


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

I’ve been walking this hills for almost 11 years. It’s a nice climb but over the past couple of years this trail has become very crowded. Toilet paper all over the trail. Follow the plastic bags of dog poop to the top for amazing views of the ocean. I would love to tell you it’s a great hike but it’s become a high traffic and very littered route. Too bad I too, I could spend hours walking around up there.

There was a nice waterfall as of mar 18, 2018. Make sure to leave plenty time to return back.

Amazing hike! The 5 mile dirt road to get here isn’t too bad. Was pretty easy in our Ford Focus. The hike itself is great, but can be difficult to follow at times due to the lack of signs. Keep an eye out for the rock arrows showing the path. We missed the Ladder Canyon portion on the way up, but took it down on the way back.

The great thing about this hike is the diverse scenery. We spent time in a deep and wide canyon, then came out on a ridge line overlooking the Coachella Valley and Salton Sea, then went through the narrow slot canyon with the ladders. It kept the hike fresh and exciting.

We did this Yesterday. Be sure to check your map and plan. We were almost all the way back down and there was a group up on the top asking how to get down. They were way out on a “finger” high above us!

good view! don‘t like that there is a street and cars at the top!

nature trips
5 days ago

Great Hike. Not suitable to bring pets or your children coz theres a lot of boulder climbing, steep trails and also we got lost a little bit coz theres no signs anywhere. Advisable to start in the morning when theres plenty of sunlight. It was raining today and it made a great waterfall. Just be careful coming up there coz it gets foggy during this time. Advisable to bring walking sticks too. Going back is harder than we thought it would be. Overall, amazing experience.

Great views from the top. Excellent workout.

The fact that this climb is verboten makes it more appealing to thrill seekers, miscreants, and those who believe no trail should be off limits and that hiking is always at your own risk. Clearly this makes it a big problem for the neighborhood and it's a shame there isn't a better resolution than posting cops and security. How much does it cost to employ the police and security? How much money is actually made off of the steep fines? How much would it cost to just gate the community? How much would it cost to build a small parking area and charge for permits? How much does it cost every time someone has to get air rescued? I'm not directly involved in these politics, hopefully Friends of Haiku Stairs can sort it out.

Upon entering Haiku Village, you will almost certainly be greeted by an unmarked police vehicle wherever you decide to park. Perhaps the officer will politely tell you that hiking here is illegal and that there have been acts of violence from the locals and vandalism to hiker's vehicles, and then tell you to be safe and respectful before driving away. Be sure that more cops continue to lurk around waiting for you to take one trespassing step.

My friend and I did not enter through the most common route, probably the second most common, and started at 8am, not 3am as so many seem to recommend. This made it much easier to find the way since we weren't familiar enough to find it in the dark. Entering with more than 2 people will greatly increase your chances of being caught, but will also give you extra hands to pick up THE INORDINATE AMOUNT OF TRASH on the way to the stairs. Normally I bring a trash bag or at least fill my pack with all the unwanted gifts left behind on a trail: no need for that here! The highway above just rains unused contractor bags to fill. This was a dream come true for us. Much of the garbage is debris from the highway (gardening tools, tires, tons of plastic sheet), but a lot is clearly from adventurous hikers who were just too tired to carry that water bottle.

We spent a couple hours filling bags and stashing them before even getting on the stairs. Sadly, there is a lot of trash on each side of the stairs that is unreachable with out some sort of telescoping prosthetic limb. Perhaps that's how the couple ended up getting air rescued the day after we hiked; they saw that Powerade bottle that someone took one sip from then decided to see what it looked like on the side of a mountain, and went for it. :/
Should an air rescue be charged to the hiker or the taxpayer? Hmm...

Expect many people at the top, mostly those who went the legal way. 2 hours on actual stairs to get to the top, less then one down, and then 2 more hours of picking up trash on the way out. Some strangers who hiked the legal way asked us to show them the illegal way out, which we said was a no, and we'd be busy picking up trash anyway. They were extremely excited to pick up trash, so then it was a yes, hired. It was disappointing to only have collected over 3 full contractor bags each weighing about 40 pounds, but it's all we could carry. Navigating muddy sliding hills, bamboo forest, thick brush, complex root systems, trenches and fences while carrying a backpack and giant bags of trash felt like a training scene from a martial arts flick.

Altogether thoroughly satisfied with the little we could do in one day to help keep all the fine human made stuff we produce from ending up in the ocean, even if it's a losing battle. The stairs were just OK.

we went through the back end of the stairs, the legal way on 2/26/18.. it rained on us, it was windy and muddy.. definitely hard and challenging...but rewarding once you make it to the top...not for beginners.. be prepared for a long hike with a little rope climbing... thanks @mike.karas on IG for hooking it up with guidance on how to get there, spikes for our shoes and gloves.. I highly recommend going through him if you've never been there

8 days ago

Awesome hike! 5.0 miles and change. Somehow I lost the recording but nevertheless completed the loop with my dog.

Not recommended if your dog cant climb ladders or is afraid of going down. I have scratches to prove my point but worth it.

Follow the trail clockwise for the normal route. We did counter clockwise and ended in the sark narrow canyons with high ladders. Totally worth it. Like a grand finale!

A hidden gem for socal non-forest/non-preserve or NP hikes

Great hike . Good elevation gain for a short hike . Amazing views .

This is one of my favorite hikes. I try to get my friends to go with me every chance I get.

Relatively quick, but kicked my butt! Nice views from up top-- and pretty sure there's a geocache at the top. A couple people were waiting in line to "find" and sign in it. I would recommend going on an off day or pretty early, as there isn't a TON of parking. It wasn't so crowded that you have to hike behind some slower people for awkward lengths or anything, but there were definitely a bunch of people on the trail, and you don't really get all that far from the road so it's not exactly secluded by any means. Still a great option overall for a shorter, local, free hike that gets the job done.

Nice, changing hike. I brought 3L of water and drank it all by the end, even on a nice, cool day, so be prepared with plenty of water for the tough assend to the top. The gates closes at 6pm so park outside the gate on the side of the highway if you might be cutting it close on time or you're car will get locked in for the night.

Amazing!!! So worth it!!

Really great hike. Mostly dog friendly. Depending on what trail you take you will have to climb ladders. We were took Painted Canyon because it was tagged dog-friendly but the turn off of the main trail started with what looked like 15-20 ft ladder. We continues along Ladder Canyon (counter-clockwise). We climbed down the big ladders towards the end (beginning) of Ladder Canyon and it wasn’t THAT bad, I have a small pug and I climb ladders at work.

If the dog wasn’t with us it would be a GREAT day in Mecca Hills. Gorgeous scenery. Not too strenuous.

Load More