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

Trail Bucket List Map

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 weekend. 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’ll climb the stairs next week for the 235th 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.

22 hours ago

Great workout to start the day and beautiful place to watch the sun rise!

Awesome beautiful trail. The waterfall was big and beautiful. Varied hiking terrain, wonderful views, very cool different type of trees. The trail is well maintained in terms of no underbrush however it is very very muddy. Expect to get muddy and you will be fine! We used hiking poles to help with the slippery muddy trail and we super glad we had them with us! We used the ropes to hike down to the bottom of the falls. Don't forget to get your permit! Overall a wonderful hike..would do this one again!

1 day ago

I highly doubt that the ones who say this trail is "moderate" "easy" or "kid-friendly" actually got to the ridge. The first 5 miles is quite relaxing. The last 2 is difficult, dangerous and time consuming but well worth it. Someone died on this trail a few years back. #YOLO

Well me and my daughter failed... we tried to make it. Started way to late. Definitely need to be more prepared. Also better map... didn’t think we went the right way. Any tips or suggestions??? Much needed for next time.

Good place to hike. Can get really slippery so make sure you have good hiking shoes on!!

Incredibly crowded trail with tourists. Impossible to go your own pace. The trail is mostly paved and has long sections in tunnels and up stairs. The views at the top were decent, but still very disappointing for such a famous hike.

Bit muddy. Not bad. On the easier side of moderate. Took my dog and a friend who’s beginner hiker. Smooth sailing.

Not really a hike, more of a moderate intensity uphill walk. Still very enjoyable. There are several points at which you can walk off the paved path and climb to the cliff face. The views are incredible. Saw some blowholes as well. No whale sightings unfortunately. Once you reach the lighthouse you’ll see an unpaved path that will take you up to the pillboxes. Cool views from there as well.

Great views even though we were stuck in a cloud at the top. Really fun hike. Slippery in a few spots.

This is a nice, relatively short hike that is very doable for kids. I went with my 3 and 6 years olds, and there were only a few spots where I felt the need to hold their hands. About half way up, it turns into a gorgeous bamboo forest! The wind is usually strong, so the sounds can be a little intimidating, especially for younger kids. But they’ll get used to it quickly.
The last leg starts once you climb a steep portion with steps that leads to a paved service road. Follow it straight up the hill, then curve to the left after the two transmission buildings with graffiti. It’s a bit of a winding path up for less than 5 minutes, and there is a cool little stone section you can sit or stand on to get a gorgeous view of the surrounding peaks!
It has a very isolated and natural feel to it!

Great hike with great views. Take a camera and some water. a lot of steep parts but they dont last to long. Not to bad for anyone in decent shape

Nice, easy and very quiet hike. Kid friendly. We enjoyed going off the trail down to the little waterfall towards the top of the trail.

3 days ago

Did this hike today with my infant on my back in a backpack and my 4 year old. my wife and mother in law also made the trek. my gps had the distance of this hike at 1.2 miles so not sure about the 1.9 listed on this, maybe the trail went further but I thought I hit the top/last pillbox. very nice views, very close to the edge of the cliff, keeps your kids in arms reach.

Fun trail, not too difficult for someone who hikes occassionally. I went the day after it rained a lot, so there was a fair amount of mud when I got to the steps at the top so be prepared to step in puddles. View from the top is phenomenal, and it was seriously windy when I got up there. I took some shortcuts through the switchbacks which can get a little confusing, as I got away from the trail a couple of times. Took about two hours total start to finish. There was ample street parking.


Loved the hike !! Did all falls ...took a few spills due to the wetness on the narrow trail .....

4 days ago

This hike was harder than I anticipated, but well worth the climb. In order to reach the first summit, you will maneuver up muddy slopes and will need to climb several rocky areas with the aid of ropes. We stopped at the first peak and took some amazing photos. Views were breathtaking. Climbing down proved to be more difficult than going up, but there are plenty of trees and roots to grip onto as you descend. Would highly recommend this hike. Wear proper footwear.

So far my favorite trail. It wasn't terribly long or hard. Pretty muddy but lots of water to rinse your shoes off. The waterfall at the end was breath taking and well worth it!

4 days ago

Super muddy and long. We did it with 2 kids so it took longer than the average person. Spectacular views. I suggest starting at the bottom, near the first parking lot. That way it's not such a steep incline at the very end.

4 days ago

Long and muddy. Kid friendly, but I would have enjoyed it more on my own. We enjoyed finding an old, downed airplane and over-looking the H-2. Very muddy but I imagine it's a great hike on a sunny day.

4 days ago

Nice and easy trail, great views, and fun for the kids. This was my first hike after major abdominal surgery so it was a great way to get back out there.

They recently updated the trail with actual markers. You used to be able to walkthrough the bamboo then along the reservoir. It is now fenced off. There is now clear signage marking the trail. Directing toward the gravel road which is to the right of the parking lot. You will go straight back, the trail turns and you will see an outhouse looking structure with an astronaut. You cross a concrete dam thing and then the trail heads left through a swampy bamboo area and up through the forest. It’s pretty wet. You’ll pop out at a clearing and see the fenced off area to the left. Proceed back into the forest. There’s will be a dip that looks like a muddy former stream and climb up a small bank. Where you’ll see a trail marker pointing right to the regular trail.

The fencing and the new trail must have been put up in the last month.

4 days ago

One of my favorite hikes on Oahu. The rainforest is stunning as is the waterfall at the trailhead. Not much in the way of views until you get way up high on the ridge but this trail ticks a lot of boxes... good workout, beautiful plants and wildlife, and a waterfall at the start! Prepare for rain, drizzle, and mud as this trail is in a typically wet area of Oahu. Enjoy!

Muddy at the beginning, and a little hard to find the right trail at first but the waterfall at the top was beautiful. Definitely wear proper shoes, you will be crossing the river several times on the way up!

It rains so often that the trail is slippery. The trail starts out wide and beautiful but narrow towards the end. Some areas are difficult to get up. The waterfall barely had any water coming down when I went back in October. Hopefully that will change because I was really disappointed. The thing I will remember the most is all the wonderful people. Tip- don't wear flip flops (too muddy) and use bug spray.

Beautiful waterfall. I'm not a strong hiker but this was a manageable but good cardio workout

Very muddy at the beginning of the hike but the large waterfall made it worthwhile.

Too many tourists in flip flops struggling to get up and down made it frustrating at times. However, the vegetation and waterfall were beautiful. Definitely a great one to do if you want a short, relatively easy hike with many beautiful photo opportunities.

Too many tourists, however the views at the top were breathtaking. Definitely worth it.

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