Explore the most popular birding trails in Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

My favorite waterfall in Hawaii this far. Fun trail through bamboo forest. Muddy right now. Awesome falls you can attempt to swim in.

So so so worth it. Did this trail today at 0800. Took us until 1530. You need spikes on your shoes, 2 L of water, and prepare for muddy conditions. The views are incredible.

Aloha! I will be hiking weekend. Possibly Thursday or Friday too. Went 10 times the last three weeks. I have hiked most of the hikes on this island many many times! I've done this hike likely more than anyone else on the island. It is often windy and/or rainy but we never have issues as we always have the right gear 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.

I went up the other day, it was very muddy and slippery. Crampons(spikes) recommended. I've done this hike many times. Thinking of going up Saturday or Sunday. if you'd like to join send me a message on instagram @angelo_q or email me at chicolo@hotmail.com Make sure to bring plenty of water and food and maybe some layers because it can get pretty windy and wet up top.

I will climb the Haʻikū Stairs, aka Stairway to Heaven, this week for the 286th time.

My most recent post on Instagram @Hawaii_Mountain.Man.Matt gives an idea for one impactful photo angle.

6 things about stairway:

(1) It is the safest way to reach the summit. People die every day falling downstairs at home, but in 70+ years no one has died falling on the stairs. There has been one death - a heart attack.

(2) I clean the stairs every three days on average, but it builds up fast. To make it convenient to pack trash out, bring a trash bag so you don’t soil your bag.

(3) Please dont poop anywhere on the mountain - even off the beaten path. Squat over a one-gallon ziplock bag, toss the wipes in, press the air out, double bag it and pack it out - just like a kid’s diaper.

(4) Take it easy on the neighbors.

When was the last time you woke up at 3am and whispered: "Honey I think there's someone outside the house"...?

Most locals are friendly, but some are understandably aggressive. Blood has spilled over this hike more than once in the past year.

(5) 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. We got caught by police before we reached the stairs, so we went back to the hotel and slept. We really wanted to see the stairs up close, so we decided to try the ‘back way’. It was harder than we expected, and when we got to the top we decided to take the stairs down because we would rather get the ticket than die.”

a. The ‘back way’

If you are considering skipping the magic of the stairs and going the legal way, it only makes sense to choose companions who can manage the challenges of retuning down the back way as well. You can get the ticket going down the stairs.

Legal access hours to Moanalua Valley Trail are 7am - 7pm. I recommend starting right at 7am because it’s reckless to rush on the mountain. It’s common for people to get lost a few hours, and some don’t find the summit.

If you want sunrise, I recommend beginning at noon and spending the night. As long as you don’t sleep inside the railing or access the trailhead out of hours, you’ll be legal. The mountain is usually cold, wet and windy, so prepare accordingly. The ground is especially cold - bring an insulating mat.

I recommend hiking cleats (‘good’ hiking shoes are insufficient), a GPS device, cautious confidence, and enough internal fortitude to enjoy this day of your life, rather than just survive it.

Note: keeping the stairs illegal endangers the public. Tearing them out, as currently proposed, permanently removes our ability to channel traffic safely. If the stairs were legal, Daylenn Pua would still be here.

b. The stairs.

If you’re considering the stairs, it is important to be personally and professionally prepared for legal exposure, and know which actions increase that risk.

The financial setback can be anywhere from $3,000 to the loss of a career. I recommend handling this decision carefully.

Send me a message at Facebook.com/MatthewKievlan for some advice there.

(6) Linger in the mountain.

People think I go for the epic view, but when we go, 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’ve stepped “into” the experience 3,922 times as we move from civilization into a little 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 photos, and head back down. I suggest staying for the ‘main event’. The magic begins when you settle in with comforts, and look back on your work while still in the environment of it.

We create space with good scents and music and soak in the bliss of it. We write our names, share our stories and sit on memory foam eating French Toast with warm maple syrup.

If you leave the top and start down right away, the noise of civilization drowns out your senses and erases the fragile nuances of new truth you found along the way - before those memories have time to settle into your heart.

Reflection in-space is the actual gem of this priceless experience. We change lives up there. Even after so many times, I haven’t gotten tired of it. Once we start up again, I’m lost on it too.

Dm me for a video of what we do at the top.


Going on Saturday morning starting at 7a from Moanalua

Great hike. Very difficult. Suggestions for people going on this hike. Don't do it if you're hungover you won't make it and if you do you wont enjoy it as much.


Going to be in Oahu Sept 19-26 and wanted to give this hike a shot! Was hoping to link up with some people so we can motivate each other and less likely to get lost. If anyone is available, please email me at yanseung@me.com or DM me on instagram - yanleslie.


4 days ago

"Thru Ohia, over the ridge, and to the valley you go!"

A bit verbose but the path requires using Ou'u Ohia to connect to the flats. You'll have to go thru 2 reserve gates on the path and then across a swampy stretch that's nicely covered with a board bridge.

Then the breath- taker view is overlooking the valley and the reservoir prior to Lulumahu Falls.

Plan for muddy.

Would you guys recommend hiking this alone??
My friends wants to do it today. I wish I could but I have a fracture ankle.

me and my girlfriend are hiking this tomorrow 9/14/18 or some time this week. ig @m.aa.x.x reach out if anyone wants to join

Did this hike today. The entrance is all the way to the right of the parking lot. There is a locked gate but a big hole has been made in the fence to the left of the gate. You will hike down an open gravel road for a ways then you will begin the hike on a trail through the woods. Follow the pink ribbons. Try to stay straight along the stream. There are multiple trails coming off main trail. You will have to cross the stream in several places as well. Muddy and slippery in places but well worth the hike.

I planning to do this hike in oct 19/20/2018. Would like to go with experience people in this journey or even local that knows this trail. Any help or suggestion will be greatly appreciated. Thank you
IG: khanh916

We didn't get to the top and the main reason is because of my girlfriend's vertigo and she pushed herself to the max. Plus, we took a wrong turn (as seen on my map but I'm really curious about what's at the end of this trail) so it delayed us by 1.5 hours.
Here's some hints from someone who did it only once:
DON'T GO IF YOU HAVE VERTIGO. You can go, but won't make it to the top. The further you climb the steeper it gets and the trail is narrow (1 feet width sometimes) and you are inches to the cliff and of falling off. Ain't dangerous that much but you have to be cautious. For someone who has vertigo this is extreme.
BRING A LOT OF WATER we had 4 liters for 2, wasn't close enough.
No spikes and needed but I'd loved to have sticks for the way back.
Start soon. We started at 8:30am and it was getting very hot. Starting at the opening of the parking lot (7am) is a good time I think.

Even if we didn't make it to the top, the view was gorgeous! You have to try it but don't be ashamed of going back before the end.

DO NOT GO (unless you're willing to risk serious injury). There is no visibility for the hiker due to thick vegetation, maybe there once was, but there no longer is. The mud is a major risk as well. No one should be attempting this "trail" right now unless you're an acrobat with a great GPS, which you will need for every step you take.

12 days ago

DO NOT recommend this hike or Naniuapo Falls Trail. The same trouble impacts both, lots of rain and saturated ground has reshaped any paths you'd think would be there, plus lots of huge trees are down.
Very limited trail makers as well so have a good GPS for getting there and back, I did and it certainly helped.

DId the hike today and really enjoyed it. There are a lot of different ways to get there, but just remember to get yourself to the Nuuanu Stream and stay with it (on whichever side seems easier to you) until you get to the falls. The easier entrance now seems to be to the right of the parking area where there's a double gate in the fence (it's locked) with a hole to the left. Follow the road for a bit, and then you'll see some signs. The trail was super muddy, but it's an enjoyable trek with a great payoff. The falls are beautiful and refreshing.

Flying in from AZ on the Thursday Sept 20th for my birthday. I plan on hiking Friday morning. Email me if someone would like to join/guide me up! iserdenia@icloud.com

anyone up for knocking this out monday or Tuesday morning? if so, hit me up at chozenone4@gmail.com

Just returned from this hike today. Muddy and cloudy at the top but still worth the 9 hr adventure! Recommend spikes or clamps and gloves (I had neither and wish I had). I also wish I had brought an extra pair of socks because of all the mud and water - would've changed at the top. I was a little concerned about going down with all the mud but it really wasn't as bad as I thought. Strategically placed ropes help with the tough portions. 9.5 miles and 9 hrs so bring plenty of water. Funny thing is that during the hike to the trail head I was trying so hard to avoid the mud ... but after mile 3 I really didn't care anymore :) Make sure the weather is forecast to be good. Ours was a good weather forecast and it still rained a little and was misty/cloudy at the top. Go for it! It was worth the trip!

Great views and cool down at the end in the brisk waterfall. Bring something to waterproof your phone since it tends to rain while you take a dip in the water. Must bring towel and change of clothes and foot ware for the drive home, due to the mud.

Looking to do this hike on Friday, September 7th 2018. Would love to go with somebody experienced that knows how to get in and out. Or at least go with other people that can help troubleshoot! LOL... If nothing else, if anyone has insight or experience they could throw my way, I'm all ears! :)
Shoot me an email at kat.ahlers3@gmail.com or look me up on Instagram @kat_ahlers if you're interested in going Friday or have some tips you think could help out. Thanks!!!

okay, this isn't a hard hike.

this is extremely difficult and dangerous


and it didn't compare in difficulty and stress.

didn't finish it, but I'll be back for round 2

Heading on this hike Saturday at 0700, Moanalua to The Stairs. Anyone that's interested is welcome to join. Should be a blast and the weather is supposed to be perfect. Hope to see some of you out there!

@rlund1980 - IG

Hello hikers!!

I will be in Oahu October 7-12. I'm planning on hiking the Moanalua Valley to the stairs some time that week. This will be my 3rd time hiking this trail. Anyone interested in joining is welcome. Definitely a gem worth seeing. Ya can shoot me an email at charmie91@gmail.com.

Hiked in June 2017. Nice trail nothing spectacular. Waterfall was decent would have been nice if it was flowing heavier.

Aloha! Hiked last week and weekend. Hiking tomorrow Wednesday, this weekend, and possibly other days this week. 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 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.

23 days ago

This trail should be rated as Hard. Nothing moderate about it. A lot of trails that can make you end up literally being lost and you having to make your own path to get back on track lol. Overall great trail to do.

Hoping to do this trailer 08-09-2018 with a couple of friends. Would be happy to have company and meet people from around the world! Message me insta @astro_herv if you wanna join :)

Hello Hickers, Anyone going tomorrow moring 28.08.2018 erlye at 6 am? send me a message to my instagram https://www.instagram.com/antonelloatzeni/

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