Explore the most popular hiking 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.

2nd best views of the island.

love the hike some parts of the trail are very misleading tho, overall very nice and would do it again

This. Is. Tough. But totally worth it. It gets a little tricky after the road ends to find the trail but once you do the climb up is spectacular. Follow @jjbowen on insta for pics!

I'll be in Honolulu (November 5th to November 9th )to hike stairway to heaven if anyone want to enjoy me please email me to ds_orti@aol.com

I’ll be in Oahu next week October 22-23 and looking to join others doing this trail and reach the top of the stairs the legal way or go with someone that has hiked it before, If somebody is planing doing it these dates please send me a message instagram: octaviocastilloa email: octaviocastillo1995@gmail.com

beautiful but tough in comparison to the alternate route... aka stairway to heaven. both routes will get you to the same peak, but this route takes double the time.

Hi folks,

I‘m from Europe and now I‘m making the Hawaiian Islands for 3 Weeks. As a mountain-lover I would love also to hike the haiku stairs. I‘m in town at end of October. Let me now if anyone can help me to hike the stairs for compensation to cover the first hiking-rule „never walk alone“ peter.liebhart@gmail.com Mahola, Pete

Aloha! I went both days this past weekend and today! It was awesome out! I will be hiking Thursday and Friday still this week. 18/19. I have went 12 times the last three weeks. 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 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.

Aloha! I went both days this past weekend and today! It was awesome out! I will be hiking Thursday and Friday still this week. 18/19. I have went 12 times the last three weeks. 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 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 literally just finished up this trail. Went at 830 and took the road. Cut up through the woods once I got near the school gate. Walked right by and waved at the security. On the hike down I noticed the car wasn’t at the spot so I rushed down the last 15 minutes to beat him back. Met a few other hikers and said his car was parked near the school, so I took the same path in the woods back down with no issues. Total time up 1.5 hrs, total down 1.25 hours. It cleared up on the way down so I got a lot of great pics. I can see why there is security I passed about 5 different groups and all at inconvenient times and it’s very hard to pass as some of the stairs are so narrow you have hurdle on to the mountain side for others to pass. This has been on my bucket list for years, finally glad I can cross it off.

If you have any questions on the hike my Instagram handle is justin.kocak

Send me a message!

This is one of the most surreal hikes I’ve ever done! I did it 2 years ago and I’m wanting to take some friends soon in the next week or so but I can’t remember or know the best way to park and start this hike. If you have any suggestions on the best way to do this without causing any trouble to the residents, please DM me on Instagram at @shermsherm93. Shoots and Mahalo!

I will climb the Haʻikū Stairs, aka Stairway to Heaven tomorrow, October 17th, for the 292nd 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.

Aloha,
@Hawaii_Mountain.Man.Matt

I will climb the Haʻikū Stairs, aka Stairway to Heaven tomorrow, October 17th, for the 292nd 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.

Aloha,
@Hawaii_Mountain.Man.Matt

Me with my husband did this hike last week so I just wanna share our experience. We are not really that hiking persons but we made it in 8 hours started at 7am.
Make sure that you get plenty of water with you, some snacks, waterproof jacket, extra clothes, gloves and good shoes with spikes ! Some areas on the top might be very slippery and muddy so you will definitely need them ! Don’t worry about passing through the water and mud in Moanalua Valley because on your way back you will be completely wet and dirty anyway :D The view was so beautiful !
Good luck everyone and be careful !

My husband and i are in Oahu today 10/13-10/20. We want to do this hike, but with someone who’s done it several times and knows how to get around security! We are willing to go any day between 10/14-10/20. Please email me if interested! Leyla@nezamfar.com

Aloha! I will be taking people hiking this weekend on Saturday(tomorrow) and Sunday. I have went 11 times the last three weeks. 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 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.

Hello! My girlfriend, brother, and myself are looking into hiking the legal trail when we go to Hawaii next February. We are novice hikers but are in shape. We know this hike is dangerous but we would like some more safety tips? The dangerous side of it is what’s holding us back...

Starts with a bamboo forest with little room on the trail but it's fine. After a 1/4 mile walk you get out of the bamboo and enter the typical Hawaii forest. Beautiful waterfall at the end. There are multiple water crossings and your shoes will get wet. if it's raining be prepared for lots of mud but the hike is very safe even with all mud.

so much fun with the family. my 3 year old loved this hike.

It was cool going through a long tunnel scary at 1st but cool. It was as long as 200 yard Dash.

Very challenging! Scary at times! I went in March last year. The weather was great. At the time when I did this hike my prior experience with a trail with heights was angels landing in Utah. This was much more scary and more demanding. Be prepared to get muddy several areas of the trail had mud. There are streams you have to pass though so wear water proof shoes. This took 7.5 hours to complete. The ropes are helpful but I would try not to depend on them because who knows who installed them and after getting to the top of some I noticed that they were tied to branches that might not have held much more weight. The ropes get progressively worse as you go more steep and with more exposure. Bringing gloves could benefit as the ropes are very tough on the hands. Once we reached the stairs the views were stunning! Bring a jacket cause it gets windy up there! We left back down moanalua valley trail because we didn’t want to get in trouble for being on the stairs, even though honestly I think the stairs would have been much easier than the back side of the mountain, and taken less time. Bring snacks, water, good hiking shoes, gloves, jacket and camera!

Nice and short, no real accent. falls are nice. very muddy and you will get your feet wet along the way.

Trail was super muddy today. The first 2 miles were fairly easy, past there lots of water to cross, lots of mud. We weren’t able to complete the last half mile, it was too muddy and super slick so we turned around there. So only 5 miles round trip today but what an adventure!

Hello there! I will be visiting Oahu next week, and would love to hike this trail, only problem being it would just be another person and myself. We were looking for a person or multiple people that can help us out and lead the way a bit, I promise we don’t bite, the bigger the group is the better. I will be arriving October 14th and leaving the 20th. Please email me at evelynnisabella@gmail.com. Thank you!!!

We started out about 7:15am and took us just over 8 hours round trip. We went on a rainy day, it rained pretty hard as we approached the top so it was a bit cloudy and diminished the views a bit but still a surreal experience when at the top looking straight down the cliffs at the highway. We saw a police helicopter at the top. The rain made things slick so we took our time along the path. Definitely the most difficult yet most rewarding hike I have ever been on. Being in shape helps. Bring gloves, good hiking shoes, snacks, water and camera. Well worth the time and effort and would like to go again someday!

Aloha, I will be doing this trail this morning arriving at the park entrance around 7 am. I hike every day after work but this trail I have only scouted to find the right paths so that I can complete it, go onto the stairs, and camp out to watch the sunrise. I have learned the hard way which trails to take/avoid but if you catch up to me by the end of the trail we will likely be in the same boat. I will be using gps navigation but it is far from perfect and I could use some extra people. Email me at justindavidsands@gmail.com if you are along the trail or plan to hike this. Also, I will be checking the accuweather forecast and neglecting to go if it is going to be raining.

Short and decent hike, pretty flat. Little hard to find the opening, luckily had read other helpful comments so was able to find it. Basically you pull off the Pali as if you’re going to Lulumahu, but instead of parking in that lot you drive down the side st (Nuuanu Pali Dr) all the way down until the trees clear up and you see the dept of water building on the right side. Find parking. Nearly across from the water dept building is a small clearing in the bushes with a sign that says permit required - that’s the entrance. Two forks in the trail, keep left at both. Soon enough you will be at the ruins. Highly recommend mosquito repellent, and NOT the organic kind. I got bit a few times just while applying sunscreen and walking to entrance on the main road! Couldn’t wait to get out of the trail as I must’ve gotten bit like 25-30 times despite wearing the organic repellent and reapplying! Little muddy with stagnant water. Bring shoes with traction, some of the roots on the ground are slippery.

Will be in Oahu from november 2nd to the 6th. I am going to do this hike but would really do it with a group or a local. please feel free to reach out to me if youre interested! Thanks!

Email: Mavsnow23@gmail.com

go to 2135 Makiki Heights Drive to get a permit to enter Lulumahu Falls area. I think the fee is like $2.50.

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