Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

I will climb the Stairway to Heaven with some others on Saturday the 15th for the 308th time. “Haʻikū Stairs v.308”. I can’t wait! :)

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

5 things about stairway:

(1) It is illegal, but not unsafe.

In 70+ years there have been no falling deaths on the stairs. Compare that to 54 air rescues on diamondhead last year. By total death count, the Stairway to Heaven could be Oahu’s safest trail. (Although it still deserves caution.)

(2) Contribute to what you love.

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

Poop: bury it or squat over a one-gallon bag, toss the wipes in, press the air out, tripple bag and pack it out like a diaper.

(3) Take it easy on the neighbors.

Most locals are friendly, but some are understandably aggressive. Blood has spilled over this hike more than once in the past year. You cannot be too careful.

(4) 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, but got caught by police. When we got back to the hotel we slept. We really wanted to take a picture on the stairs so we decided to go the ‘back way’. It was harder than we expected, and when we got to the top we decided we needed to take the stairs down because we would rather get the ticket than die.”

If you are considering going the legal way, choose companions who will be willing to return down the legal way also. You can easily get a ticket coming down the stairs.

Except under special circumstances, I normally do not guide the ‘back way’. There is another guide who provides equipment and coaching for that experience.

a. The ‘back way’

Legal access hours to Moanalua Valley Trail are 7am - 7pm with the same ticket as the front way if you’re caught after hours. I recommend starting right at 7am because it’s safer to not rush on the mountain. If you think you’re lost, take the only certain way out - which is to turn around. It’s easy to find yourself in a life-threatening position on the trails behind Haʻikū Stairs.

If you want to see sunrise or sunset, I recommend beginning at noon and sleeping over. The mountain is usually cold, rainy, misty and windy, so prepare accordingly. A good insulating mat is a must if you plan to spend the night.

‘Good’ hiking shoes are NOT sufficient. I recommend soft rubber ‘hiking cleats’, a GPS device, cautious confidence, and enough internal fortitude to enjoy your activity rather than merely survive it.

Ask me for detailed ‘why’s behind shoe criteria.

b. The stairs.

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

The financial setback usually begins around $5,000 depending on legal fees, travel expenses, fines. If there is any impact on professional life it can be 100x that. I recommend handling this decision carefully.

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

(5) Linger in the mountain.

People think I go for the epic view, but when we go upstairs 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 have ‘stepped into’ the experience 3,922 times, as we move from civilization to 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 their best photos, and head back down. (I suggest studying which photo angles make the best statements before you hike.)

When you get to the top, don’t leave quickly. Lean back and enjoy the main event.

The magic begins when you settle in with comforts to look back on your work - while still in the environment of it.

We create space at the top with good scents and music to soak in the bliss of it. We write our names, revel in the story of this day, and relax on memory foam pads inside clean fuzzy jackets tasting wine paired to warm Vermont maple syrup on nutmeg French Toast.

If you start down right away, the noise of civilization dominates the fragile nuances of truth you uncovered along the way, before they have time to set into your memory.

Reflection in-space is the actual gem of the experience. Even after so many times, I haven’t gotten tired of it. Once we begin up, I’m lost on it too!

Aloha,
@Hawaii_Mountain.Man.Matt

I will climb the Stairway to Heaven with some others on Saturday the 15th for the 308th time. “Haʻikū Stairs v.308”. I can’t wait! :)

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

5 things about stairway:

(1) It is illegal, but not unsafe.

In 70+ years there have been no falling deaths on the stairs. Compare that to 54 air rescues on diamondhead last year. By total death count, the Stairway to Heaven could be Oahu’s safest trail. (Although it still deserves caution.)

(2) Contribute to what you love.

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

Poop: bury it or squat over a one-gallon bag, toss the wipes in, press the air out, tripple bag and pack it out like a diaper.

(3) Take it easy on the neighbors.

Most locals are friendly, but some are understandably aggressive. Blood has spilled over this hike more than once in the past year. You cannot be too careful.

(4) 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, but got caught by police. When we got back to the hotel we slept. We really wanted to take a picture on the stairs so we decided to go the ‘back way’. It was harder than we expected, and when we got to the top we decided we needed to take the stairs down because we would rather get the ticket than die.”

If you are considering going the legal way, choose companions who will be willing to return down the legal way also. You can easily get a ticket coming down the stairs.

Except under special circumstances, I normally do not guide the ‘back way’. There is another guide who provides equipment and coaching for that experience.

a. The ‘back way’

Legal access hours to Moanalua Valley Trail are 7am - 7pm with the same ticket as the front way if you’re caught after hours. I recommend starting right at 7am because it’s safer to not rush on the mountain. If you think you’re lost, take the only certain way out - which is to turn around. It’s easy to find yourself in a life-threatening position on the trails behind Haʻikū Stairs.

If you want to see sunrise or sunset, I recommend beginning at noon and sleeping over. The mountain is usually cold, rainy, misty and windy, so prepare accordingly. A good insulating mat is a must if you plan to spend the night.

‘Good’ hiking shoes are NOT sufficient. I recommend soft rubber ‘hiking cleats’, a GPS device, cautious confidence, and enough internal fortitude to enjoy your activity rather than merely survive it.

Ask me for detailed ‘why’s behind shoe criteria.

b. The stairs.

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

The financial setback usually begins around $5,000 depending on legal fees, travel expenses, fines. If there is any impact on professional life it can be 100x that. I recommend handling this decision carefully.

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

(5) Linger in the mountain.

People think I go for the epic view, but when we go upstairs 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 have ‘stepped into’ the experience 3,922 times, as we move from civilization to 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 their best photos, and head back down. (I suggest studying which photo angles make the best statements before you hike.)

When you get to the top, don’t leave quickly. Lean back and enjoy the main event.

The magic begins when you settle in with comforts to look back on your work - while still in the environment of it.

We create space at the top with good scents and music to soak in the bliss of it. We write our names, revel in the story of this day, and relax on memory foam pads inside clean fuzzy jackets tasting wine paired to warm Vermont maple syrup on nutmeg French Toast.

If you start down right away, the noise of civilization dominates the fragile nuances of truth you uncovered along the way, before they have time to set into your memory.

Reflection in-space is the actual gem of the experience. Even after so many times, I haven’t gotten tired of it. Once we begin up, I’m lost on it too!

Aloha,
@Hawaii_Mountain.Man.Matt

Aloha! I typically hike up 1-3 times a week. Hiked three times last week. I will be going this Wednesday and this upcoming weekend Dec 15/16. Possibly on other weekdays this week too. 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 (including microspikes) 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 typically hike up 1-3 times a week. Hiked three times last week. Will be going again this Wednesday and this weekend Dec 15/16. Possibly other weekdays too. 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.

I went up recently "the legal backway", it was very muddy and slippery. Crampons(spikes) recommended. I've done this hike many times. Going up either this Sunday the 16th. if interested send me a message on instagram @angelo_q or email me at chicolo@hotmail.com for details. Make sure to bring plenty of water and food and maybe some layers because it can get pretty windy and wet up top

I went the other day, it was very muddy and slippery. Crampons(spikes) recommended. I've done this hike many times. Going up this Sunday the 16th. if interested send me a message on instagram @angelo_q or email me at chicolo@hotmail.com for details. Make sure to bring plenty of water and food and maybe some layers because it can get pretty windy and wet up top

Hey Jeremy, my Instagram handle is @kris__benson (2 underscores). DM me — we’re planning on starting around 7 AM tomorrow dec -10th as well.

Trying to do this hike on Monday December 10th if anyone is planning on going. As of now I’m going alone going to start around 7am

hiking
4 days ago

Incredible trail, not too crowded and great photo ops if you are into that, especially if you aren’t afraid to adventure.

Anyone doing it tomorrow the 8th? Interest send an email taqui_8@hotmail.com

Aloha! I typically hike up 1-3 times a week. Hiked today and will be going again this weekend on Sunday as the weather for Saturday does not look good. I will also be going next weekend Dec 15/16 and possibly during the week as well. 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 (including microspikes) 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.

You can get to this trail via Aihualama, Nuuanu , Ohia, Manoa Cliff or Kalawahine.

good trail and nice waterfall, not my favourite hike, but its a good one.

Super good work out trail!

Quite the overgrown trail with lots of tangled webs of branches to traverse. The painted markings help but recommend a GPS device or use of All Trails as it is needed.

Not as muddy which meant the falls weren't as full.

The tunnel or drainage ditch would have be cool to conquer but didn't have a head lamp.

Excellent trail to see the haiku stairs. I ended up being more impressed by the trail than the stairs themselves. Weather was a bit intermittent through the passes but with spikes it was fine. I did see some people on the trail in regular runners but I would not recommend it.

Hello!

My boyfriend and I are planning on doing this hike on the 6th, but suupperrr nervous about the whole guard/police ordeal. Anyone else planning on doing the hike either the 6, or 7? Would love to have someone join us! Trying to gather as much research as possible, and I easily get super lost so that's my main concern if I go early in the morning. (illegal way) but life is too short not to see this beauty!! Email: awkventurer@gmail.com

A group of 3 (relatively fit) looking to join someone that is a little more experienced! Hoping to attempt this between the 8th to 12th of December. @jaasoonl is my instagram!

8 days ago

The trail starts next to the basketball courts. It took a minute to find, but was easy to follow once I did. It’s in better shape than I thought for a trail that I assume doesn’t get much traffic. It took about an hour to get the first good view of the valley from the ridge. Approaching the summit, it gets a bit more overgrown with some scrambling sections. This is an all-day hike to the summit and back.

Steep, muddy, beautiful waterfall,

Hi, we are looking for someone who has already done this hike before to do it with us tomorrow...
Thanks

very easy hike. dog, family, and kid friendly.

on Puu Pia Trail

10 days ago

Great views ftom the top but majority of trail is covered in muddy tree roots.

Will be in Oahu for 4 more days. Had my companion from Germany, but she left a few hours ago, if anyones down to meet up, dm me @joshuavillegas_

*if anyone has a mavic air charger please message me!!”

I’ll be here 12/16-12/22!! If you’ll be around and want to do this trail/want to link up/have other recommendations message me!

Instagram: @alexalbertine

Thinking of doing a sunrise hike this Saturday. If anyone is interested in tagging along text me 909 843 5500

Hi! This will be my second time in Oahu and I would love to do the stairs. I'm only there a short while and would like to hike 5/4 or 5/5. Please contact me on IG if anyone is interested or could help. Thank you! @thewildmoogle

Did this hike for the second time last Tuesday. Great hike for sure. I’ve done it alone both times and wasn’t worried about safety on either one, in case anyone out there is thinking of doing it alone. Only danger you may face is that the wind can get VERY strong towards the summit where the trail is narrow. Happened to me and I just lowered my center of gravity and moved slow and all went well. After the service road ends, it is just constant uphill climb to the summit. Couple roped sections that are pretty steep but not bad at all as long as it isn’t super wet. I don’t recommend hiking this shortly after a rain. When I went it was quite dry, but can certainly be muddy if a recent rain came through as it was the first time I did this. Views are amazing all the way up and even better at the summit. I wore old tennis shoes (terrible traction) and had very few problems with traction so as long as you’re relatively well balanced, you should be fine as well. MAKE SURE YOU DON’T ASCEND THE WRONG RIDGE: at the end of the service road, the trail very obviously slips into the woods. Less than 100 yards into the forest, there is a trail to the right. TAKE THAT TRAIL. Continue straight and you begin to hike up the wrong ridge line. Learn from my mistakes. Highly recommend this hike for a solid workout and great views. Took me 5.5 hours with occasional short breaks and 30 minute lunch break at the summit. If you’re lucky, you might even see some wildlife like a Chameleon or field mouse as I did.

Aloha, I am on Oahu 12/06 - 12/16.

Let me know if you want to hike this (legally) with me!

Instagram: jamesperriman
Email: jperriman@hotmail.co.uk

Hi guys, I’m planning to hike this either on Tue 27th, Thur 29th or Friday 30th of November. Would love to hike with a group.

Please get in touch either by email: yasinnazimi@gmail.com or contact me on (808) 205-2009

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