Haiku Stairs [CLOSED / PRIVATE PROPERTY]

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Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve

Haiku Stairs [CLOSED / PRIVATE PROPERTY] is a 2.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

Length2.4 miElevation gain2,604 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingForestViewsWildlifeMuddyClosedPrivate propertyFeeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)
Getting There

NOTE: This trail is CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC and violators/trespassers are SUBJECT TO $1000 FINES, COMMUNITY SERVICE, BENCH WARRANTS, AND/OR ARREST. If you receive a citation you will be required to appear in court. The act of being ON the stairs is ILLEGAL and trespassing on government property. A powerful storm passed over the island of Oahu on in 2015 which caused significant damage to the stairway itself, rendering it dangerous and unusable. Hikers MUST be mindful of neighborhood residents who live in this area. Noise complaints, parking violations and exiting the trail via residential properties will result in a fine. The ONLY LEGAL WAY to get to the TOP of the Haiku Stairs can be found here: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/hawaii/moanalua-valley-trail-to-the-haiku-stairs-stairway-to-heaven. Again, it is ILLEGAL to be on the HAIKU Stairs at any point along the route.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (1,562)
Photos (1,050)
Recordings (192)
Completed (2,693)
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Michael Karas
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HikingGreat!

Aloha! Cool hike. Minus the possible trouble. Hopefully they find a way to open the stairs up versus tearing them down and things look promising for that to eventually happen now. It’s a workout! Make sure to wear proper hiking/solid footwear. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Feel free to reach out to me on Instagram @mike.karas or my email mikekarasphotography@gmail.com for info or other questions. I’ve done most of the hikes on the island before. Also please pack out your trash! Too many litterbugs on the island sadly. Mahalo!

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Bryan M
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HikingBugsClosedMuddyNo shadeOver grownPrivate propertyWashed out

Do not do this without proper planning and knowledge of access points. I have posted photos of 2 fence openings you just locate to access the stairs. If I could offer any advice it’s to be 100% respectful and quiet to the residents of the neighborhood below. Be 100% quiet and do not go on anyone’s private property. No exceptions. This is the bare minimum you must do to avoid any trouble from the locals calling the police on you. That being said. Use the Main gate to the city water facility. Sometimes there are police on hourly patrol up and down the road. Start on a weekday around 4/5 am and you shouldn’t have an issue with security going up. Still be cautious and have a back up plan incase you must use the bamboo forest or the drainage ditch for access. It’s very likely you will get lost if you take the bamboo forest. Next you’ll climb under a gate and cross the access road. One more gate to go. Then the stairs. This is where you start the climb. Be courteous to others and pack out whatever you pack in. Know your limits and expect 2-3 hours up and 2 hours down. The stairs have some sketchy sections. Just be careful. Coming back down be on the lookout for security/police and again, respect the neighborhood. Just be quiet, get in your car and leave. Bring a change of clothes because you will get muddy. It rained on us 3 or 4 times. Please don’t start this hike at 1am.. it’s unnecessary. The locals are tired of the constant noise and trespassers. Please be decent human beings and understand their frustration with the amount of tourists that come through and are disrespectful.

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Tyler Michael
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 22, 2021
Hiking

Unreal hike. Went around 7AM and there was no guard on way in or way back (out 10AM). Took me about the same going up as going down, as down is a bit more dicey and there are photo opps the entire time. Took ~20 minutes from neighborhood to trail

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Mike Nguyen
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HikingMuddy

went the legal way up and down illegal way! view was epic up top! I felt the legal way was more strenuous and dangerous.. probably cause it was muddy and windy. don't regret the hike one bit!

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Dustin Dirksen
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Hiking

Looking to hire a guide to do Haiku Stairs. Email me: dustindirksen@hotmail.com if interested. Thanks!

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Bryan Blaha
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Despite being completely engulfed in clouds (shielding most of the view), this was without question one of the most incredible hikes I’ve ever done.. that said.. if you’re reading this, you’re likely debating whether to take the (treacherous) legal route or risk the $1,000 fine and take the illegal route. We ran into an entire group who opted to risk the fine on the way back rather than risk their lives going back the way they came. That gives you an idea of what to expect (and they were completely full of mud). Blogs will tell you the “secret ways” in, but honestly, I marched right up through the main gate, and walked right on the road that leads you directly to the stairs. I didn’t see a guard and at the last minute decided to ascend - despite being super paranoid about the fine. This.. I believe.. is not typical. On the way out, I took the “bamboo Forrest” and was met by a VERY pissed off local.. and rightfully so.. could you imagine dealing with hikers ALL the time.. I apologized profusely and he said he’s heard it all before.. so the main point here is... respect the locals and don’t go on their property! I never saw a cop or a guard on that road.. so it’s really a coin flip. Best of luck whatever you decide, just be respectful of their property and DONT go at 2am... there are a LOT of barking dogs.. Edit: The people I went with got stopped by the cops but were already in the neighborhood.. so be calculated with the risk you’re taking. I got extremely lucky.

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Chris Graham
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Closed

We did this hike years ago. it's quite an experience for sure. and we were really excited to do it again 8 years later. so 5 stars for the hike itself, not our recent experience. This time around, security was extremely tight. Police now sit at the entrance of the neighborhood, and neighbors patrol and call the cops on any car they don't recognize, at 4 am! We were followed by a cop car until we left the neighborhood. we had every intention to be quiet and did a lot of research to make sure we didn't cut through anyone's yard while accessing. they really should just open the gate and allow access. it'd prevent everyone from needing to sneak around at 4 am hopping fences, the primary complaint. They're creating their own problems making it so difficult. It really is the safest hike on the island. Instead we did Olomana and almost died.

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Jon Cato
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HikingGreat!Private property

The following notes are from a friend who did this illegal hike. The Haiku Stairs, also known as Stairway to Heaven is an absolutely stunning and amazing hike, and it is also illegal. If you ascend the illegal way (stairs) you need to arrive early in order to avoid the guard. Apparently there is a hefty ticket for those who do this hike. That said, this hike is absolutely amazing. It is physically challenging but not very technical. Overall, about 95% of the steps are sturdy, reliable, as are the hand rails. During the beginning portion is where you find most of the uneven/dislodged steps and broken handrails, but they are at varying intervals so you will always have a sturdy step and handrail available at all times. If it is windy and wet, this hike is still doable, just hold on tight, trust the rails/steps, and climb carefully. It goes without saying that numerous points along this hike (almost all) have steep drops just inches from your footing. If someone is coming down as you are going up, one person will need to maneuver your body over the rail to allow the person to pass…the stairs only permit one body width. I think it goes without saying that this is not for kids or pets. There are several points where the stairs go nearly 90 degrees. Just treat it as if you were climbing a latter and all is good! The views from the top are extraordinary and it is well worth it once you make it to the antenna/pillbox. Biggest thing: trust the steps and the rails, don’t panic, and you will have a great time. It really is a fantastic and rewarding experience. Remember, this is an illegal hike. There is a legal way to conduct this hike and it is significantly longer. Also recommend hiking shoes and water!

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Jonathan Farelas
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HikingGreat!

This is so worth it! Kinda sketchy. But go to the legal not the illegal approach of it. Bring snacks and WATER. Really windy tho

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Andrea Amburn
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Hiking

Probably the windiest day we could have picked, not in the best shape-just had a baby 4 months ago-so we def took lots of quick breaks! Absolutely amazing views when we would get a break in the clouds—felt great bringing in the new year tackling this beast!

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Michael Nelson
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HikingGreat!

Will be in Honolulu from 12/31 till 1/3 want to hire a local guide to take me and a friend to the stairway to heaven. Any local guides interested? Please message me

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Jason Tong
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Hiking
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Lynsey Bryant
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HikingGreat!MuddyPrivate property

This is a great hike if you can avoid trouble. I would not recommend following the map exactly it can put you in very thick woods when it is unnecessary

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Oana Alexandra
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Hiking

Epic! So glad we did it.

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Marinela Banica
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HikingGreat!

Loved it!!!

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Danielle Renae
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Hiking
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Sam Kuca
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Hiking

Spectacular

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Chelsea McKay
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 10, 2020
HikingGreat!

Gates wide open on the way in, on the way out there were cops and required some looooong navigation to find alternative routes out. Perfect weather today. The way up is tiring and I had to stop several times to catch my breath. Some sketchy areas where it looks like a Boulder knocked over the stairs, but otherwise relatively safe. Super beyond beautiful!! I did the legal back way six months prior and found this way to be much faster and simpler (this took me 3.75 hours whereas the back way took me 5.5 hours round trip). Both beautiful though! The stairs get tiring and repetitive on your muscles as opposed to the back way which offers more variation.

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Martha Lillian
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Hiking
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Damalis Cruz
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HikingClosedGreat!Private property

I did it few years ago amazing experience but its ilegal

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