HARD 1,193 reviews

Haiku Stairs [CLOSED/ PRIVATE PROPERTY] is a 2.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Honolulu, Hawaii that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is accessible year-round.

2.4 miles
2565 feet
Out & Back


nature trips




private property

no dogs

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. PLEASE NOTE: 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.

37 minutes ago

I’m climbing the stairs on Fri Dec 15th, for the 204th 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. Both times the projectile broke the skin. 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 plan.

‘Three routes through the bamboo forest’ is not a plan I recommend. Police have internet also.

People who say they “just did it”, were (1) luckily, and (2) don’t know how lucky. (But with the experience of one hike under their belt, they are confident enough to share some guidance with you about what they ‘do know’ lol.)

Public record shows hundreds of hikers are caught each month. Understandably they don’t want to be online incriminating themselves, but if I could speak from their position, I would say each one believed well-intended advice.

I usually savor the feeling at the top for a couple hours with hot food and a hammock. While I’m there, people sometimes come from the back side and say they will go down the stairs. I warn them about the probability of trouble, but they are usually adamant about taking a ticket rather than “almost dying”.

There is some validity to that. Although no one has ever died falling on the stairs, over the years many people have gone missing attempting to gain access from the back way.

So be prepared.

The right pair of shoes is your most important piece of equipment for the back way. Inov8 is my favorite brand for the ridge, but any shoe with aggressive (toothed) tread will do. They cost about $140 a pair locally.

If you go the back way, bear in mind Moanalua park trailhead hours are 7am - 7pm. Entering or exiting the park outside of these hours is likely to get you ticketed. (Moanalua neighbors are agitated about the new traffic going up the back side and have pressured the police to maintain a presence in the park.)

As far as coming from the front: I can’t post my plans online. I hope you understand why.

But when we climb the stairs, we approach peacefully and respectfully to enjoy the deep beauty in nature which heals our souls. People need this, and I hold that it is immoral to keep the medicine of mana from the people of earth who are so hungry for relief from the unnatural.

(5). This is the real Hawaii!

Perhaps because you have literally stepped “into” it 3,992 times, the stairs facilitate immersion. It’s a full body workout (because of the handrails) and the activity melts your physical senses until you’re open to let go and sense spirit more keenly. You rise from civilization into a world where magic is the usual.

People think they’re going for the epic view of morning colors, painting the landscape with divine creativity.

But what they discover along the way is they’re going up to find themselves. To recognize the blueprint of their soul in nature, to feel the heartbeat of paradise, and to realize they are inextricably part of that majesty.

They all say: “I researched this, but I had no idea it was going to be this good.”

Sometimes I skip a week, other times I go twice a day, but no matter how sore I am from my last climb, once I start, I’m lost in joy.


42 minutes ago

Aloha! I do various guided hikes with photos on Oahu. I hike often/weekly. Hiked last weekend, heading out again this Saturday too. Feel free to check out some examples of photos on my instagram @mike.karas. You can message me there or at mikekarasphotography@gmail.com.

12 hours ago

Beautiful views all around!

3 days ago

Aloha! I do various guided hikes with photos on Oahu. I hike often/weekly. Hiked this weekend, heading out again this week too. Feel free to check out some examples of photos on my instagram @mike.karas. You can message me there or at mikekarasphotography@gmail.com.

3 days ago

Hi there, Haiku Stairs seem to be the highlight of Oahu island. As such, as everyone else, we would like to do the trail sometime between 18-20 January 2018, To somewhat lower the risk, would some local guide us through? Anyone like a "guide" :)? Or can we just join anyone who knows the place? THX (krapinec@seznam.cz)

4 days ago

Amazing hike. Well worth the risk.

5 days ago

The list of hikes I haven't finished is getting shorter and I keep finding myself needing the stairs! I wish I knew a way in that didn't involve trespassing on personal private property. That's where I draw the line and why I haven't done it. I look forward to getting up there but it will more than likely be from the backside. Be safe and pick up after yourself!

7 days ago

fun challenging climb!

13 days ago

First time in Hawaii ever feel like Im on a life mission to do this hike either way I don't care..Im gonna try Tuesday morning the 5th or 6th if anybody wants to go..if you can guide me ill buy you lunch, beers and drive...thanks



15 days ago

Looking to do this trail tomorrow afternoon. Would love to have a guide for me and my friends. Thanks in advance! @nick_haste (IG)

15 days ago

Aloha! I do various guided hikes and photos on Oahu. Feel free to check out my instagram @mike.karas. You can message me there or @mikekarasphotography@gmail.com.

16 days ago


We are two friends looking for someone to do this hike tomorrow or after tomorrow. If you want to join us let me know. My email is kalfarolara@gmail.com

Thanks :)

18 days ago

We did it yesterday . Started at 7:00 am. We parked on Makena St. no problem, lots of space. The gate was open so we did not have to climb around it. We took the path through the bamboo forest. Large path well indicated with pink ribbons. Crossed underneath the highway and entered the stairs by going around the gate. Security guard was there but did not see us. Many others went straight beside him and he just said hi! Make sure you wear shoes with good grip and ankle support. The clay in the bamboo forest sticks to your shoes making them very slippery on the steel stairs. Use extra caution if you go after some rain. At the beginning some of the stairs are in pretty bad shape, but it's ok if you go slowly and are careful. If you have fear of heights, this will be very challenging for you. Some small parts are very steep and it's like climbing a latter, so be careful. Bring lots of water because you will sweat a lot. It took us 2:17 minutes going up and making many breath and photo stops. It took us 1 hour going back down. The view is awesome and breathtaking... really worth the risk of doing an illegal hike. We crossed about 20 people going up as they had started very early. I think our timing was perfect. Clear skies and killer views. No need of a jacket, sun was out. We crossed about 6 people going down. Crossing can be challenging sometimes because stairs are narrow and not much space on the side...
Plz be careful and respect the neighborhoods bring back your empty bottles and any trash. On the way back we went right by the security guard and he did not say a word. We also used the Maps.me app (free on app store, and then you download the Hawaii map) for orientation at the beginning. This is a gps that doesn't need a network to work. Very helpful and stress relieving. Overall it was awesome!!! Now you Go do it!!!

20 days ago

I’m trying to go up 11/24 or 11/25 before I leave and Id prefer to not do it alone if anyone would like a hiking partner! dm me at chase_acc

20 days ago

20 days ago

24 days ago

Done it 5 times, the most recent Feb 17. Just be Pono of the neighborhood. I use a longer route that bypasses most homes

25 days ago

Looking for someone to hike with for the 11/19-11/21 any days, if anyone is interested, first timer! Message me on IG Shanelle_

25 days ago

Looking for someone to hike with for the 11/19-11/21 any days, if anyone is interested, first timer!

25 days ago

Looking to this trail before I leave tomorrow at 4pm. My boyfriend doesn’t want to go and I don’t want to miss it
Does anyone want to go later today??
You can DM on IG @paulinaposada