Moanalua Valley Trail to the Haiku Stairs (Stairway To Heaven)

HARD 443 reviews

Moanalua Valley Trail to the Haiku Stairs (Stairway To Heaven) is a 9.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Honolulu, Hawaii that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
9.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3051 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

muddy

old growth

over grown

rocky

scramble

washed out

PLEASE NOTE: The act of being ON the Haiku stairs at any point along the route is trespassing on government property. 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 ONLY way to LEGALLY hike TO the Haiku Stairs (Stairway to Heaven) starts at the Moanalua Valley Road trail and proceeds to shoot off to the left at about 2.5 miles. Though it is by far the easiest way up, it still has some sections of near vertical, rope and muddy sections. Use caution when hiking as this is a steep and sometimes muddy hike that has had injuries and fatalities. 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.

hiking
12 hours ago

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

hiking
11 days ago

I’ll climb the stairs Wed, April 11th for the 239th 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. 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

Tip:

‘Three routes through the bamboo forest’ would be where I’d be if I were looking to catch you. Just saying.

hiking
16 days ago

I completed this hike solo on 3/28/18. I wore an iWatch and came to the trailhead between 2.5 and 3 miles. For trail runners, the first 2.5 miles are very runnable, with pace slowing at creek crossings and muddy areas. Do not get distracted by ribbons and go off-trail. This is a very clear cut trail without a government issued marker at the trail head. I brought micro spikes that didn't get used, but glad I had them JIC. I did use gloves. And even though it was a hot day, was glad I wore hiking pants to protect my legs from low branches/tall grass. By the time the hike was over, I had drunk every drop of water in my 3 liter camelbak. I was shocked at how many people were starting this hike in the late afternoon. I would bring a headlamp JIC I got off summit late in the day. A final note is that I encountered two mid-size dogs around mile 1 running towards me and barking. They were a surprise, but non-aggressive and kept their distance. I stopped for a few minutes with my head lowered, and was able to slowly walk past them. Here is a link to a post I found helpful when researching this hike http://on-walkabout.net/2018/02/08/best-hikes-oahu-moanalua-middle-ridge-trail-haiku-stairs/

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful hike! We went the day after two sunny days so the path was nice and dry. I would not have made it to the top on a wet slippery day as I am a beginner on this expert coarse. Also I do not recommend going alone. I had watched videos and read blogs prior to going so I was very familiar with the big boulder we were to go past at the beginning of the path. However, when the path ended and the boulder was not in site I questioned whether we took the right way or not. We pushed through anyway and followed others tracks. We eventually did spot the boulder and I knew then that we were on the right path. There are some very scary areas at the top. I had to just trust the rope that lay in its path and took my time. I recommend attaching a gopro helmet or strapping one on your chest. I so wish I would have done this. The park opens at 0700 so I also recommend getting there by 5 or 6. The clouds rolled in by the time we made it to the stairs. Our view was partially obstructed. If I am ever in the area again I will hope for good weather and try again. It was very challenging and in total for two people we carried 5Liters of water. We were not hungry but made ourselves eat halfway up. Sunscreen was a must, we had to reapply. Good hiking shoes, gloves, and spikes for your shoes. Definitely gave me a bit more confidence having them although be warned, a couple that got to the top ahead of us left their spikes and gloves on the ground and climbed down the stairs a bit. When they returned their spikes and gloves had been stolen. HOLD ONTO YOUR STUFF. Even on a big hike like this people can lose things.
This hike is worth your time and energy, it was the highlight of our trip BY FAR. Goodluck to everyone!

19 days ago

Hello everyone

Coming to the island on may 1st thru the 8th and looking for a fellow hiker to tag along !

Msg me
4408408420
Ty

20 days ago

Going tomorrow morning

hiking
20 days ago

Hello! Me and My brother is doing this hike sometime this week (between monday and friday), is there anyone else who is planning on going and would like to join us? Would be fun to get a grouphike!

Find us on my instagram: maddestenberg and wright to me if you are up for it!

hiking
24 days ago

Hi, we are a Canadian couple that will be doing the Moanalua Valley trail on April 23rd. We are planning on leaving around 7-8 am. Anyone interested in joining us? We have done researches to avoid getting lost, but we still want to make sure that we did not miss anything. Any tips to make sure we are on the right trail? If someone has a detailed map it would be awesome if you could email it to me.
I am looking forward to it.
You can email me at : cathle@msn.com if you want to join us or if you have tips.
Thank you:)

hiking
26 days ago

I'll be visiting HI May 22-26 and I plan to be hiking this trail maybe 5/23 or 5/24. Anyone interested in joining? Email at Charmie91@gmail.com. I am so looking forward to this adventure of a lifetime.

hiking
28 days ago

Well me and my daughter failed... we tried to make it. Started way to late. Definitely need to be more prepared. Also better map... didn’t think we went the right way. Any tips or suggestions??? Much needed for next time.

1 month ago

Super wet today, still made it up though. A little difficult getting down. Will definitely do it again next week.

1 month ago

Thank for the map!

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Best hike ever

hiking
1 month ago

my wife and i plan to hike the Haiku stairs next week (3/12-16/2018). It will be the first time for us. I have read lots of reviews and comments and have done some research but i am sure it will be a lot more to find out once we are there. Please give us any last minute tips and advises. Appreciate.
My email address is timdvo@yahoo.com

hiking
1 month ago

I am looking to do this hike on April 30th. This is most likely to be the hardest hike I have ever done. I would love to have my wife with me but she isn’t sure if she can do it. ¿Is it really that hard? Can anyone share a video of what the hardest part looks like? Pm email: carlosh822@gmail.com

hiking
1 month ago

Long and tough one...but so worth it! The most beautiful hike I have taken, by far! Recommend brining either chacos or water proof boots because you walk through quite a few streams during the beginning. Then strap on spikes are highly recommended for the strenuous climbing towards the end.

1 month ago

I love this trail, it keeps you on your toes!

hiking
1 month ago

I did this yesterday with Sophia Hy. The hike itself was amazing. The day was supposed to be cloudy most of the day but it has been raining for weeks. The steep sections were super muddy and ropes were also covered in mud and slippery. This was definitely not for amateurs. We pass at least 6 people going back down that turned around due to the conditions. We made it to the top with a navy guy we met on the way up and also met 2 guys from new zealand on the way down that had completed it. 3 teenagers from Argentina were so freaked out they said they were going to go down the stairs and face the fine rather go back the way they came. It certainly can be treacherous when it rains. We had rain about half way up and most of the way back. I've never been so muddy or wet. Definitely worth it though.

1 month ago

Looking to do this hike between 2/27 and 3/9.
Anyone out there interest???

Brianjguy@gmail.com

hiking
1 month ago

would love some more info on this hike

hiking
1 month ago

Last minute but looking to do this tomorrow 02.26.18. I’m hoping the rain lightens up. If interested feel free to email me @ ngulbrandsen91@gmail.com

1 month ago

Solo traveller ! Missed my chance to do this hike ! But will be free on 27.2.18 . Forecast is windy ! No rain ! My last opportunity ! Pls email me at cong.t123@hotmail.com if anyone wants to do it !! Hope to hear from you guys !

hiking
1 month ago

I’d love to conquer this trail among others. My family and I will be visiting Oahu for the first time next month (March 17-24) from Florida. If anyone would be interested in me piggybacking on their trail day I’d love to join you. my family have other interests and won’t be hiking with me. And while I’m not afraid to go it solo, always better with others. Feel free to message me if you have some time for a hike. Thanks! Shea 251-401-4711

hiking
1 month ago

What an amazing hike! Definitely keep an eye out for weather as it can get muddy and slippery. Make sure you take gloves for the varies ropes going up and down and get your hand on spikes for your shoes, they will come in handy in dry or wet dirt. The view is breathtaking and worth the trek up. I went along the back way which took us 9hrs up and down. Best to get local directions or a guide for this one unless you have done your research well on how to get in and out from the back way in. All in all.. I flew all the way from Australia to do this and it was well worth it!

hiking
2 months ago

want to go on the 28th of february if anyone wants to come with me :)
email: sophia.hieber@gmx.de or instagram sophiaa_vip

hiking
2 months ago

looking at going 2/20 if anybody is interested

hiking
2 months ago

Quite the extreme hike, not for the novice. Some extra items that are essential, gloves (all the ropes) and possibly appropriate Crampons for boots. Also, went thru 3 different water sources, so plan to hydrate. Lastly, met great people from Australia, New Zealand, and Stuggart, Germany-great conversay.

2 months ago

Anyone else hiking 2/18? gee704@gmail.com

hiking
2 months ago

Depending on the weather I'm planning to do this hike Wed 28th Feb, Thu 1st Mar or Fri 2nd Mar. If anyone is interested in joining me please email me at petersjennigns@gmail.com

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