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

HARD 514 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.

9.3 miles
3,051 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



nature trips

trail running





wild flowers





old growth

over grown



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.

4 hours ago

Great hike. Easy for the first few miles. Then an immediate uphill climb up the finger of the mountain. You get to the top and then walk along the ridge to get to the stairs. Very challenging. Bring food and water. Very stretchy going back down the mountain. Overall solid adventure. You will be smoked at the end of this hike.

12 hours ago

Aloha! I will be hiking this weekend! Had an awesome time hiking this past weekend and last week 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 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 Bring plenty of water for this hike and other hikes out here in Hawaii.

12 hours ago

Plan on attempting this on Tuesday morning July 17. If anyone cares to join hit me up at

2 days ago

I will climb the Haʻikū Stairs, aka Stairway to Heaven, Monday, July 16th for the 273rd 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!"

Most neighbors are friendly, but some are aggressive and even violent. Tourist blood has spilled in the neighborhood more than once in the past year.

(4) The back way is less safe, but worth considering.

A ticket on the stairs is common and the judges have gotten tired of the case. The charge is Second Degree Criminal Trespass with these components:

(1) $1,000 fine
(1) Three dates, each about two months apart at the Kaneohe Courthouse
(2) Jail, no longer than 6 months. (incarnation is rare, averaging 1.6 out of 100 tickets)
(3) Legal fees (a defense attorney charges $800 - $1,500 for the case)
(4) Usually 60 hours of community service.
(5) Legal fees for expungement after some years of a clean record.
(6) Visa/Immigration hurdles.
(7) Impact on professional life.
(8) Return travel and accommodations to attend court, community service, etc.

The financial setback ranges from $3,000 for an average local, up into the hundreds of thousands over the length of a career for military members reduced in rank, professional licenses affected, working visas denied, etc.

Public record shows hundreds of tickets a month, but I suppose everyone standing in court started their morning hike knowing they had done the research.

There are techniques, but to be fair, everything posted online is a bit comical.

Two tips:
⁃ The guard is usually friendly and does not have the power to give anyone a ticket.
⁃ The police have internet also and are good at what they do all day every day.

(5) This is the real Hawai’i!

When I go, I approach peacefully and respectfully.

As we climb we are immersed, perhaps because we step “into” the experience 3,922 times. The activity melts our physical senses, and opens us to sense spirit. We rise from civilization to magic.

At the top, we savor hot foods and reflect for a couple hours in comfort, allowing the memory of the feeling to become part of us before the senses of civilization erase the nuances of that raw truth from our attention.

People think I go for the epic view, but along the way they recognize their own reflection in nature. They discover that they share an energetic blueprint with a land so majestic and find new appreciation for the landscape of their own soul.

They find that they climbed a mountain to see themselves in new light, so that the sunrise was the second, third or forth best part of the day.

They alway say: “I had no idea it was going to be this good.” Always with smiles, sometimes in tears.

I might skip a week or go twice a day, but even after so many times, once I start I’m lost on it again.


4 days ago

We did this yesterday- it rained and what was an extremely difficult trail became even more intense. Be aware that the suck factor goes way up when it’s wet. The mud is extremely slippery and at some spots you’ll be using ropes to pull yourself up near vertical mud cliffs. The hike is easy for the first 2.5 miles although you will cross several streams (8-10) that if it’s been raining you will get your feet wet. Once you veer off the sanctioned trail it’s nothing but up for a couple of intense miles. One nice thing about doing it when it’s rainy is we got to view several beautiful waterfalls across the valley ... by the time we were coming back down they had already dried up. We are moderate hikers and we got to the top in about 3 hours and were back to the care with a total time of six hours. However we did pass a couple of younger groups (I’m 59 years old) who were on pace to take closer to 8 to 10 hours. If it’s been raining be aware that the trek back down is more treacherous than going up due to the mud and vertical drops of several hundred feet on either side of the trail..Also if you don’t like heights be aware that at some parts you’re going to be on ridges where the trail is less than 3 feet wide and drops several hundred feet on both side ... plus there will be a stiff wind! Overall great hike, not for the faint of heart, those out of shape or afraid of heights and mud! Glad we did it ... I see no reason to do it again.

5 days ago

I went the other day, it got pretty muddy and wet towards the top. If you have crampons that might help. I'm thinking of going this weekend. if you'd like to join send me a message on instagram @angelo_q. Make sure to bring food and water and maybe some layers because it can get pretty windy and wet up top.

7 days ago

Mission accomplished. We started in Moanalua Valley this morning and ended our hike climbing down the stairs. It wasn’t the ideal conditions for most people. But our group is not like most people. Definitely need be extremely careful on this trail. Awesome hike in the clouds! Would definitely do this one again.

8 days ago

did stairs up, this way down few days ago, nice views at halfways, but once in the clouds/fog, cannot see anything, only mists and wind, extrem hike, some parts are very muddy, and unavoidable, this is a never forgotten experience. after this one, I didn't even feel like to do that koko crater railway anymore cause I feel that just cannt top this at all, hell, nothing would top this one in Oahu.

10 days ago

I hiked this trail to the top on 25th June, bout 2 weeks ago. The weather had been pretty bad the previous few days with frequent rainfall and the trail was so slippery and muddy. I came totally unprepared with shorts, running shoes and a water bottle. This was the first hike i had ever done and it was really challenging at afew parts of this trail especially because of the mud and the slippery rocks. *IMPT* Bring gloves, proper hiking shoes and a windbreaker if you want to try this hike. The ropes were so slippery due to the mud and rain there were many times i had put my life at risk. Also the winds get stronger higher up and its hard to keep your balance on the narrow paths that drop to about 500feet if u lose your balance. Exercise caution and be very very careful, a tip would be to always have a hold of the plants at the sides of the trail so you dont slip. I was pretty unlucky as it also started raining while i was hiking up and it made it alot harder. I personally find the haiku stairs so much safer and easier compared to this trail. Overall, when i made it to the top it was all worth it, the hardship experienced on the trail made me feel all the more fulfilled. Me and my friends were drinking till 2am and started this hike at 4am with 2 hours rest. Pls dont be stupid like us, have proper rest and come prepared, we could have put ourselves in deep shit and im so lucky i came out of this unscathed.

12 days ago

Looking for guide to tackle this beauty the legal way. Will be on Oahu August 20th, 21st, and 22nd from NZ. Would love to get something locked in (have to book the wife’s spa day as well ;) not her cuppa) brendoncochran(AT)hotmail(DOT)com

12 days ago

Hello All.Looking to do this hike with some people this upcoming month 16 July 2018. I am an experienced hiker ,some of the people I am with are not. Hopefully can leave them at the hotel and meet up with someone else who has either done this before or would like to go for a new experience. Please contact me and let me know if anyone would like to join.

15 days ago

looking to do tomorrow 6/30. anyone who has done it before going?

16 days ago

Anyone want to do this hike sometime this weekend/ next week!! Looking for a group to concur it together, email at

24 days ago

It was a great trail! Beautiful! Except, I am no experienced hiker. I was about to be killed on this trail. I should have read postings on this site before trying to hike this trail. My student, an experienced hiker, thought I could do this (why? I am not sure). I showed up in shorts and sleeveless shirt, on walking shoes, without wind jacket, gloves, nor spikes. It was a wet, cloudy, and windy day. The trail was extremely slippery. The only reason I got out of this live was God who watched over me!

Nonetheless, this was a beautiful trail. I was afraid being caught by the guard, so even though I really wanted to come down the stairs instead of retracing the trail, we came down the trail legally. It was an experience I won't forget for the rest of my life! There won't be a next time, but if there is... I would definitely be better prepared with proper shoes, spikes, gloves, and a wind jacket!

30 days ago

Going to try and accomplish this tomorrow. Anyone else going ? Email me at

1 month ago

Most amazing hike of my life.

1 month ago

Flying in from California on Wednesday. Planning to do this hike on Thursday or Friday ( 6/14 or 6/15). Would love it if someone that did this hike before would join us. Will pay for your coffee. @nellygoing on insta

1 month ago

my wife and i will be hiking on tuesday. would be awesome if someone who had done the hike before joined us

1 month ago

my wife and i will be hiking on tuesday. would be awesome if someone who had done the hike before joined us

1 month ago

Im looking to hike up tomorrow! Would love someone whos done it before to occupancy me. A group would be ideal.

1 month ago

Probably the hardest, and coolest hike I've ever done! Make sure you do your homework before you go, it's very easy to miss the trail.

I would definitely suggest bringing gloves as some of the ropes are old and rough and you have to depend on them a lot. Also, my wife and I didn't wear microspikes on the way up, but did on the way down, and it made it much less scary! Bring microspikes. We saw a woman coming up the trail in flip flops and a swim suit and I assume they had to turn around. Come prepared! Plan on it taking around 8 hours found trip. We spent about an hour on the stairs, and even that felt like it wasn't enough! Such an incredible place.

1 month ago

This trail is extremely hard but the views are totally worth it! I wouldn’t recommend this hike if you aren’t in the best shape. There are many steep inclines where you are mostly relying on a rope to get you up. It is VERY MUDDY! bring extra clothes and shoes for after the hike.

1 month ago

Amazing views! We went when there was a lot of cloud cover. It was a nice reprieve from the heat, BUT made everyhig really slimy and slippery. Quite sketchy at times especially with all the wind. It would probably be wise to bring climbing spikes. I would rather just take the stairs next time. I honestly feel like this path is far more dangerous.

1 month ago

Definitely not for your every day adventure. Plan on steep inclines with mud everywhere and shear drops to both sides. Do not do this trail if you are afraid to fall off of a cliff. If you plan on doing this at night, it is pretty good because you don’t get to look at exactly how scary this one is. Getting up to the top of the stairs is phenomenal and definitely something I am glad that we did.

1 month ago

Definitely longer than 9 miles. Extremely muddy! Spikes are recommended. Plan on getting dirty!!! Roughly four hours each way and that wasn’t moving slow at all, we didn’t take many breaks and didn’t spend much time at the top.

trail running
1 month ago

Great trail with some stunning views! A must do on Oahu. Bottom up in 59 minutes is totally possible when the trails are dry. Still saw some people who are scared of heights!!!! So if you are scared of heights, its not recommended to go there! Don’t forget that reaching the summit is only half of the rent 

1 month ago

I hiked this 5/24 and let me start out by saying: what an epic and glorious adventure. Not for the faint heart. I absolutely enjoyed every moment of this hike to the stairs and I would do it again in a heart beat. Myself along with 2 other groups decided to be rebels and descended down the stairs. Luckily we did not have any run INS with a guard. If you're planning on going, bring gloves with good grips, good hiking shoes, spikes, water, a small snack, and dont forget your camera. The closer I got to the top, the windier it became, started raining at some sections as the clouds moved in, and the MUDDIER it got. Be prepared to get dirtied. If you want more info or tips, email me and I'll sum it up from beginning to end for you

1 month ago

This trail is epic, way better than doing the stairs and worrying about getting caught. Both are extremely dangerous and for skilled hikers only. Bring gloves and water also be prepared to get covered in mud.

1 month ago

This hike is incredible! It had been on our bucket list for quite some time! We just put all of our photos and tips together. Hopefully this will help anyone that wants to do this hike!

1 month ago

Trying to do this hike this weekend for the first time 5/25-5/28. Looking to join a group or hike with a couple people. Email/DM me or @jenniferhutchins

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