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

HARD 566 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
3,051 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
32 minutes ago

I went up yesterday, by far the most muddy and slippery I have seen it so far, be prepared to get wet as the water was flowing though the creeks you have to walk over in the first hour of the hike, it got pretty muddy and wet towards the top. Crampons(spikes) recommended.
I'm going up this Saturday the 25th. if you'd like to join send me a message on instagram @angelo_q or email me at chicolo@hotmail.com Make sure to bring plenty of water and food and maybe some layers because it can get pretty windy and wet up top.

hiking
2 hours ago

Aloha! Hiked Friday and Sunday. Hiking again Tuesday and this upcoming weekend. 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 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.

1 day ago

Fun hike, but you should be prepare and you will expect very windy, rain and muddy track, bit of rock climbing, rappelling skill will help,.
If you not prepare, you will regret it, bring a snack, plenty of water. Not for a beginner, if you scare of high, don’t do this hike.
I enjoyed though,..

Really fun hike, but its definitely a good idea to bring micro-spikes. Many of the steep vertical ascents were difficult to get traction on.

2 days ago

Hey everyone! Planning to do this hike tomorow hopefully it's goung ro be nice out! If anyone wants to join dm jessicalittlexo on instagram

hiking
2 days ago

Anybody who's going on August 31st/Friday? :) msg me please at rociram_11@yahoo.com

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike, but not to be taken lightly. Come prepare by having spikes, boots, water, snacks and lots of time.

5 days ago

This was absolutely amazing. The most gnarly hike I’ve ever been on. I was terrified on the last hour to the top as it was super windy and you are walking on the ridge most of the time. Did this two days ago and I’m still sore. Super worth it but not sure I would ever do it again. This is a HARD hike and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Use spikes if you can - seriously muddy and the spikes saved my life. The way down seemed much easier after what we experienced on the way up but still sketchy. If you do it alone, guaranteed you will find some people to chat with and help you out. I suggest starting before 8am.

hiking
6 days ago

Hiked this solo on 7/8/18. Forgot to review. Did the ridge starting in Moanalua, down the stairs, back up the stairs, then back across the ridge where I started. That was pretty brutal! 14 miles, 9 hours or so tracking on the Apple Watch. It was rainy for part of it and windy on the sketchy parts. Not for the timid.

hiking
7 days ago

Completed this hike on 2018-08-07 via the "legal" way (start from Moanalua). My review does NOT apply to the Haiku Stairs. There are a lot of invitation to hike/ solicitation for guides on this review page. I'd like to provide some objective info regarding the risks and difficulty for people considering this hike.

Conditions on that day: No rain. Good visibility. Trail mostly dry, which lowered the risk factor significantly for us considering the wind (see below), but we encountered some spots that are very muddy. *Most* of the time we found a way to walk around the mud. Very strong, and more importantly gusty, wind on the ridge (~40+mph gusts). I'm reasonably fit/agile and I got knocked off balance and stumbled a couple times. Consider this with the fact that, in some parts of this trail you're hiking on a narrow ridge with steep cliffs on BOTH sides. Sometimes your margin of error is 1 or 2 steps. Yes you read that right.

Technical difficulties: Can be very muddy/slippery. Some steep climbs that require using your hands. Narrow, exposed trails. Spikes and hiking poles will make the hike easier, and more importantly, SAFER. You will encounter some loose dirt/rocks. People in my group were young, active people of average to above-average fitness. No expert hikers. Undoutedly a strenous hike, but we all completed the trail. ~3 hours up, ~3 hours down.

The risk of this hike depends heavily on rain and the wind. Both can change quickly. If the trail is not slippery AND there's no wind, this trail is manageable for reasonably agile, sure-footed hikers. However, slippery/windy conditions can make this trail very dangerous. If you want to do this hike, fully recognize the risk you're taking and use common sense - don't go alone; don't go in the dark; don't do it when you're not well rested, etc. Even then, go with the expectation that you might have to turn back if you don't feel safe. Falling off a mountain is a shitty way to die and your friends will have to have a very awkward conversation with your family.

Oh yea the views are phenonmenal, but you already know that. you get to take in full views of both the windward and leeward sides of the mountain.

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

I will climb the Haʻikū Stairs, aka Stairway to Heaven, Monday, August 13th, for the 278th 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.

Aloha
@Hawaii_Mountain.Man.Matt

13 days ago

Omg, it's a killer, but it was so so good!!! I went with @mvrkb who does local tours for the low low, and we became instant friends! He's a superrrr awesome and friendly af local, and can help you out with whatever hike you need! If you decide to go by yourself, really consider the weather conditions, because I prob wouldn't have been able to do it without the spikes mark lent me.

13 days ago

Finally did this today! Started at 630 am ended shortly after 1 pm. Went with 2 L of water (Drank maybe half) and some granola bars. While it’s long, it’s not a super difficult hike. A good portion is slippery but as long as you’re careful, you should be okay. Really isn’t any need for spikes or fancy equipment. It was easy to find and navigate.

13 days ago

I am hoping to find a local or hiking enthusiast would be willing to take myself and 2 other girls on this trail while there from September 11th- September 18th. Email me at emily.skelly11@gmail.com or Instagram at skellllz1

Thanks for considering!

14 days ago

BIG ORGANIZED HIKE COMING UP on MEMORIAL DAY.
Join us on Facebook at HIKING HAWAII. https://www.facebook.com/groups/160974214688510/permalink/196416124477652/

hiking
15 days ago

Aloha! Hiking Monday, Tuesday, and Friday this week most likely. Maybe other days as well. 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 mikekarasphotography@gmail.com. Bring plenty of water for this hike and other hikes out here in Hawaii.

hiking
16 days ago

We did this trail up to Haiku Stairs during a rainy day. Sooo muddy out there. You definitely need gloves, rain jacket and good shoes. The trail was slippery and so windy that some ways it was dangerous. Nothing to protect yourself in case you fall, so be very aware. At the top, the view wasn’t clear because of the clouds. We decided to take the stairs to go down even if it’s prohibited, because the way back from where we came wasn’t safe. We were a little bit anxious about confronting the guardian, but she was very chill. She just waves at us and.. that’s it. It was the hardest trail I’ve been to, but worth the shot!! The view under the clouds was breathtaking!!
However, I do not recommend this trail for beginners if it’s windy and rainy. Be prepared to be wet from head to toes.
English/french
For info akpatriarco@hotmail.com

hiking
18 days ago

Hi Lisa/people who want to do this trail. I live in Hawaii and hike every day I have wanted to do this one but am looking for a group to do this trail at some point. contact justindavidsands@gmail.com

18 days ago

Hiya, I'm an avid hiker, and I would loooove to do this trail with another soul. Anyone down?

22 days ago

This was the absolute highlight of our trip to Hawaii. My husband and I are avid hikers and it took us 4 hours up and 3 hours down. We brought a camelback that held 3 liters and about 48oz in bottles and had about 1.5 liters left over. Bring snacks and you may be craving an orange or piece of fruit at the top so plan accordingly. Wear hiking shoes at the least, we saw so many people with tennis shoes covered head to toe in mud because they couldn’t grip the terrain. A plus would be spikes. It’s extremely muddy, so be careful. Depending on the time of year you don’t need a rain jacket. We hiked in shorts and a tank top and were fine, and the rain at the top was a brief break from the heat. The pictures we took were incredible, and the hike was the best hike I’ll probably ever go on.

hiking
27 days ago

I will be in Oahu next week (July-29 to August 5) visiting family. I would like to hike this trail, Olomana trail and other more spots. Feel free to email me at nico.marchan@yahoo.com or message me on my instagram: @nicocarlosmarchan if you want to join me and others to hike these trails.

28 days ago

If you love hiking, hike it! This hike is worth all the blood, sweat, and tears! Please bring plenty of water and snacks. Also, be prepared for weather change, we started it was clear and calm. About 2 miles from the summit the weather went from sunny to windy and rain until we reached the top.

This is an absolute must hike!!

We hiked from the trailhead that leads to the Stairway To Heaven and then proceeded down the stairs. Note...if you are going to go down the stairs, beware it is a $1000 fine if the cops catch you exiting. There is a security guard on duty, but he can not issue a ticket.

28 days ago

Is anyone hiking this trail tomorrow? I plan on hiking with my husband. I’ve read a lot of the blogs and seems like people don’t take the same trail back. If anyone wants to join us, it’ll be our first time please email me ongmoua01@gmail.com

29 days ago

I am leaving Hawaii the eve on the 25th. and I'd like to find someone that would join me on the Stairway to Heaven Trail.
Any interest, send me an email to aholenstein@hotmail.com

30 days ago

Amazing. Best trail ever in Hawaii ! Must Do !

1 month ago

Anyone keen for the hike morning of Saturday, July 21 :)

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike! The trail was in great condition, ropes were secure, weather was gorgeous, not much water on the trail. This is a difficult hike—likes of vertical scrambling, and it’s length makes it tiring. We did the trail in 6 hours, 15 min. We are avid hikers, but we are not super athletes and we don’t move really fast. Beautiful views. Really great way to see the legal way to Haiku stairs.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is gorgeous, long, challenging - my favorite kine :) Make sure you have waterproof shoes as there are 17 streams. We ended up doing this on a whim with 5 people as we *ahem* got turned away by the popo's at 3am on Saturday from the Stairs so we decided to go the legal way. This meant my shoes were not waterproof but lightweight trail runners. I got sick in the ensuring days from hiking 9 hours in wet shoes but it was WORTH IT! The trail is quite overgrown at some parts (I'm pretty short and the grass was taller than me). It takes you through the valley then up along the ridge to the back part of the stairs. Thankfully I packed a windproof jacket, which was necessary once we made it up about 6 miles, the last 2-3 miles have strong winds. I should also note that one of the girls with us stepped on a bush on one of the ridges and dropped down the side. Thankfully she hung on and the ridge wasn't razorback so it was sloped and we pulled her back but please, please stick to the trail and make sure your footing is solid. Now that you've read all the cautionary parts, GO HIKE THIS TRAIL! It's breathtaking early in the morning when the sun is just coming up and the views at the top are insane. Insane. Can't wait to do this one again as soon as I find people who are down for 10 hour hikes lol

hiking
1 month ago

Not writing a review. I’m heading to oahu on July 30 to August 6. If anyone is doing this hike on the dates I’m there please contact me and let me join your adventure. Been visiting the island for quite some years and always wanted to do this hike. Email is chefvito671@gmail.com. Subject it as hiking stairway to heaven so I know what to look for.

Load More