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

HARD 471 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
3051 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.

trail running
5 hours 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 

9 hours ago

Hiking both days this weekend and hiked both days last weekend as well. I have hiked most of the hikes on this island many many times! It was windy and/or rainy a couple of the days but no issues as we had the right gear. 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

Such a cool hike. Thinking of going Monday. If interested message me on Instagram @Angelo_Q or email

13 hours 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

16 hours 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.

2 days 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!

4 days ago

I climbed the stairs Sun, May 20th for the 252nd time. I’ll hike again in a couple days.

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.


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

4 days ago

For any of those interested. I am planning this hike on either 5/24 or 5/25. This will be my and my GF's first attempt. email me: would love to get a group together.

5 days ago

Breathtaking! Was incredible seeing what Oahu really has to offer. Strongly recommend speaking with @mike.karas on instagram to help you out.

6 days ago

I’ll be on Oahu June 12-17th. Looking for the Heavenly Hike experience without the stress of a huge fine! Looking to join a group if anyone is going as well, I don’t think my mom or sister could handle the hike unfortunately... but I’d love to do this hike with a buddy. DM on Instagram if interested!! @jess.ripp

8 days ago

Great long hike accidentally took this trail trying to go towards kulanaahane but went up instead of straight!! Don’t be afraid to get wet or muddy it’s more dangerous to avoid the mud than to just go right through it

12 days ago

Planning on doing this hike for the fest time may 19th with my sister (both army and fit) in the afternoon to evening then camping out for the sunrise. Message me at if you want to join

16 days ago

Great trail! Expect to get wet and muddy this time of year. Once I got towards the top I was in the clouds and it was super windy and rainy, so the trail was a little slick, but if you pick a day after some decent sunshine it should hopefully dry up. Expect to take a good 4-5 hours to get to the stairs and back, depending on your pace. The stairs were beautiful though!

18 days ago

Definitely a very challenging hike. Pack snacks, water, gloves, and a camera because the views at the top are amazing. Bringing a change of clothes for afterwards is probably a good idea since it can be a muddy trail depending on the weather. Overall it was a great time.. thanks to the three Marines that guided me!

19 days ago

It was incredibly breath taking.
I would be careful to not go on a rainy day as it can be very slick. There are areas to climb rope up steep ledges, and it doesn’t get too bad because of that.
Make sure to take plenty of water, socks, camera, and snacks.
It’s a long haul that’s worth it in the end!

22 days ago

Amazing hike. Very long, with some near vertical and very narrow parts, that can all be muddy and slippery. But completely worth it if you are up for it. Fantastic views throughout and really interesting terrain to navigate.

22 days ago

Incredible view and very difficult. Be extremely careful when hiking and only try it on a dry day as the ropes and holds will be too slippery for any other .

Items to bring :
Plenty of water

28 days ago

Planning on hiking this trail 1st time May 24th (weather permitting). Just hiked 1/2 Dome in Yosemite which was wicked! Now this seems to be a nice follow up. Wondering if anyone is down to meetup. 6am start.

28 days ago

Be careful of hiking in the rain. Flash flood and very muddy conditions

1 month ago

really interested in finding a group to do this with, I'll be in Honolulu from 5/3-5/8. Instagram is 05mada05

1 month ago

22 year old Aussie Looking for someone to hike this trail with over then next ten days that I’m here contact me via Instagram @liamk35

1 month 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

1 month 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!

1 month ago

Hello everyone

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

Msg me

1 month ago

Going tomorrow morning

1 month 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!

1 month 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 : if you want to join us or if you have tips.
Thank you:)

2 months 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 I am so looking forward to this adventure of a lifetime.

2 months 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.

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