Explore the most popular no dogs trails in Hawaii with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

16 hours ago

One of my favorite hikes on Oahu. The rainforest is stunning as is the waterfall at the trailhead. Not much in the way of views until you get way up high on the ridge but this trail ticks a lot of boxes... good workout, beautiful plants and wildlife, and a waterfall at the start! Prepare for rain, drizzle, and mud as this trail is in a typically wet area of Oahu. Enjoy!

Muddy at the beginning, and a little hard to find the right trail at first but the waterfall at the top was beautiful. Definitely wear proper shoes, you will be crossing the river several times on the way up!

Very muddy at the beginning of the hike but the large waterfall made it worthwhile.

Too many tourists, however the views at the top were breathtaking. Definitely worth it.

Going clockwise to the falls is pretty easy and straightforward, it's been well marked. I loved the falls, it was flowing well even on a sunny day! but it's been raining a lot overall the past month which is probably why. If you just want to see the falls, best to just go back out the way you came in. I decided to try out the loop because I hate repetition and loved the idea of a challenge. I think people might hunt here and that's why there's kind of a bit of excessively random trail markers? Might be wrong, but it's really just a guessing game after the falls, eventually I just started hashing my way up the ridge no trail. Accidentally ended up finding the trail anyway(After an hour or so)! You have no idea how happy I was to see that yellow rope lol from there is was really easy again, just a simple ridgeline trail. it was definitely a bit overgrown at times but nothing unbearable. the trail past the falls just needs to be remarked! otherwise I really enjoyed this trail.

I’ll climb the stairs Fri, Mar 23rd for the 234th 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.


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

1 day ago

Wow, the upper cave area is a steep climb and not for the novice. Wear good shoes, NO flops. The views are awesome. The lower cave is really fun to explore, gotta have your wits about you if going in the belly of the mountain.

1 day ago

Disclaimer: I do not suggest attempting this in the rain or in any sort of inclement weather. The trail becomes VERY slippery and when I went down the visibility was very low so I didn’t actually see any views of the canyon. Still one of the most beautiful and fun hikes I’ve ever done, but I am a regular hiker and I had good boots and used two sticks I found along the way as poles and it was pretty tough to keep from slipping. And a fall in rainy conditions could be dangerous. I am not from Kauai and was warned to be careful if I went at all, which was not recommended by locals, as at least three people were seriously injured (broken bones, airlifted out, etc) on trails in the canyon that week.

That being said, I am young and dumb and may never have the opportunity to visit this beautiful place ever again so down I went.

Took me about an hour and a half to get about 2-2.5 miles in. I could hear rushing water on either side of me but saw nothing but white. Heard some goats too! But like I said, I would have preferred to do this in better weather and if I’m ever able to return I will.

Moral of the story is- this hike is gorgeous even when you can’t see the views. But DO NOT attempt hikes like this on Kauai if it’s been raining and especially if local people advise against it. They know the place much better than you do and it’s not worth the risk. I was with a group of people on Waimea river who wanted to try and hike after heavy rains and we were told it wasn’t a good idea and wouldn’t even be fun, but they didn’t seem to believe it. TRUST ME, I like busting my butt down and up a muddy mountainside in the rain just as much as anyone else but don’t assume you know better than folks who live in the area.

Beautiful hike, super wet today. Waterfalls were amazing! Hike safe!

Aloha! I do various guided hikes with photos on Oahu. I hike often/weekly. I hiked this past week and this weekend and will be hiking this week and next weekend as well. Feel free to check out some examples of photos on my instagram @mike.karas. You can message me there or at mikekarasphotography@gmail.com

Lovely addition to beach walk in the early morning. Lots of birds, very peaceful.

2 days ago

Great short hike with incredible views!

2 days ago

I'm not sure what the other reviews are about, but this "hike" is really a walk on the beach. Admittedly, it is a beautiful, desolate beach, but there is no waterfall and no "elevation". Park at the MacArthur park, at the lifeguard station, and walk to the right, on the beach. The walk ends at Barking Sands military base, about 2 miles out. You pass by the raceway. You'll see very few, if any, people. Bring water and a bathing suit.

Awesome hike! Not sure it should be rated as Easy, but I was told there was a recent flash flood that changed or blocked parts of the trail, so maybe that’s why it was a challenge. 13 crossings is an accurate description, wear good tread and plan on crossing the stream frequently. The bamboo forest and waterfalls are spectacular. The drive out Rt 340 to get there was fun too..

2 days ago

This would have been an easy trail is it wasn’t so muddy and slippery. It last rained two days ago, so there were dry spots, but some of the slippery spots were really dangerous. The views are beautiful once you get there, but still be careful on the rocks. There is also a waterfall that is pretty. Several baths but only one that you can swim in. And if the tide is rough, this could be super dangerous. The trail does start with a sign that reads “Many people have died here.” And more. Could be a great experience, but I was too nervous after reading that!

Highly recommend! Not a terrible interesting first part of the hike through the woods but well worth for the stunning views at the end. Go all the way to the top of the waterfall to get full views. It’s cool to stop at viewpoints on the way back and look back on where you were hiking in the canyon. We went after heavy rains and it was very muddy, definitely recommend hiking shoes though I saw others in sneakers. We walked down the 4x4 dirt road to start the hike but from what I can tell you could also park at Pu’u Hinahina lookout at start at the trail that exits from the left side of the parking lot.

trail running
2 days ago

Nice spot for a short run or stroll along the coast. Free parking at the public beach access tucked in among various resorts. Mostly paved but one short section over volcanic rocks, easily navigated.

Muddy the first mile. Incredible views at the end. Wait a few minutes if it’s cloudy.

So much fun! Lots of much & the water was amazing! So worth it!

3 days ago

Throw some extra weight in your backpack for a good time. It’ll be worth it.

Beautiful hike to the point. The hike is along a flat, dirt road/trail, but you are exposed at all times. Remember your sunscreen and water. Enjoy!

One of the best hikes/climbs. :) In my first try I got to all three peaks thanks to the beautiful weather today. It's demending, relatively hard. It's worth the sweat and effort. Exhilarating, exciting!

Yes absolutely should you rent a bike, and I command you to rent it from Stretch, the gentle giant with plush spirit animals tied to his bikes for half the price of the competitors. No, you do not need no stinking map, it will be obvious where to go, there's smoke. You will want to mark the location of your bike on your map though, as you'll be hiking back to it in pitch darkness, unless there's something wrong with you and you don't want to see lava in the dark. You want to see it in the dark. From the bike ditch point we hiked about 2 miles to the north east towards the slopes, there was no flow into the ocean that day. After your hike at dusk over crispity crunchy newly formed earth, you will come upon an the active area, active with lava and active with people. At this point you will start to notice many people freaking out as they realize their feet are burning. This should alarm you, especially if you're wearing Converse Chuck Taylor's (humanity's greatest hiking shoe), as you soon become aware that your feet are practically on fire because you just ran right up to lava and locked eyes with it, unable to look away. There is a simple trick: Move to a cooler rock. Yes, there are cool rocks right next to the hot ones, they are typically the ones that don't look like there's a BBQ underneath them. Another trick for not dying: try to stay upwind of the lava. Death tends to occur when one is standing near the lava, it begins to rain, and POOF! a beautiful hot cloud of sulfurous death envelopes you! Now that's what I call fun. Certainly someone has died trying to cook a hot dog over the stuff. Some people deserve it, hot dogs are bad news. Be sure to have fresh batteries in your headlamp, the hike back to your bike will take longer since you're not racing towards sexy magma in the daylight, you're stumbling around in the dark and giggling. Stretch had already closed up by the time we got back, but we ran into him the next day and he was thankful we put the bikes away under the tarp. What a guy. Thank you Stretch. Thank you Pele.

The fact that this climb is verboten makes it more appealing to thrill seekers, miscreants, and those who believe no trail should be off limits and that hiking is always at your own risk. Clearly this makes it a big problem for the neighborhood and it's a shame there isn't a better resolution than posting cops and security. How much does it cost to employ the police and security? How much money is actually made off of the steep fines? How much would it cost to just gate the community? How much would it cost to build a small parking area and charge for permits? How much does it cost every time someone has to get air rescued? I'm not directly involved in these politics, hopefully Friends of Haiku Stairs can sort it out.

Upon entering Haiku Village, you will almost certainly be greeted by an unmarked police vehicle wherever you decide to park. Perhaps the officer will politely tell you that hiking here is illegal and that there have been acts of violence from the locals and vandalism to hiker's vehicles, and then tell you to be safe and respectful before driving away. Be sure that more cops continue to lurk around waiting for you to take one trespassing step.

My friend and I did not enter through the most common route, probably the second most common, and started at 8am, not 3am as so many seem to recommend. This made it much easier to find the way since we weren't familiar enough to find it in the dark. Entering with more than 2 people will greatly increase your chances of being caught, but will also give you extra hands to pick up THE INORDINATE AMOUNT OF TRASH on the way to the stairs. Normally I bring a trash bag or at least fill my pack with all the unwanted gifts left behind on a trail: no need for that here! The highway above just rains unused contractor bags to fill. This was a dream come true for us. Much of the garbage is debris from the highway (gardening tools, tires, tons of plastic sheet), but a lot is clearly from adventurous hikers who were just too tired to carry that water bottle.

We spent a couple hours filling bags and stashing them before even getting on the stairs. Sadly, there is a lot of trash on each side of the stairs that is unreachable with out some sort of telescoping prosthetic limb. Perhaps that's how the couple ended up getting air rescued the day after we hiked; they saw that Powerade bottle that someone took one sip from then decided to see what it looked like on the side of a mountain, and went for it. :/
Should an air rescue be charged to the hiker or the taxpayer? Hmm...

Expect many people at the top, mostly those who went the legal way. 2 hours on actual stairs to get to the top, less then one down, and then 2 more hours of picking up trash on the way out. Some strangers who hiked the legal way asked us to show them the illegal way out, which we said was a no, and we'd be busy picking up trash anyway. They were extremely excited to pick up trash, so then it was a yes, hired. It was disappointing to only have collected over 3 full contractor bags each weighing about 40 pounds, but it's all we could carry. Navigating muddy sliding hills, bamboo forest, thick brush, complex root systems, trenches and fences while carrying a backpack and giant bags of trash felt like a training scene from a martial arts flick.

Altogether thoroughly satisfied with the little we could do in one day to help keep all the fine human made stuff we produce from ending up in the ocean, even if it's a losing battle. The stairs were just OK.

While there might be hordes of people on this trail during the weekend, it is still gorgeous and fun. Tourist confusion on where to go after the entrance can also be entertaining. To the right of the parking lot is a human size hole in the fence that leads down a gravel road which is a more direct path than what is shown on the map. Or you can zig zag through the bamboo and jump a fence or two.

The plus side of the heavy traffic is the large amount of garbage to collect along the trail, very rewarding.

If it's raining or wet, think twice about going around the crater ridge unless you have cleats and rope. Mildly treacherous mud climbing and sliding will ensue. A light amount of rain had all of the falls raging, making the third one impossible to cross the standard way, instead requiring dangerous and fun mountain goat gymnastics up both sides to make it to the top. At that point you can go left to find the exit route, or go right and try to hurt yourself. Results after 6 hours: bruised, cut, sore, mud covered, smiling.

As always, please continue leaving as much of your trash on the trail as possible, it gives me great satisfaction to collect it.

I feel like I shouldn't even check in here as we didn't actually do the hike. Wouldn't have known where the trail was if one of the local vendors at the top hadn't told us. Another vendor told us we would get fined $300 for doing the hike. That in conjunction with the heavy rain we've had the past couple days, we chickened out, but the views are still gorgeous from the top. I'm starting to think it would've been worth it. Next time!

Great sunset hike and sunrise

Rainy off and on and very muddy but the views were worth the trek.

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