Explore the most popular trails near Honolulu with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Honolulu, Hawaii Map
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7 hours ago

we went with locals and they said this was the most beautiful hike they've been on. With that said it was also one of the hardest. There were a lot of swearing, blood, sweat, mode and rain. If you are affraid of heights, scaling waterfalls or getting wet go somewhere else pretty tough but easily most beautiful.

hiking
9 hours ago

completed this for the 2nd time today. I think I will do this every time I visit. I would not rate it as Hard. It's steep, but not dangerous or technical. Just a lot of steps and a lot of people. You will be in good company though, lots of people stopping along the way. Everyone is pulling for each other and offering words of encouragement. It's a great feeling to reach the top and have a total stranger congratulate you. Do note, there is a bypass to avoid climbing across the exposed gulch. The bypass is very easy and fast. I was able to go the bypass route faster than others negotiated the exposed railroad ties. The views at the top are absolutely amazing. Bring a snack and explore all areas at the top. You wont regret it.

This hike has a HUGE sign posted - NO TRESPASSING. You can legally go on a guided tour of this hike by calling: 808-734-4214. Please be respectful to the land owners by obeying their wishes and only go on this trail legally. I wasn't able to do this hike today, but the gentleman was very accommodating and is making arrangements to take me in the next couple of days. If you MUST do a hike in this area and cant wait, try Koko crater railway hike.

We kayaked out there and once we were at the peak we saw two monk seals off the north side of the island in the water. They chased around a sea turtle for a minute. I have seen birds in burrows around the island as well. It’s a scenic hike and getting to the island is half the fun. We caught waves on our way back.

hiking
12 hours ago

great view.. parking limited.. lots of traffic on trail.. get there early!

Two people had to be air evacuated from this trail last weekend, both people with broken bones. Not recommended as the trail crumbles and just gives way easily.

hiking
1 day ago

PPS -- the "Dirt Every Day" episode is available for streaming on Netflix. If you want to see what this trail is really like, it's a really great episode.

off road driving
1 day ago

PS -- this trail is in actuality a challenging, very eroded 4WD road. There are several YouTube videos showing offroaders struggling with some extremely tough terrain and there's even a "Hawaii" episode of the TV series "Dirt Every Day" that is dedicated to a drive through this trail.
Please don't confuse this with the paved Mokule'ia Access Road or with other trails around the Peacock Flats campsite. This one connects the Keaokala Access Road (also known as the Keaokala Firebreak Road) to a right-of-way that connects Farrington Hwy to one of the palis just east of Dillingham Airport.
Again, this is a monster of a 4WD road (don't even think about doing it with one vehicle) and a long, but great day hike.

Was raining pretty good when we hiked this trail. Just wet though, not really muddy. We found our way to the falls without too much trouble. There are a few spots where the trail branches off. There are pink ribbons marking most of the way. Wouldn’t be too hard to take a wrong turn though. Fun hike.

The Views!
Catching Bus from Waikiki was easy
Walking along shoulder of road was ok, single file not recommended for groups with kiddos

Ka’au did not disappoint. We went on a high wind advisory day which I do not recommend as it was pretty sketchy along the ridge with 30 knots of wind. Bring good grippy shoes and plenty of water. Longer pants would also be helpful as it is unmaintained and some of the fauna is prickly. We found going counterclockwise was the better way to go because overall hiking the waterfalls wasn’t as difficult as it looked but going backwards down may have been hairy.

Overall, it was an amazing experience and I would suggest it to anyone who is adventurous and athletic.

I’ll climb the stairs Sat, Jan 20th, for the 217th 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. Both times the projectile broke the skin. 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’ is not a plan I recommend. Police have internet also.

People who say they “just did it”, were (1) luckily, and (2) don’t know how lucky. (But with the experience of one hike under their belt, they are confident enough to share some guidance with you about what they ‘do know’ lol.)

Public record shows hundreds of hikers are caught each month. Understandably they don’t want to be online incriminating themselves, but if I could speak from their position, I would say each one believed well-intended advice.

I usually savor the feeling at the top for a couple hours with hot food and a hammock. While I’m there, people sometimes come from the back side and say they will go down the stairs. I warn them about the probability of trouble, but they are usually adamant about taking a ticket rather than “almost dying”.

There is some validity to that. Although no one has ever died falling on the stairs, over the years many people have gone missing attempting to gain access from the back way.

So be prepared.

The right pair of shoes is your most important piece of equipment for the back way. Inov8 is my favorite brand for the ridge, but any shoe with aggressive (toothed) tread will do. They cost about $140 a pair locally.

If you go the back way, bear in mind Moanalua park trailhead hours are 7am - 7pm. Entering or exiting the park outside of these hours is likely to get you ticketed. (Moanalua neighbors are agitated about the new traffic going up the back side and have pressured the police to maintain a presence in the park.)

As far as coming from the front: I can’t post my plans online. I hope you understand why.

But when we climb the stairs, we approach peacefully and respectfully to enjoy the deep beauty in nature which heals our souls. People need this, and I hold that it is immoral to keep the medicine of mana from the people of earth who are so hungry for relief from the unnatural.

(5). This is the real Hawaii!

Perhaps because you have literally stepped “into” it 3,992 times, the stairs facilitate immersion. It’s a full body workout (because of the handrails) and the activity melts your physical senses until you’re open to let go and sense spirit more keenly. You rise from civilization into a world where magic is the usual.

People think they’re going for the epic view of morning colors, painting the landscape with divine creativity.

But what they discover along the way is they’re going up to find themselves. To recognize the blueprint of their soul in nature, to feel the heartbeat of paradise, and to realize they are inextricably part of that majesty.

They all say: “I researched this, but I had no idea it was going to be this good.”

Sometimes I skip a week, other times I go twice a day, but no matter how sore I am from my last climb, once I start, I’m lost in joy.

Aloha
@Hawaii_Mountain.Man.Matt

hiking
2 days ago

We went on a dry day and didn't have to use the rope. Fairly easy trail for hikers and manageable for all who're not afraid of heights and up for a challenge. Beautiful flowers along the way and incredible view for the last part of the trail.

wish there was an easy way to get to the falls so I could take my folks.

hiking
2 days ago

This hike definitely had accurate reviews.. definitely challenging. I went on a day when it had not rained and it is extremely muddy at the beginning, then goes to dry and crumbly up on the ridge, so the hike is slippery pretty much the entire time. Be sure to wear shoes with some good grip. The views were absolutely amazing and time to hike was about 5-6 hours. Helpful to use this map as there are a couple trails that could lead you in the wrong direction. Overall, definitely unforgettable!

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

Gorgeous views

Very easy hike but it does have a constant steady incline the whole way. There are rest points with amazing views and fun historical facts you can read along the way. There is no shade so be prepared for constant sun exposure. If you have little tikes who may tire, bring a stroller or wagon. If you do this during the right months, you are almost guaranteed to see whales.

Hi guys! I’ll be here between the 19th - 26th of feb so if anyone would be interested to group and hike this, hit me up! Lizzy_p77 on insta.

hiking
3 days ago

Cloudy and super windy today so the view at the top was not as good as it could be. But the trail itself is really nice with lots of interesting plants and wild flowers. We enjoyed it better than pillbox trail.

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