Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

2 hours 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.

1 day 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.

1 day ago

Nice and easy with a couple of highlights. Only problem is while the information map clearly shows a restroom, we looked for it twice and couldn't find it.

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! I do various guided hikes with photos on Oahu. I hike often/weekly. Hiked three times last week and I am hiking his week Thursday and this weekend on Saturday 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.

Super fun trail and it wasn’t too busy when I went earlier in the morning. Water wasn’t too icy cold either.

2 days ago

This used to be my backyard growing up an I had hiked it several times as a young teenager
There used to be nobody hiking back then
Wanted to be there for Sunrise 1/13 7:11a
When we arrived at 7a I was surprised that the lot was already full, I guess because it was Saturday
Although I’m mid 50’s and overweight, this hike was a great workout
At the top the infamous message “THIS IS NOT A DRILL!” appears on many of our phones
360 views from just over 1K feet
Going down can be tricky on the steeps
Sturdy shoes and early start recommended
A particular hike I am unlikely to forget

Sunset !!!

2 days ago

Spectacular views of Diamond Head.

2 days ago

Nice hike. Amazing waterfall. Lots of people typically, especially on weekends. Some sections may be a bit steep if you don't have the proper footwear. Worth it, though.

Took me about 45 minutes going up. Stoped maybe 5 times. I'm 5'7" and 170lbs. I'm not the best shape.

It's a short one but pretty steep. The top is absolutely amazing! 360 degree view. On the other side of the hike/mountain there is a back trail. Easy as in physicality but a little more dangerous. Not horribly but a little dangerous. That part was actually my favorite part.

This trail is amazing. My husband and I felt it was more of a cross-fit training course than a hike. There is a mix of steps, horizontal trees to climb under or over, a stream to cross multiple times and lastly ropes to help you get down hill side safely. I encourage you to experience this trail however I would be recommend wearing keens or any other hiking shoes that you don’t mind getting muddy or wet.

Tip: Go through the gates that states Watershed from the parking. This will take you up a small grassy hill and then follow the gravel road to the base of the mountain. Take a left to the stairs and pass through a set of gates. (You can go around too. As you move up the hill you will find yourself crossing a stream.. try to cross the stream by staying on the cement dam and then follow the cement wall until you find the trail. Stay close to the stream.... have fun!

2 days ago

Beautiful, easy hike.

This hike has everything you need. waterfalls, ridge walking, scrambling, and amazing views. it's a tough hike, but well worth it.

Awesome views all around. I suggest going in Jan or Feb and you'll see plenty of whales. We also could see the next island over.


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