Explore the most popular partially paved 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.

hiking
16 hours ago

We parked on residential Nawiliwili St off of Highway 72 and took the shortcut up to the trail. You’ll find the shortcut after the last house on the right side, where there’s also a large grate, a drainage ditch, and a street sign that says Begin Centerline Rumble Strip.

After reaching the paved trail, turn right and head uphill awhile. You’ll eventually pass two different wide dirt areas (basically old lava flows) to the left that lead down the hill (before you reach the end of the paved road). Don’t forget this is a loop trail, so it doesn’t matter which path you go down first - just head down and hug the ocean all the way around Koko Head and you’ll loop back up to the paved trail. The dirt paths are a little slippery and steep so watch your footing!

Absolutely gorgeous views the entire way!

I went up on Saturday. it's been pretty clear up top the last few times I went. I have done this hike many times. If you want to avoid getting fined/arrested I will be going up this weekend this legal backway. I have some clean up to do up there.
In my opinion going up the stairs all the way gets boring, the backway is more of an adventure and there are better views. It can get pretty muddy and windy. Crampons(spikes) recommended, I do have some spare spikes.
If interested send me a message on instagram @angelo_q or email me at chicolo@hotmail.com for details. Make sure to bring plenty of water and food.

Aloha! I typically hike up 1-3 times a week. Went up 6 times in the last 12 days. Had an awesome time going up today! I will be going again this Tuesday and this upcoming weekend. Possibly other days this week too. I have probably done this particular hike more than anyone else on island. (over 100+ times) It is often windy and/or rainy but we never have issues as we always have the right gear (including microspikes) which is 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.

I will climb the Stairway to Heaven with some others tomorrow, January 13th, for the 317th time. “Haʻikū Stairs v. 317” - I can’t wait! :)

My most recent post on Instagram @Hawaii_Mountain.Man.Matt gives an idea for one impactful photo angle.

5 things about stairway:

(1) It is illegal, but not unsafe.

In 70+ years there have been no falling deaths on the stairs. Compare that to 54 air rescues on diamondhead last year. By total death count, the Stairway to Heaven could be Oahu’s safest trail. (Although it still deserves caution.)

(2) Contribute to what you love.

I clean every three days on average, but it builds up fast. To make it convenient to carry trash out, bring a bag so you don’t soil your pack.

Poop: bury it or squat over a one-gallon bag, toss the wipes in, press the air out, tripple bag and pack it out like a diaper.

(3) Take it easy on the neighbors.

Most locals are friendly, but some are understandably aggressive. Blood has spilled over this hike more than once in the past year. You cannot be too careful.

(4) Plan your hike and hike your plan.

The most common Haʻikū Stairs story is:

“We went to bed at 11pm, woke up at 2am and tried to get in, but got caught by police. When we got back to the hotel we slept. We really wanted to take a picture on the stairs so we decided to go the ‘back way’. It was harder than we expected, and when we got to the top we decided we needed to take the stairs down because we would rather get the ticket than die.”

If you are considering going the legal way, choose companions who will be willing to return down the legal way also. You can easily get a ticket coming down the stairs.

Except under special circumstances, I normally do not guide the ‘back way’. There is another guide who provides equipment and coaching for that experience.

a. The ‘back way’

Legal access hours to Moanalua Valley Trail are 7am - 7pm with the same ticket as the front way if you’re caught after hours. I recommend starting right at 7am because it’s safer to not rush on the mountain. If you think you’re lost, take the only certain way out - which is to turn around. It’s easy to find yourself in a life-threatening position on the trails behind Haʻikū Stairs.

If you want to see sunrise or sunset, I recommend beginning at noon and sleeping over. The mountain is usually cold, rainy, misty and windy, so prepare accordingly. A good insulating mat is a must if you plan to spend the night.

‘Good’ hiking shoes are NOT sufficient. I recommend soft rubber ‘hiking cleats’, a GPS device, cautious confidence, and enough internal fortitude to enjoy your activity rather than merely survive it.

Ask me for detailed ‘why’s behind shoe criteria.

b. The stairs.

If you’re considering the stairs, it is important to be personally and professionally prepared for the legal exposure, and know which actions increase that risk.

The financial setback usually begins around $5,000 depending on legal fees, travel expenses, fines. If there is any impact on professional life it can be 100x that. I recommend handling this decision carefully.

Send me a message at Facebook.com/MatthewKievlan for advice there.

(5) Linger in the mountain.

People think I go for the epic view, but when we go upstairs they slowly begin to recognize their own reflection in nature. They resonate with the energetic blueprint of a place so majestic and discover new light to admire in their soul.

As we climb, energy begins to grow in us and melts our physical senses, opening us to sense spirit. We become immersed, perhaps because we have ‘stepped into’ the experience 3,922 times, as we move from civilization to heaven.

After a while at the top, our group fades into shock (in a good way) and stays that way for the rest of our journey. Like a broken record, every time I hear: “We researched it, but we could have never guessed it would be so good. ‘This’ makes it so much more than a hike.” Always with smiles; sometimes in tears.

Most visitors get to the top, take their best photos, and head back down. (I suggest studying which photo angles make the best statements before you hike.)

When you get to the top, don’t leave quickly. Lean back and enjoy the main event.

The magic begins when you settle in with comforts to look back on your work - while still in the environment of it.

We create space at the top with good scents and music to soak in the bliss of it. We write our names, revel in the story of this day, and relax on memory foam pads inside clean fuzzy jackets tasting wine paired to warm Vermont maple syrup on nutmeg French Toast.

If you start down right away, the noise of civilization dominates the fragile nuances of truth you uncovered along the way, before they have time to set into your memory.

Reflection in-space is the actual gem of the experience. Even after so many times, I haven’t gotten tired of it. Once we begin up, I’m lost on it too!

Aloha,
@Hawaii_Mountain.Man.Matt

Aloha!... Planning on hiking this trail tomorrow...
I see a few other people are also going to be on the trail. Hit me up on instagram @pushing_further if your keen to link up

Aloha! Planning on doing this hike on Sunday!
If anyone wants to join - dm @vikanilsen on insta :)

Hey there!
I have planned to do this hike the legal way on 14th Jan (as early start time as I can muster). I have not done this hike before and am looking for a buddy to go up with. DM me on IG @deevsingh to suss it out.
Kia ora!

I went up on Saturday. it's been pretty clear up top the last few times I went. I have done this hike many times. If you want to avoid getting fined/arrested I will be going up tomorrow Saturday the 12th this legal backway.
In my opinion going up the stairs all the way gets boring, the backway is more of an adventure and there are better views. It can get pretty muddy and windy. Crampons(spikes) recommended.
If interested send me a message on instagram @angelo_q or email me at chicolo@hotmail.com for details. Make sure to bring plenty of water and food.

Anybody planning to hike this trail between the dates of Jan 24-28 and dont mind me tagging along??? Pls hit me up :) ig @dhnmrk

I went up on Saturday. it's been pretty clear up top the last few times I went. I have done this hike many times. If you want to avoid getting fined/arrested I will be going up this Saturday the 12th this legal backway.
In my opinion going up the stairs all the way gets boring, the backway is more of an adventure and there are better views. It can get pretty muddy and windy. Crampons(spikes) recommended.
If interested send me a message on instagram @angelo_q or email me at chicolo@hotmail.com for details. Make sure to bring plenty of water and food

Planning to hike this trail while in Oahu! I'm looking for anyone interested as well! So far I have January 13, 16 or 17 available for hiking! Let me know if you are interested in joining :) @ knsmith3@ualberta.ca

My boyfriend and I will be hiking this trail feb 1-3 if anyone’s interesting in meeting up or doing it together Give me a message 19028741724 or insta katieholmesxx . Would love to hike with a few others !!

on Koko Head Rim Trail

8 days ago

Amazing views! Little tough at the end coming back up the mountain (we went down the dirt path to the rock bridge). Bring lots of water and sunscreen - the sun is brutal.

LOST GO PRO - lost my go pro somewhere at the bottom of the stairs probably through the bamboo forest/ canal area. We took so many pictures on it. If someone finds it please text me 407-902-3341. Thanks!

Love this hike!

Looks great! I'll be in Honolulu Jan 21-26. Would love to hike up to the stairs via the Moanalua Valley trail. Anyone want to join me? DM me on instagram @doc.shail or email me mrigank.shail@gmail.com

This is not a review. I’ll be hiking the legal route on Monday 7th jan. I have some hiking experience and high fitness level. Please reach out if you are planning the same, it will be ideal to have some company. I’m planning to arrive there at 7am when the legal path opens. Please reach out to either IG reinaldoabe or email reinaldo.abe@gmail.com.

Aloha! I typically hike up 1-3 times a week. Went up 4 times in the last 6 days. I will be going again tomorrow on Sunday the 6th. I have probably done this particular hike more than anyone else on island. (over 100+ times) It is often windy and/or rainy but we never have issues as we always have the right gear (including microspikes) which is 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.

Hi guys!! I’ll be out there January the 28- February 1st I would really love to hike out there would love to join a group that’s going around this time!! Please let me know email is @shapnam.nawabi@gmail.com or contact me via Instagram @itsssShap

First time going and I’m planning to go anytime 1/5-1/9, let me know if anyone wants to tag along or if I could join your group! I would love to join someone who’s hiked this trail before but if not that’s okay! Email me at Teresaliang07@gmail.com

I have done this hike many times. If you want to avoid getting fined/arrested I'll be going up tomorrow Saturday January 5th this legal backway.
This is an amazing hike, great views, it's a fun hike but it can get pretty muddy and windy. Crampons(spikes) recommended.
If interested send me a message on instagram @angelo_q or email me at chicolo@hotmail.com for details. Make sure to bring plenty of water and food.

My husband, myself and possibly two other friends want to do this hike. We're newer to the hiking world, but can't possibly miss this opportunity while we'ere on Oahu! We'd be able to go 2/9-2/11. Please, contact me if you're interested in coming with/helping us :-). slschell@mtu.edu

Amazing trail. Amazing views. Totally worth it at the top. Took us 8 hours total (not including the time we spent at the top) and we took our time and stopped a lot for pics. Deff want to have good trail shoes and having crampons helped a LOT. Worst thing was the wind. It was very windy, especially on the last ridge for us. The wind is unpredictable and the gusts come out of nowhere so a lot of the hike you gotta stay real low. Not a hike for people that are very anxious about heights; my boyfriend actually didn’t got he whole way and turned back. We’re extremely experienced hikers and hike all over the states. He’s never not finished a hike before, even in Kauai. Just don’t take the warning lightly. It’s a dangerous trail. All in all, very worth it and enjoy the top! Afterwards 7 of us came to Alejandro’s Mexican Food for margs and to stuff our faces. HIGHLY recommend to treat yourself after surviving the ridge. Aloha and be safe!

Hello, my husband and I will be going to this one on Feb 9th (hike up the Haiku stairs and down the Moanalua trail). Anyone interested??
Ping me please 650 296 4598
We are ready to meet the guards, get muddy and hike fast ;)

this trail was so much fun!! although it was really muddy I really enjoyed just hiking up there & then the stairway to heaven was another bonus!!

I did the hike today with my family. We had 11 and 13 year old girls with us - but they are hardened hikers. We went quite slowly and got down the stairs after 6 hours. Conditions on the trail were very muddy, similar to Mt Olympus and Ka’au Crater.
A quarter of the way down the stairs we met a group with a guide. They were doing an out and return from Moanalua Valley. The guide asked me what I was going to do when I got to the bottom of the stairs? I said I would talk to the guard cause running through the bush behind locals houses wasn’t my style. He told me that “it will never work, you will certainly get a $1000 fine. You must run through the bamboo forest... but avoid the booby-traps that the locals set”
He was visibly pissed off that I didn’t enquire about the type and location of the booby traps. We moved on, competed the amazing stairs and walked down the road to meet the guard. He did his duty, gave us a talk, we thanked him and apologised. My kids and I had a discussion about being honest and taking responsibility for your own actions... amazing day.
We cleaned up in a bus shelter and got an Uber back to the Moanalua trail-Head and as luck would have it we ran into the lunatic guide who gave me a filthy look... amusing finish to an amazing day. If you want to avoid this guide he is 25 - 30 year old Eurasian looking kid with a snarling expression.

Going back to Oahu on Jan 25 and plan on doing this like again sometime that week depending on the weather. I take a bus to the start of the Moanalua Trail and go one way coming out at the stairs and take a bus back to Waikiki. If anyone wants to join me - beginners or otherwise - hit me up at longtuzi@gmail.com. This is the greatest hike I’ve ever done on Hawaii outside the Kalalau Trail; challenging but within reach for most any hiker, great vistas, and the stairs at the end are a true engineering marvel with views not offered anywhere else. Two extremely high thumbs up!

This hike was pretty awesome; it had all the qualities of a great hike. Only downside was maybe not enough markers, other than that it was great.

Please let me know if anyone plans to do this trail on 31 Dec2018- New years eve. Leaving the evening of the 1st and will be amazing to be able to do this before the year is over

Hi, me and my girlfriend will be in Hawaii from January 29th to February 3rd and we would live to do the hike. We would be super happy if someone wants to go together. You can contact me on instagram at @juliandroelf. Thank you!

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