Explore the most popular river 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.

Loved the hike !! Did all falls ...took a few spills due to the wetness on the narrow trail .....

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 Thursday and this 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

So far my favorite trail. It wasn't terribly long or hard. Pretty muddy but lots of water to rinse your shoes off. The waterfall at the end was breath taking and well worth it!

They recently updated the trail with actual markers. You used to be able to walkthrough the bamboo then along the reservoir. It is now fenced off. There is now clear signage marking the trail. Directing toward the gravel road which is to the right of the parking lot. You will go straight back, the trail turns and you will see an outhouse looking structure with an astronaut. You cross a concrete dam thing and then the trail heads left through a swampy bamboo area and up through the forest. It’s pretty wet. You’ll pop out at a clearing and see the fenced off area to the left. Proceed back into the forest. There’s will be a dip that looks like a muddy former stream and climb up a small bank. Where you’ll see a trail marker pointing right to the regular trail.

The fencing and the new trail must have been put up in the last month.

2 days 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.

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 plane


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

Super wet today, still made it up though. A little difficult getting down. Will definitely do it again next week.

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

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

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.

Was hard to get to, especially since there is some recent construction going on and they put up a few fences, but was an overall fun hike and the waterfall was worth it. Wasn’t very difficult, but you do have to cross the stream a few times.

The Brochure to Kamananui Valley Road.


Holy cow this thing is hard, first and second waterfalls are what one normally expects, but third is almost rock climbing followed by a climb along a ridge with winds threatening to blow you off, do not attempt of its raining! All that said, beautiful trail, amazing sights, and the view from the peak! Definitely do this hike if you can handle it!


11 days ago

Thoughts upon completion: COUNTERCLOCKWISE! Do it counterclockwise. Not for comfort, but for safety. The counterclockwise route puts the hard, crazy incline, narrow track stuff mostly on your uphill, and then, with the exception of some slippy, narrow channel through mud stuff right after the summit, it's mostly accessible downhills, some stairs, mostly plodding. But, geeze, we were talking about what it would have been like to go down the stuff we went up, if we had gone clockwise, and folks, I think it would have been ridiculously unsafe at the least, impassable at most.

On the counterclockwise route, there's a sharp left turn out of a musclewood grove near the end, that's the one major left you can see on the route map. Easy to miss, and if you miss it you end up in the burbs in Hawaii-Loa. If you do this, you have to walk down the hill the highway, then back up the Niu valley to the car. Not sure how many miles that added to the trek, but it was a few.

Let's see...oh, spikes would have been nice. Bring spikes. Not impossible without, but there are some steep downhills on the ridge between peaks where it's like, mud, slide, dropoff to either side. Spikes would have been nice.

Beyond that, omfg, as the kids say. This hike is amazing. The views defy description, camera and memory. It is ILL to see half the island from a single point. Honolulu looks fake from the distance, like toys. Kokohead looks tiny. Super great hike. Tiring, bring more food than you want. Give yourself hours, we took 1:00-8:00. Although, as mentioned above, we tacked on 2-3 hours/miles at the end, and took our time on the ridge to avoid, well, death. (It's not that bad, you're just not gonna wanna jog up there.) But with 2 liters of water and a few kind bars, nuts, fruit things, we were solid.

If you got the feet, do this hike.

Best hike on the island - tons of mud and tons of fun - if you are old and slow and take lots of videos and it is rainy - plan on a 10 hour hike

my wife and i plan to hike the Haiku stairs next week (3/12-16/2018). It will be the first time for us. I have read lots of reviews and comments and have done some research but i am sure it will be a lot more to find out once we are there. Please give us any last minute tips and advises. Appreciate.
My email address is timdvo@yahoo.com

I am looking to do this hike on April 30th. This is most likely to be the hardest hike I have ever done. I would love to have my wife with me but she isn’t sure if she can do it. ¿Is it really that hard? Can anyone share a video of what the hardest part looks like? Pm email: carlosh822@gmail.com

Long and tough one...but so worth it! The most beautiful hike I have taken, by far! Recommend brining either chacos or water proof boots because you walk through quite a few streams during the beginning. Then strap on spikes are highly recommended for the strenuous climbing towards the end.

I love this trail, it keeps you on your toes!

To start off, believe the reviews. We thought reviews were exaggerating that a 5 mile hike would take such a long time. THEY WERE RIGHT. After about 6 hours, covered head to toe in mud, this hike was definitely one to remember.

The start of the hike is right behind a set of mailboxes on the street Google Maps leads you to, easy to spot. You descend deep into the jungle-like forest and begin walking along a stream bed. Markers lead in both directions and I have yet to discover if they brought you along slightly different paths or if all ways led to Rome, but I'm going with the latter. We stuck to the right side since we read that that one contained the waterfalls. TIP: Remember this part of the trail. On the way back, we ran into a couple who had been lost for an hour trying to get out. Luckily my boyfriend has a great memory and led us all out, but it can get awful confusing since the markers are scattered.

After about an hour of going up/down, the gradient pretty flar, following a thick water pipe and its rusty, corroded predecessor (#tetanus), we reached the first waterfall. Climbing up it was fairly easy. I tend to avoid ropes as much as possible since you can't tell how long they've been up there, but the majority looked secure (safe for one highly sketchy orange one). The second waterfall came shortly after and it was even more beautiful. The third waterfall was a series of smaller falls that lead you up the mountain until you reach the crater opening. You use a series of ropes for 0.25 miles to walk up them.

Once you get to the crater, it resembles a typical ridgeline trail. Pine trees at the beginning, then quickly shifting to open area and lots of mud. LOTS. You'll continue to head upwards to the highest peak, and then loop back along the ridge. Beautiful view. Unfortunately for us, as soon as we reached the ridge, it began to rain, hard. We pushed on to get to the peak, but once at the peak, quickly turned back. The mud was extremely slippery and we did the majority of the open ridgeline sliding down on our butts / as low to the ground as possible. I wouldn't recommend doing this part of the hike in the rain to any unexperienced or nervous hikers. It was very nerve-wracking. We went slow and steady, sneakers slipping every few feet. There wasn't much to hold on to except the mud below us, hence the butt sliding. Once we reached the forest covering, we got to the waterfalls, and it took us just as long, if not longer, to get down, since the rocks were all super slippery from the rain. I read that the way down on the other side of the loop is easier.

Once done with the falls, we were ready to exit the hike, but still had another hour of mud to trek through. At this point, we walked straight through every stream and mud puddle, no longer slightly concerned by the mud on our faces and fact that it had soaked into our underwear. We brought enough water but definitely not enough food (only 2 Clif bars for 6 hours of strenuous hiking, silly mistake) so we were getting a little tired. By the time we finished, we were incredibly satisfied, but vowed not to look at mud for another 24 hours.

Then came figuring out how to get into the rental car with as little damage as possible.

All in all, great hike, pretty easy to follow, not overly strenuous on a sunny day but twice as hard (and dangerous) on a rainy one. Bring extra food and water, I promise you won't regret it,

Really rad hike that follows the stream up to and epic waterfall. Lots of bouldering and off-trail hiking through bamboo forests along the way. Had a blast in the pouring rain!

I did this yesterday with Sophia Hy. The hike itself was amazing. The day was supposed to be cloudy most of the day but it has been raining for weeks. The steep sections were super muddy and ropes were also covered in mud and slippery. This was definitely not for amateurs. We pass at least 6 people going back down that turned around due to the conditions. We made it to the top with a navy guy we met on the way up and also met 2 guys from new zealand on the way down that had completed it. 3 teenagers from Argentina were so freaked out they said they were going to go down the stairs and face the fine rather go back the way they came. It certainly can be treacherous when it rains. We had rain about half way up and most of the way back. I've never been so muddy or wet. Definitely worth it though.

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