Explore the most popular walking 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.

Tough, but such a great workout & beautiful views. Pretty good shade for starting a hike @ 0830 and many places to stop for rest & hydration on this steep, challenging hike. The top is a whole new adventure of fun stuff to explore too! Definitely some slick spots & the bridge needs all your full attention as there is a few loose boards and it’s pretty steep + little support

hiking
10 hours ago

I’m climbing the stairs on Fri Dec 15th, for the 204th 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

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

hiking
16 hours ago

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

Bring water. It's rough in flip flops as part of the trail is rock/dirt. Great views.

hiking
1 day ago

Enjoyed this hike was only about 45 min hike to the top about 0.8 miles one way. So many beautiful views and trees to see. The waterfall was amazing. We arrived at 7:35am and it wasn’t crowded at all at the waterfall. When we came back from the hike we paid 5$ for parking. Then walked to the Lyon arboretum another amazing hike with another waterfall!

hiking
1 day ago

Great hike and not that long of a hike! Free parking only ask for donations. Map is easy to follow get in at the visitor center. There is a main trail and then off the main trail are other smaller paths to follow. I would definitely try some of the smaller paths and then go back on the main. Not as crowded as other falls. Waterfall is beautiful so happy to try this trail out.

hiking
1 day ago

Beautiful views all around!

So we started the trail around 930-10 and we got there just in time. Going up was easy and smooth, only had to stop for 2-3 people at a time, but once we got to the waterfall is was packed. There were multiple people going past the “do not go past this sign” sign, like way past it, so it was a little chaotic. We didn’t stay very long because of the crowd, and on the way back down it was starting to get busy so we had to wait for multiple groups. Love it because it’s beautiful, and easy but very high trafficked.
If you’re uncoordinated like me, i think walking sticks would help. Even if it was a little more wet than today, I’d recommend shoes with a good grip.

hiking
2 days ago

The first mile and a half switchbacking is steep and a good workout. The rest is just forest vehicle access roads.