Explore the most popular wild flowers 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.

Hiked January 2019,
This was a great trail. It started off a little sketchy just because you have to enter the trail in the back of government property complete with construction workers and warning signs telling you not to enter. There are probably a number of ways to reach the top, but I’m sure if you follow the actual river coming from the water fall you won’t miss it.
It’s pretty dog friendly and off of the beaten path so it makes good for a cool evening stroll.

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!

Lost Garmin watch.
Reward if found.

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.

Completed this hike 3 days ago with my mom! So proud of us.

This is not an easy hike! Several older hikers had to turn back. AllTrails has a tendency to underestimate the hikes. The falls at the top are tall but not too much water. It’s not Yosemite falls. You’re not suppose to go in the small pool at the bottom of the falls. Lots of steps to the top make it strenuous. When it’s flat then it’s easy. Very slippery and muddy because the trail is in shadow.

1 day ago

It is a great hike that gives you an amazing view of Waimānalo and if you look back you can see town. Bring water because it can get hot if it is a sunny day. When you get close to the top there isn’t as much shade also.

Skinny in places, and be ready to scramble. For obvious reasons, avoid it during rainy weather. The views are pretty stellar, even on hazy days. Nice breezes help to get beyond the heat from a quick gain in elevation.
I wouldnt bring a dog on this trail, given how steep and narrow it is in places; just my two cents.

Easily one of the more enjoyable routes Ive done. I didnt see another person on the trail until I was nearly back to the trailhead. Bring lots of water, wear long pants to avoid scratches.

Beautiful scenery! We all loved this hike! The light mist was refreshing!

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.

If you take the back trail it is more of a challenge and tales longer, but the views are amazing!

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!... 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

All I can say after this hike is "Wow!" Not Wow as in completely awesome, nor Wow as in terrible, but just not what we expected. I really wish I had read the reviews before setting out on this hike. I wasn't sure if I should give it 1 star, or 5 stars, but I finally decided to settle on 3. I'm going to break this loop down into 4 parts:

Part 1: (3*) This starts from the parking lot trail head and is pretty straightforward. After roughly 1/2 mile look for the Kalauao Falls trail off to your left. We actually missed it but quickly got back on track. Follow this for roughly another 1/2 mile until you see the only mango tree on the entire hike. We missed this too but again realized our mistake and found the trail. This is where the hike gets tougher.

Part 2: (5*) There is a steep trail leading down to the Kalauao creek stream bed, but it's pretty well marked with ribbons and there are even a few ropes to help you down. We didn't have to deal with mud like some others did. Once you get to the bottom where the stream is, turn right and follow the trail along the water. This was by far the best part of the hike. Beautiful surroundings, frogs, fish, and crawfish in the creek, and not a person anywhere. Absolutely amazing. The waterfall is really neat too, although it wasn't flowing much while we were there. The pool below looks like a great place to relax and swim, although we did not. At this point I was on cloud 9 and having the time of my life. Little did I know that part 3 was just ahead...

***At this point if I were you I would turn around and go back out the way you came in. Don't make the same mistake that we and several others have.***

Part 3: (1* although I would give it negative stars if I could) This is where the hike gets BRUTAL. First off, you have to really look carefully to find the pink markers showing you that the trail goes pretty much straight up. We missed it but again, quickly got back on track. From this point until you reach the Aiea Trail, you are scrambling pretty much up the side of a cliff, with mud, bees, thorns, fallen trees, overgrown bushes, and anything else you can imagine the Hawaiian jungle could throw at you. Also it is a bit harrowing in places because the trail is poorly marked and there are paths leading everywhere. Make sure you are using GPS in this part because you will go 100 yards or more with no trail markers. We are an adventurous, outdoorsy couple and have hiked on some extreme trails, but this section was just miserable.

Part 4 (3*) You can't imagine our relief when we finally came back to the Aiea trail junction. We sat down, ate something, and just relaxed for a bit knowing that we would indeed make it out alive. After getting our bearings again, we set back to the car on another fairly mundane and easy path. I think it's about 1.5 miles from the junction to the parking lot.

So in summary, I would highly suggest hiking to the falls, enjoying the beauty, and going back the way you came. That would probably make this a 4-5* hike in my book.

Takes a little effort to find the trail after getting to the arch but well worth the uphill hike for the view at the top. DON’T climb over the arch unless you have climbing equipment or are an adrenaline junky

Is this back open yet?

Short, sweet, side hike. Saw humpback whales. Lovely views and easy path.

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

100% worth it! This was a great hike but definitely should be noted on the more difficult end of moderate, just for the fact that it gets pretty steep towards the top and the down portion is a bit difficult.

The view was gorgeous and making it to the top was an amazing feeling after the steps towards the top.

no shade
4 days ago

Love this hike.

I first reached the summit with my wife on our wedding anniversary.

I did it on New Year's day with my friend and my son. We only went halfway.

This past Saturday i did it with my friends and we tried to be there at Sunrise! Well worth it

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

trail running
5 days ago

Steep climb on an old train track. Great workout with very rewarding views

5 days ago

The loop should be done if (1) you’re an advanced hiker (2) you have decent navigation skills outdoors (3) you’re up for an adventure, a solid workout, and getting a little dirty.

If not, you can do the trail starting clockwise (go left) out and back for a good workout and amazing views. The trail is quite safe on this part. Even easier, start at Hawaii Loa which starts much higher up the ridge.

I did not find this hike as dangerous as some people are saying. I even did it clockwise. If you’ve explored ridge hikes here, it’s nothing too intense.

Caution: It’s easy to get lost on this trail. Pretty overgrown and the dense forest can make it difficult to navigate the trail.

Tips and Stats: (1) The trail splits into the two directions at a dirt opening just after the tall grass and the forest section (2) AllTrails app marked my hike as ~7.6 mi (3) 4.5 hour trip for an advanced hiker going at a relaxed pace with lots of stops for pictures and snacks

Awesome views! Some slippery spots, wear your climbing shoes/boots!

Amazing view at the top! It’s a steep climb! Enjoy!

Went right after Christmas cause my friend said there was a Christmas tree up there. Finally made it up the damn stairs and sure enough, there was a Christmas tree. The trail up is hard but manageable, some of the steps where there are no rails are almost half my height (im short so yes its possible) and where very hard climbing over. There are alot of people closer to the afternoon so it will get crowded and not everyone is nice for those that go slower. But the view.... wow the views are so worth it. The way down, made it beyond HARD though. I hope in the future they do what Colorado did for their incline and add a separate trail for those going down so they don't have to crowd the narrow rails anymore. All in all, loved the view but not enough to do this again unless tricked into it lol

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