One of the most frequent questions I get is “How do you hike Stairway to Heaven?” (Also known as Haiku Stairs) and the answer is always tricky.
If you hike the normal stairs (up from the bottom and back down) you risk a $1000 fine from the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, community service, and possible jail time. So my suggestion for anyone who wants to see the infamous stairs is to hike the backside from Moanalua (Middle Ridge).
Please note this is an extremely long trail (11 miles) with steep inclines and narrow ridge paths. Please make sure you’re prepared for the 7/8 hour hike with:
–Water. I usually carry two hyrdroflasks because it keeps the water nice and cool.
-Appropriate hiking shoes such as:
These are truly one of the best purchases I’ve made!
The trail starts at Moanalua Valley Park. You start the hike by walking 2-3 miles on the Kamananui Rd, which frequents wild boar hunters. You’ll arrive at a sign for the Kulana’ahane trail. This is NOT the trail to Stairway.
Keep walking past the sign (again, do not follow this sign trail) until you come across a giant boulder in the stream. Cross there and continue along that trail.
Once you cross the boulder, you will hike upwards for about a mile and then you’ll come up to the middle ridge.
Continue along this ridge the entire way to the stairs.
You’ll go up and down a few rope obstacles before you see the satellite tower which will indicate the top of the stairs.
Once you reach the top you can hike a little ways down the stairs for your photo op.
You can hike all the way down but please be wary of the guard. You’ll also need an extra car parked on the bottom side if you choose to hike down.
If you have any questions about this hike, please feel free to contact me! 🙂