Moanalua to Haiku Stairs (Stairway to Heaven)

Haiku Stairs

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!

Hiking clothes


Getting There

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.

Kulana;ahane Trail Marker

Kulana;ahane Trail Marker

Keep walking past the sign (again, do not follow this sign trail)Β  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.

Middle Ridge.

Middle Ridge Clearning

Continue along this ridge the entire way to the stairs.

Ridge Parth to Stairway.

Ridge Path to Stairway

Views from Middle Ridge.

Views from Middle Ridge.

You’ll go up and down a few rope obstacles before you see the satellite tower which will indicate the top of the stairs.

Haiku Stairs

Haiku Stairs


Stairway to Heaven.

Stairway to Heaven..

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! πŸ™‚

Island Life

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  • Reply
    January 12, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    The photos are amazing, they make you want to go book a trip straight away and start climbing.

  • Reply
    Ajay Chander R.
    January 13, 2018 at 3:36 am

    wow super location with wonderful scenary.. loved it much

  • Reply
    January 31, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    I’ve heard from a few people that running into the guards are pretty common. Did you have any trouble with them? This hike has been on my bucket list for so long!

    • Reply
      February 1, 2018 at 11:30 am

      If you don’t hike up from or down from the stairs you don’t have to worry about the guard! This guide is the LONG way to reach the top of the stairs. Otherwise yes, you must go super early in the morning (and that could be dangerous because it’s not daylight yet) and you risk a fine. Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    It looks beautiful there!

  • Reply
    February 7, 2018 at 6:11 am

    Wow! This is so stunning. I makes me want to go there as soon as possible!

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