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Stairway to Heaven, Hawai'i - Hawaii, United States

with a iPhone 3G
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 - John, Seg, & Fern

Nearly 2800 feet (850m) & about 3,922 steps, now its your turn ...

Stairway to Heaven (Haiku Stairs) is an amazing trail that leads to the top of the Koolau Mountain Range. Originally built for the U.S. Coast Guard, the trail consists of a metal stairway that was made to access the LORAN radio antenna and the now out of commission OMEGA Station. It fell into disrepair and was closed to the public in 1987. Since then it has undergone major repairs in the hopes of being re-opened, but is still  closed, mainly due to small but vocal opposition from the people in the town of Haiku. Illegal hikers are the cause of this opposition. They have parked their cars on private property and behaved disrespectfully.  Currently the hike is under armed guard, but hikers still manage to sneak in. Opening the trail would allow everyone to appreciate the amazing beauty of this unusual and extremely beautiful hike.

1) Pace yourself
2) Arrive early 5-5:20a to avoid the guard (should arrive between 6-7a).  The hike up is better in the cool morning air rather than against the afternoon sunny heat.
3) Bring a couple of snacks (granola bars, fruit)
4) One Liter of water was enough there and back
5) Wear hiking shoes and gloves (i.e. workout gloves)
6) May bring a mini head light for the 1st 30minutes, until the sunrise breaks through
7) Clothing : wear light attire, will get chilly towards the top.  an extra sweater over your shirt is helpful.  hiking cargo pants are nice for those who want to avoid those little annoying scratches and still have the ability to prop them up into shorts if it gets too warm
8) May want to keep an extra pair of clothes in the car
9) Pace yourself
10) Bring a cell
11) Have a blast ! 

Stairway to Heaven (Haiku Stairs)
Photos: See all pictures and videos from Stairway to Heaven, Hawai'i
Comments (13)
This is great one!!
by kevinalexis8 on Jul 21, 2016
by kevinalexis8 on Jul 21, 2016
I MADE A VISUAL GUIDE on HOW to ge to the stairs through the forest way. Take a look :)

by youcanfindchelsie on Aug 05, 2013
Just posting this as a concerned parent....

Yes, the hike is gorgeous, Yes the stairs are still technically "closed" .

Unfortunately the route shown here runs through Dept of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) property and is currently leased to 2 entities, charter school Ke Kula o Samuel M. Kamakau and the Koʻolaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club.

So there is still no "legal" access to the stairs. Currently the only legal way to access the trail is on a sanctioned hike with the Friends of Haiku Stairs or by getting to them from the Moanalua side of the Koʻolau. http://haikustairs.org

If you live on the island, or visiting, see if the sanctioned hikes work out.

By the way,if you are going trespass, have some respect for the families taking their kids to school, and get off the roadway and not make like you own it.
by 808Stoney on Apr 11, 2013
At the entrance, is there a fence to climb behind that stop sign, or is the trail easily accessible so long as there isn't a guard?
by Traciface on Aug 28, 2012
I went there at 4:30PM on a weekday; no guard. I was informed by a fellow on the way down that on the weekdays (maybe just during the summer) the guard is there 0430-1230/1300.

by ChanchoTrails on May 03, 2012
Saturday morning, 4:30, guard was there- Bummer.
by rosejp on Aug 06, 2011
I'm going to flying into HNL Tuesday and hope to attempt this on Wednesday, so hopefully I don't get busted.

by mblitch on May 15, 2011
The guards hours have changed! On the weekends the guard gets there at 4 AM and weekdays 6 AM. Sometimes on rainy drizzly days the guard isn't there but you never know. I'm not sure if these hours are temporary or not. If the guard is there he will NOT let you pass. If you actually manage to get by the guard and it's Laredo (he's the guard with the colored hair in the picture) he will chase you down. Unless you're in super good shape you ain't got a chance. His record is bottom to top in somewhere around 25 minutes I think. His record in a single day is 7 times up and down!

by Brothe on May 09, 2011
Been before, but it's always nice to have directions. Awesome pics too.
by Bloodwych77 on Apr 16, 2011
awesome i think i will need to do koko head a few more times before i attempt this

by MITCH808LA on Apr 13, 2011
Chris: Actually the security guard we met was quite friendly when we met up with him on the way back down from the trail. If we me him starting the trail or another guard and it may not be so amicable. Go early enough on the trail (prior to 7am) and you shouldn't have any problems.
by fernandoeverytrail on Sep 18, 2010
What happens once you meet up with the security guard? Just a disappointed look?
by chris on Feb 06, 2010
Trip Info
July 30, 2009
Trip Location: Pū‘ōhala Village, Hawaii, United States
Length: 2.8 miles
Duration: 4 hours
Activity: Hiking
Trip viewed 74,908 times
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