Stairway to Heaven (Haiku Stairs) – The Forbidden Hike

One of the most incredible hikes in O’ahu, and possibly the best view of the island.  Stairway to Heaven is an amazing experience for anyone who is willing to take their hiking skills up a notch.  The Haiku Stairs were built in 1942 during world war two to access a radio tower located at the top of the hike.  The tower was operational until the 1950’s when it was decommissioned.  In 2003 the stairs were repaired and if you’re up to the task it’s only 3922 steps to the top!

Watch the video at the bottom!

Before I continue, be warned you are trespassing. If you’re going to attempt this hike, please be respectful of residents, know the risks, and be sure to carry out all trash you carry in, it’s extremely sad to see how much trash is left behind. 

Update: 09/23/17
I’ve been contacted by a reader who had a run-in with the police and was nice enough to provide a link to her blog and a legal route.  Head on over to Kylie and the world to read her post.

There are three or more routes you can take, however, we chose the most discreet one which helps you avoid the guard, nearly all the neighbors, you don’t disturb anyone, and it’s pretty fun. Park close to the entrance which will make it less obvious that you are either coming or going from the hike.

The photo below shows the start.  You should enter on the left side and hike down to the concrete canal.  Tip:  When you arrive, have your stuff ready to go, don’t hang out around your vehicle getting in and out of the trunk, opening and closing doors.  Get out, grab your gear, and get going as to not be noticed by the neighbors.

Here is the address for the start of the hike.
46-42 Kuneki Pl Kaneohe, HI 96744

Below is an image that shows the entire route you’ll take to the stairway entrance.

There will be several tags on the trees which will guide you through the back of the properties up to the service road.

Eventually you’ll find a fence line to follow.  Take that to the end where you’ll see an opening.  Below is the fence you’ll cross, and then follow up the hill.

When you get to the end of the fence line, you’ll see a small hole under the fence, on the right is a little guard shack type structure, this is how you know you’re in the right place.

Follow the service road for about two hundred yards and keep an eye out for the bamboo, that is your visual indicator to cut through on the left, under the H3.

Again as you start walking look for markers on the trees and bamboo.

You’re basically walking just to the west of the H3 through the bamboo, you should be able to look above you and see the freeway. Once you get to an opening, you should look up and see this view, you should be at the entrance for the stairs.

As you continue to walk upward to the west of the H3 you should see the fence.

From here the adventure awaits you.  It will take you about an hour or two to get to the top depending on how many times you stop.  The hike up to the first platform is the hardest, there are several broken sections of stairs, and it gets pretty vertical in some places, nearly ninety degrees.

When you decide to come back down, make sure you take the same path, I’ve heard that occasionally they have police waiting at the bottom to give out tickets.

Now check out the amazing video we made.  If you found this article helpful please share with your ‘Ohana and friends.


Maika’i Life