Stairway to Heaven

Stairway to Heaven, Oahu

This hike is permanently closed.

The hike up the Stairway to Heaven, also known as Haiku Stairs, is one of the most popular of Oahu's "forbidden" trails. In the past, people used to climb up here for the fantastic panoramic views, which await all those who made it to the top. The hike is difficult. First you have to make the 2,120-foot, 3,922-step ascent. But even though the trail is closed today, some avid hikers go anyway because of the spectacular view that awaits from the top.

The stairway was originally built for the U.S. Coast Guard to allow access to the LORAN radio antenna on the top of the mountain. But the later termination of Omega Station operations also led to the cessation of stair maintenance. Because of this, the stairs became terribly worn and dangerous. So the state later officially closed the stairs to the public in 1987.

As of 2003, the Haiku Stairs have been completely repaired, which cost the city $875,000. However, legal access is currently still on hold. Up until today, there is no legal entrance to the Stairway to Heaven/Haiku Stairs. If you attempt to hike here, expect to be turned away or cited by Honolulu Police. Hikers have been parking in the residential area, which is limited and frowned upon by residents.

Stairway to Heaven Overview

  • 2,120 foot long trail, 3,922 steps
  • Also known as Haiku Stairs
  • Up until today the trail is closed to the public

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Reviews and Comments:
Neighborhood Watch calls the COPS for any OUTSIDERS in vehicles or just walking the streets. HIKER BEWARE of 24-7 CREW connected by, security systems, email, cell phone. When you enter the neighborhood members WARN each other and CRIMINAL TRESPASSING FINES OF $1000 (not $500) are cited. If you are out of state this FINE WILL STAY ON YOUR RECORD. The Neighborhood Watch works together with the Board of Water Supply to PROSECUTE. You will get a subpoena to return to Hwaii and face your accusers for which you will be FINED plus 100 hours community service and you will have to return to court until the obligation is fulfilled.
Neighborhood Watch, Sun Jul 02, 2017
The houses at the top of Lolii St. and Puoni St. YELLED ANS CHASED US.. We ran through the streets to get away. and they followed us. We split up. One group got caught by police..
OMG, Sun Jul 02, 2017
This is a good hike,but its illegal. If the state want to fix it they could just charge people going the stairs to fix the railings. Which I Dont mind ,because its really breathtaking. Also have some respect to the neighborhood,Dont make any noise and no littering.
Lykemebabe, Sun Mar 26, 2017
This is a very safe hike. There are handrails. I've gone down the stairs in the dark (and I am retirement age). The dangerous part is getting to the top of the stairs from the Leeward side of the island.
Thighmaster, Thu Jun 23, 2016
Police active in the area with members of the Neighborhood Watch turning away hikers. Be prepared to be ticketed for trespassing. Even if you get past the police and neighborhoof watch, the BWS guard is on duty 24/7 and will call the police.
N, Mon May 30, 2016
This was the best thing I did in my life. The view is amazing. We arrived around 3:45 am and the guard was already there. She let us pass just saying ''you're trespassing''. The stairs are in really good shape and I do not understand why it's forbidden beside the fact that you have to be in good shape to climb up. I heard that there are other trails way more dangerous that are open to public. I would redo it if I go back. Of coarse be respecfull to the people that live there.
Stephanie , Fri Jan 29, 2016
feel the need to trespass to check something off your bucket list? At least be respectful of the fact that you are accessing private property to do so. Pack out what you Pack in and keep a low profile. Choose the Bamboo Trail (first red KAPU sign on your left as you go up the PRIVATE road) vs. walking on the road further up the valley and near the charter school or the trail further up that takes you directly over a historic site (heiau). By being respectful and keeping your presence to a minimum on the PRIVATE road you lessen your likely hood of being seen and getting a citation (yes there have been so many hikers creating so much trouble that HPD is regularly getting calls to issue citations) and it increases your safety. The PRIVATE road is very narrow in spots and I personally have seen several near misses as people run off the trail and in front of cars, when trespassers trip and fall in front of on coming cars, or when drivers have been distracted.

It's not the neighborhood's fault that the City/State never worked out access to this hike and it's illegal, and I don't blame people for wanting to do this hike but please don't be a part of the problem.
a respectful hiker, Tue Aug 05, 2014
I went on the hike about a year ago and it was honestly one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Me and a bunch of friends hiked up in the dead of night and got up there in time to watch the sunset. Don't let any of these hippies tell you otherwise. The hike is definitetly worth it. Don't listen to their bull. GO ON THE HIKE. But don't get caught.
John Paul Jones, Sun Jul 06, 2014