Stairway to Heaven Hike (Haiku Stairs) on Oahu, Hawaii – The Beyond Paradise

The Stairway to Heaven hike, also known as Haiku Stairs, is located on the Windward side of Oahu, Hawaii. I have hiked the Stairway to Heaven trail many times and have a few friends that hike it, and its surrounding trails regularly. This post will hopefully lend any information to best prepare you for your trek up the stairway. I will also try and keep this updated with current information regarding the stairs, trail, security, etc.

  • Trail Difficulty – Hard
  • Length – 2.4 miles (round trip)
  • Duration – 3 to 5 hours
  • Condition – Varies, but usually windy and wet

*Please be aware that The Beyond Paradise will not be held responsible for any person(s) who attempts this hike, their safety, conduct, and well being.

Before considering doing The Stairway to Heaven hike, know that there are two ways to get to the top. One is legal and the other, not so much. I would highly suggest doing the legal way (via Moanalua Valley) if you wish to avoid any fines that are said to be anywhere from $600-$1000 (as of 2020). If you choose to do the later, there is a security guard and sometimes police waiting for you at the bottom. Another time I’ve done the hike, the guard came up the stairs himself and told people to leave. From my experience, I have never been ticketed, just be respectful of the surrounding neighborhood, as well as the guard, and you should be fine…

Getting to The Stairway to Heaven

This map below shows the pin location of the satellite at the top of the Stairway to Heaven hike. From this map you can see there is two choices of how you can get to the top. Whether you decide to trespass and jump fences or go the legal way from the back entrance via Moanalua Valley. For legal reasons, I suggest you choose the back side trail.

Out of respect for both the neighborhood and community surrounding the Stairway to Heaven hike, I will try to be specific without being exact of where to park. If you look at the map above, you can see what area is near the bottom of The Stairway to Heaven hike. Choose a legal parking spot (not blocking any driveways/ follow “no parking” signs).

Once again, using context clues from the map above, you’ll know there is a gate, a drainage runoff, and lots of bush to make your way through. It can be very difficult to see at night, also you’re passing near surrounding homes, so be quiet out of respect because this is technically trespassing (attempt this hike at your own risk). Don’t be surprised if you get the cops called on you.

After getting through the bush, you’ll find yourself on the path leading to the guard station and the Stairway. If the guard is there, he will simply inform you that you are trespassing. Most of the times I have gone, the guard has been cool, he’s just doing his job. Go left from the guard station and you will find yourself on the stairs.

The Stairway to Heaven has seen some rough times in recent years. Weathering has done major damage to parts of the stairs, so again, proceed at your own risk. Once past most of the damaged areas, it’s just up and up until you get to the top!

What to bring to The Stairway to Heaven hike

  • Gloves (the handrail WILL be slippery if wet)
  • Headlamp (if you decide to do this trail at night just in time for sunrise)
  • Hiking boots or shoes with lots of grip
  • Rain jacket (it tends to be wet, rainy, and windy)
  • Extra change of clothes in case it rains
  • Water, lots of water!
  • Camera (take as many pictures as you can!)

More things to see in Hawaii:

Lanikai Pillboxes hike (Ka’iwa Ridge) in Kailua, Hawaii

Top 10 Best Beaches on Oahu

Diamond Head Hike (Le’ahi) in Honolulu, Hawaii

Byodo-In Temple in Kaneohe, Hawaii

Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail

Makapu’u Tide Pools

Koko Head Crater Hiking Trail

Pu’u Ma’eli’eli Hiking Trail

Ehukai Pillbox Hike

Kuliouou Ridge Hiking Trail

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