I often get questions about the “insta-famous” Stairway to Heaven (Haiku stairs). How to get past the guard, what to bring and how long it takes.
First off, I only went up the stairs a couple of times as I prefer to hike up the backway (Moanalua Valley Trail). The backway (in my opinion) has a better view, takes a little bit longer, but you’re not doing anything illegal until you touch the stairs, which means you don’t have to worry about the guards. The hike is 15km roundtrip and takes 2-4 hours one way depending on your fitness level.
The trailhead for the backside starts at the end of Ala Aolani St, Honolulu, HI 96819 (The neighborhood at the end of the valley - See picture above) you park at the end of the road by an outdoor gym and park. Follow the trail into the woods and stay on the trail for 40 minutes - 1 hour. you’ll then reach a sign and a dry ditch, cross to the other side and stay to the right and you’ll start scaling a ridge within minutes, now you just have to keep moving. Stay on the trail and enjoy the view and before you know it you will reach the top of the famous Stairway to heaven.
If you would like a guide or more information about this hike, reach out to my good friend @Mike.Karas (instagram) - Stairway to heaven is his second home!
Bring a lot of food and water! I always brought some gatorade as you will break a sweat climbing up the mountain.
PS: This hike can be VERY muddy so I recommend doing this on a sunny day when the trail is dry.