Haiku Steps: "Stairway to Heaven"

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September 15th 2008
Published: September 15th 2008
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only half way up (3922 steps total)only half way up (3922 steps total)only half way up (3922 steps total)

Total quad burn for a week (afterward)
Haiku Ladder (3922 steps to Heavenly views of Oahu).

The Ha'ikū Stairs, also known as the Stairway to Heaven or Haiku Ladder, is a steep hiking trail on the island of Oahu.

The trail began as a wooden ladder spiked to the cliff on the south side of the Haiku Valley. It was installed in 1943. This set of stairs, tucked into the cliffs above Haiku Valley, reaches for the crest of the Koolaus. Its frequent disappearance into the clouds has earned it the name "Stairway to Heaven".

Update: As of 2003, the stairs have been completely repaired after the city spent $875,000 to renovate it - new ladder/steps have been installed along the entire trail. Unfortunately, legal access is still currently on hold.

What to Expect:
The stairs are comprised of approximately eight-foot-high segments which are interlinked by hooks and anchored by spikes driven into the mountain side. A pair of hollow steel-tube railings, an average of 18 - 24 inches apart, are bolted to each segment. The step spacing is very manageable, but one should realize this is equivalent to about a 60 - 90 minute continuous work-out on a "stair-climber" machine.

The grade of the ascent ranges from flat to nearly vertical. Most of it is at 45 degree incline. Make no mistake...this is really hard. Don't do it unless you are in real good physical shape.

Be warned: security guards turn away hikers (even on sundays) and there have been occurences when Honolulu Police were called to issue citations trespassing hikers. We were only successful on our 3rd try...we flew from Houston all 3 times to do this hike...the third time we started while it was still dark out. Please note: Your cars may get towed if you park in the neighborhood.

This is very dangerous hike. On the way down...one wrong step and you'll tumbling down several hundred feet. The steps are very wet year-round because of Hawaii rich, moist weather. (see pics)

For more info, visit:

Additional photos below
Photos: 7, Displayed: 7


View from the 1st stop View from the 1st stop
View from the 1st stop

(only one-third of the way up)
Mr. Green made it to the top!Mr. Green made it to the top!
Mr. Green made it to the top!

Up in 1hr 40 mins (with lots of breaks along the way)
I thought the way down was scarierI thought the way down was scarier
I thought the way down was scarier

VERY slippery (straight down ~4000 steps)
Mr. Green takes a quick dip in Waikiki BeachMr. Green takes a quick dip in Waikiki Beach
Mr. Green takes a quick dip in Waikiki Beach

Blue waters of Waikiki and a Dragon Boat in the background

16th February 2009

Haiku Stairs History
You are correct the trip down is the scariest. If you are interested in the history of the stairs look at www.davewjessup.smugmug.com
20th September 2009

i almost died

Tot: 1.131s; Tpl: 0.032s; cc: 16; qc: 65; dbt: 0.0359s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb