How to hike the stairway to Heaven in Hawaii

how to hike the stairway to heaven haiku stairs

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The stairway to heaven also known as the Haiku stairways is every adrenaline enthusiast's dream! To this day, this hike remains one of the most exhilarating things I’ve ever done...

An epic story to tell any adventure seeker.

A lady reached out to me last week enquiring about how I hiked the stairway. It reminded me how daunting thinking about it can be, knowing it’s forbidden. I’ve completed the trail three times now; the first time was by myself in 2014. The other two times 2015/ 2016 I was with my travel companions.

This is everything you need to know about hiking the Haiku stairs. Successfully completing it three times wasn’t just luck, there’s a strategy...


How I passed the Guard... 

Each time the same scenario took place; the guard at the stairway entrance said “Sorry but this stairway is private property, you’re trespassing.” I basically responded with “I’m sorry but I’ve travelled along way to do this hike, I’m doing it anyways and I hope you don’t call the police.”

Nothing happened.

Life’s a gamble, take your bet.


What you should know before you go... 

  • Yes, it’s illegal and the entrance to the stairway is on private land, so technically you’re trespassing too.

  • The locals in the surrounding neighbourhood don’t enjoy the hikers company. Some locals even have the guard on text to notify him you’re coming.

  • Yes, the guard will threaten to call the police on you

The question is… is that a risk you’re willing to take?

Maybe ask yourself this instead.. ... if you were a cop would you really want to spend your day waiting for a bunch of hikers to come down a mountain?

Not only that but, seriously… the cops are probably notified about these situations several times a day... There are bigger fish to fry, I’m sure.


I recently read an updated blog from 10/2017 about how guards are taking it more seriously now, and police are being called frequently. 

Neighbours are upset because they're consistently woken up by hikers attempting the hike around the wee hours of 2-5a.m

My advice is to complete the hike at a reasonable time.

Park your car in the neighbourhood and don’t look like you’re trying to beat around the bush.

Walk up toward the hike entrance and when you see the guard politely tell him this is on your bucket list and you must do it before you die. (because you should) then continue up towards the staircase and do the damn thing! 

When you come back down, I’m willing to bet, the police won't be there waiting.

I also suggest telling the guard, this isn't your first time. Explain how you’ve done it many times and he should have no reason to fear your abilities at completing it.

The guard is merely a scare tactic put in place to warn off the faint hearted, whom probably shouldn’t be doing the hike anyways if that’s enough to put your panties in a knot.

If you’re a brave heart, this is what you should prepare for...

  • It’s intense… 3922 steps at a steep incline. This is the kind of adventure you bring a few nutritious snacks on, and a extra big water bottle.

  • Make sure you wear proper foot wear, it's quite humid up there and often the stairs are wet.

 I wore flip flops the first time I did it! Soooo ya! Don’t do that! 😬

  • Be prepared for rain fall, it is very possible it will shower on you.


Finally, if the stairway to heaven is on your bucket list and you’re going to the island of Oahu – just do it!  

In this case breaking the rules is harmless, because you’re not hurting or robbing anyone - so don’t worry too much.

Let me put it this way, I’ve never actually met anyone that’s been arrested for hiking this trail, only she said, he said - kind of stuff.

Just be smart and safe.


Here's the location


If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to comment below. 😊