Unarguably, the stairway to heaven is one of the most amazing hikes in the world. Located at Oahu, Hawaii, the hike offers nerve-thrilling adventure and pristine scenic views to travel enthusiasts. However, the Haiku stairs remain closed throughout the year and hiking up them is illegal.
Depressed? Well, then we have good news for you! The ‘back way’ up trail remains open and is legal to hike up the Moanalua Valley Trail. However, you should remember that hiking through it involves a lot of risks. The narrow ridges and steep section pose immense dangers to the climbers.
The 3922 metal stairs will directly lead you the Haiku radio station at the Keahiakahoe Summit. According to legends, it was built in 1942 by the United States Navy to transmit radio signals to the naval command located in South Pacific. However, it was decommissioned in the 1950s. In 1987, the stairs were officially closed by the United States Government.
If you’re too keen to experience the thrill of hiking up to the stairway to heaven, make sure not to attempt this solo. It’s best if you research online and find a guide who’d accompany you. But before hiring, always check the experience level of the guide.
The trail starts on a flat road that is fairly easy to navigate until it splits into three paths. Walking up the middle one is the best choice. After walking for about 40 minutes, you will reach onto a ridge, and start feeling the real fun and excitement of the trip.
The wonderful scenic views and the lush green ambience will immediately win over your heart. The risky part is, you’ll have to grab onto the roots of trees or rocks to keep yourself in position. Also, you’ll become dirty wading through the path filled with bushes. There are high chances for your leggings/ trousers to get damaged.
After reaching the next intersection, you need to take the path to the left. If you’re fit enough and succeed in maintaining a constant pace, you will reach the top in 3 hours. The view from the top is breath-taking. As a matter of fact, the views along the entire hike is worth the effort. And, the stairs are really awe-inspiring.
The real tricky part is coming down. There are sections where you’d feel incredibly nervous about climbing down. So, it’s best to take the stairs down. However, remember that using it isn’t allowed. It also involves a great deal of risk.
If you still use the stairs, be ready to take the risk. As you come down, you’ll find a gate blocking off the stairs and another one a few metres behind that. You have to scramble through the trees and the gate through the bamboo forest before you reach another road. From there, you will have to turn around the corner to reach the starting point.
After completing the hike, you’d feel glad that you hiked to the Stairway to Heaven and would want to come back again. Always remember that this hike is not for those who fear height and are not in good shape.