Chinaman’s hat is a common sight on the windward side of Oahu from both various summits on the Koolau summits (for example: the Manana summit) to simply driving along the Northern section of the island. Shaped like a Chinese peasant’s chapeau from rural China, you may be surprised to learn one can easily access the island for a small adventure. While seemingly small from afar, this off island destination becomes increasingly intimidating as your approach her shores.
The single most limiting factor (in my opinion) when it comes to hiking in Hawaii is the weather. More specifically, rain. And if you know me then you know that I am not a fan of rain. Despite recent lofty plans to complete some epic hikes, Team Exploration: Hawaii had to modify their schedule in order to cooperate with the cloudy skies and occasional showers that Oahu has been experiencing over the last couple of days. With that said, our planned hikes that involved multiple summits on the Ko’olau range as well as an attempt at completing the treacherous Kalena had to be scrapped.
The Makapu’u Lighthouse trail offers some of the most breathtaking views that the island of Oahu has to offer. Located on the southern most part of the island, Makapu’u is home to the Makapu’u Lighthouse which was established in 1909. The paved trail is perfect for those looking for a quick not-to-strenuous hike and is especially well-suited for those with children. Having hiked Makapu’u multiple times in the past, I was looked to experience it in a different way. And what better way to enjoy Makapu’u than at sunrise?
I’ve had Kamanaiki Ridge Trail on my radar now for some time. I’ve been wanting to do it mainly because the trailhead is located in Kalihi Valley, a favorite Oahu town of mine.
I’ve been having so much fun playing around with my GoPro HD Helmet HERO Camera! I love it because it’s so simple and so compact. Here’s a quick little timelapse of the sun setting over Koko Head. Actually, the sun was pretty much down but not completely, so I was able get photos of some beautiful color shifts into the evening. Enjoy the video and let me know what you think.
Update (2/28/2016): We would like to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. Below is a collection of articles collected through the years regarding the stairs. We discourage people from attempting this hike while it is closed to the public.
What you should know:
- Haiku Stairs is officially closed. It has been closed since 1987.
- The stairs is guarded most and/or throughout the entire day.
- Those who attempt the hike from the bottom of the stairs are turned away and/or given citations.
- Those who begin the hike elsewhere and then come down the stairs are given citations.
- Residents of Haiku Village are more than willing to call the police and many make it a point to report hikers upon detection.
- The lower sections of the stairs were heavily damaged by a landslide in February 2015:
Recent News Articles:
Hikers remove Haiku Stairs swing, contracted crew brings down poles
Groups look to buy illegal Haiku Stairs from Board of Water Supply
Hikers above Haiku Stairs trail rescued
Teenage hiker rescued from Moanalua side of Haiku Stairs trail
Could $100 fee reopen Hawaii’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ hiking trail? (October 2015)
Hawaii’s Iconic ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Hike Might Finally Be Coming Down (June 2015)
Man rescued after breaking ankle near closed Haiku Stairs (June 2015)
An alternative option for the fate of Haiku Stairs (March 2015)
Board of Water Supply explores removing Haiku Stairs (February 2015)
Haiku Stairs, a legal and costly burden? (February 2016)
BWS takes first step to demolish Haiku Stairs (February 2015)
Haiku Stairs damaged by landslide, may never reopen (February 2015)
Finally, the comments for this post have been turned off as well. From 2011 to 2016, the comments section for this post was a combination of hatred, gratitude, and questioning. More recently, it turned into a quick place to request for a guide. We DO NOT offer guided hikes up to Haiku Stairs.
I first completed Hawaii Loa Ridge many years ago, back in 2004. I remember the trail as being a very brutal one with steep inclines and challenging rope climbs. Of course, that was way back in 2004 and Hawaii Loa was my first big hike.
Manana starts at the end of Pearl City and offers one of the best views on the island after a long trek through a diverse group of plant life. Featured in the center of the island, Manana is a 12 mile loop with many climbs and an excellent ridge section that leads to its summit. August and September may be the best times of the year to complete the trail as that is when the strawberry guava will be in season. On my last trip just a week ago, I saw well over 200 ripe fruits near the trail head alone. Although this is long trail, you will be walking in the shade the majority of the time. Once you get to the open ridge section, you will very likely be surrounded by clouds and it is also often very windy. Although the clouds make the journey easier, it makes the view seen here extrememly rare. The summit is often completely surrounded in clouds. But, on rare day or moment it is clear, you will be provided with an excellent view of the windward side of the island that stretches to Makapu’u, the Eastern most point on the island.
The Old Pali Road Trail (sometimes called the Old Pali Highway Trail) is one that you can do relatively quickly. If you need an escape but don’t have much time on your hands then you might want to consider hiking the Old Pali Highway.
The back of Koko Head Park (423 Kaumakani St.) on the East side of Oahu features Koko Crater, one of three craters on the island along with Diamond Head and Ka’au. This one is of interest for people looking for great views of the East and South side of the island as well as a great and short workout. The crater houses a botanical garden that is very vibrant during the Spring season which complements the surrounding expansive view from the top. But getting to the top is not an easy task. The most common way to reach the top is to take a long set of stairs. Although this is a safer method than climbing the ridge (see: Arch), it may be the most strenuous way to reach your goal.