If you stick to just the “road” then this hike can be a very long and boring ordeal. It’s when you venture off the old, dirt and gravel filled road, that the adventure on Kamananui Valley Road really begins. Upon first glance, one would doubt that there is much to see on Kamananui Valley Road, other than some really old stone bridges. Quite the opposite is true. In fact, this 4-mile, mostly flat road, is filled with rich history. And those really old stone bridges? They’re pretty cool too.
A few weeks ago I spotted the photography of Scott Sharick on Facebook and was fascinated by his work. Scott had his Nikon D80 converted to infrared to capture these shots. He is not using a lens filter, instead, the hot mirror filter (designed to pass visible light while blocking infrared and ultraviolet light) in front of the camera sensor in his D80 was physically removed, thus allowing for the capture of infrared light. The results are staggering and very different from typical, non-infrared photographs.
There has been a lot of chatter, lately, about the City and County of Honolulu reopening the popular hiking trail known as Haiku Stairs, or Stairway to Heaven. This comes after the recent citation of two visitors from Florida, who needed to be rescued from the trail. According to the Honolulu StarAdvertiser, a 32-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman spent the night on the Moanalua side of the mountains while en route to the summit of Haiku Stairs. Just a day later, recently elected Honolulu Mayor, Kirk Caldwell, stated that he would eventually like to see Haiku Stairs eventually re-opened (see video) and made accessible to the public again.
A fan of the Exploration: Hawaii Facebook page recently asked for day hike suggestions for an upcoming trip to Oahu. I gave the question some thought and came up with what I think are five exemplary hikes. Each of the suggested trails offer very unique and differing views of the island. One could easily spend 8 hours or more on each of these hikes. Each hike also comes with its own set of dangers and can be very taxing for even the most veteran of hikers, especially those who are not familiar with Hawaii’s volcanic and often times crumbly terrain.
This is Part 4 of Chase Norton’s Koolau Summit 8 Day Thru Hike Personal Recap, posted with his permission. Please be sure to read the warning at the bottom of this post before attempting such a hike. This 8 day journey is the result of years of preparation. Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 can be found here.
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.