Manoa Falls is probably the most popular waterfall hike on Oahu. Most popular being code for “lots of tourist.” Indeed, you’re almost guaranteed to cross paths with copious amounts of tourists, some of whom will be ill-prepared and wearing slippers (flip-flops for the non-locals). Those on the ecotours will be walking around with awkward and bulky wooden walking sticks (probably a selling point for the tour operators). Don’t let that deter you, though, Manoa Falls is also a popular trail with locals. You’ll often find students from the neighboring University of Hawaii at Manoa exploring this waterfall trail. Manoa Falls has something for everyone. It can be a simple waterfall hike or it can be the starting point to even more exciting exciting trails. Some even believe that Manoa Falls is one of the paths that Night Marchers, the ghosts of ancient Hawaiian warriors, often march.
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.
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 have a friend that is from Hawaii, but moved away to the mainland for graduate school. He mentioned to me that he had never seen a Hawaiian Sea Turtle in action at the beach while he lived on the islands. I was blown away because they are so numerous … if you know where to look. One of the places on Oahu where you are guaranteed to have an encounter with a turtle is at Papa’iloa Beach in the North Shore town of Haleiwa. The beach is actually tucked away behind residential homes and so it is often the perfect place for a secluded beach experience.