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Hawaii’s Spectacular Stairway To Heaven May Be Lost Forever

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While it is illegal to be on the stairway to heaven, you can view this wonder of Hawaii safely and legally.

The Stairway to Heaven Hawaii is also known as the Haiku Stairs and is one of the most breathtaking views on the planet. Located on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, it reaches a peak of approximately 3,000-feet along the spine and ridgeline of the Ko’olau Mountain. 

There are around three thousand nine hundred twenty-two stairs that lead up the imposing mountain ridge, frequently at a vertical incline, with only a hand-rail to stop you from falling into the valley below.

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The stairway is an adventurer’s paradise where an enthusiastic hiker can climb sketchy decayed bars to find the most breathtaking sunrises.

Even with the restrictions, it does not stop the thrill-seekers from coming to O’ahu to cross this hike off their bucket list. There are several parts to the hike that are pretty terrifying; one of the scariest moments is climbing a ladder vertically up a steep mountain.

This view comes with a price as it is illegal to climb. The fines are approximately $1000. The city of Honolulu spent roughly a million dollars repairing the stairs and considered re-opening in 2002, but residents’ complaints and safety concerns halted the re-opening.

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According to a Journeyera, security was upgraded. There is a Policeman around, and Police helicopters have been spotted on occasions. 

Aerial view of CCL Building bunker at the top of Stairway to Heaven or Haiku Stairs with mountains, coastline and Chinaman’s Hat island in the background in Honolulu, Hawaii viewed from a helicopter

The stairway was built in 1942 by the U.S. Navy as a top-secret facility for transmitting radio signals to ships sailing in the Pacific Ocean. A building to provide a communication link between Wahiawā and Haʻikū Valley Naval Radio Station was constructed. The antenna transmitted shallow frequency radio signals. The signals could reach U.S. Navy submarines as far away as Tokyo Bay while the submarines were submerged.

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In 2015:

A massive storm damaged several sections of the stairs. A number of the stairs are loose, and each step has to be taken carefully.

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The Hawaiian government prohibits it due to liability issues and land access problems. Residents and lawmakers of the Ha’ikū Valley have threatened to tear the stairs down. It could prove difficult as the Stairway to Heaven sits on belongs to different state departments. For the Stairs to remain, it’s been suggested that they come up with an acceptable hiking trail which is safe for hikers and address parking issue.

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While the hike is illegal, there are a couple of ways to come in from the backside, yet once you come down the stairs, you will be trespassing. To get to the foot of the stairs you would have to climb over a barb-wire fence and walk through a maze of bamboo trees for about 20 minutes. Out of respect to the Hawaiian people, we can’t recommend that you take on this hike. The trail to take is the Kaulana’ahane trail and is legal.

For more information:

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There are some fantastic hikes on the island of Oahu that will take your breath away!

Pali Puka – Puka means “hole” in Hawaiian. 

The Pali Puka trail climbs along the narrow ridgeline of the Ko’olau Mountains. High winds and sheer vertical drops make it an exciting short 1.5 mile round trip hike, with panoramic views of O’ahu’s windward coast, from Kailua and Kane’ohe to Kualoa. There is a small hole or ‘window’ in the rock face of the mountain at the peak of the trail, which is said to be a hiding place for Hawaiian warriors when they watched for approaching enemies. 

Pali Noches 
Located opposite from Pali Puka trail and overlooks the valley and the ocean. It is steep, and gravel is loose and slippery on a wet day.

Here it is to see for yourself:

The Stairway to Heaven is a breathtakingly beautiful hike unlike no other.
What are your thoughts? Do you think these stairs should be removed from the mountain?

Good news is that as it seems, it is not being torn down and we might live to walk the trail in our life time.

For the latest updates regarding The Stairway to Heaven:

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