The Ha’iku Stairs, also known as the Stairway to Heaven is a steep hiking trail within the amphitheater-shaped Ha’iku Valley along the windward side of the Ko’olau mountain range on the island of O’ahu. The trail contains an estimated total of 3,922 steps leading straight up into the Hawaiian skies.
The Ha’iku Trail starts at an elevation of 480 feet and covers an approximate horizontal distance of 4,500 feet with an average slope of about 30 degrees. Sections of the trail however, are nearly vertical… straight up.
The stairs led to a U.S. Naval radio transmitting station which was initially built following the attack on Pearl Harbor as a means of communicating with U.S. Navy ships throughout the Pacific, as far away as Tokyo Bay, Japan. The communication facilities were later taken over by the U.S. Coast Guard as an OMEGA Navigation System station for a period of time before abandonment.
The Ha’iku Stairs are currently closed to the general public. The bottom of the trail is fenced off and locked. It’s staffed with a security guard to ward off any would-be hikers. Still, hundreds of people trespass onto the trail consisting of a nearly two – four hour climb depending on bypassing security and weather conditions. It’s a cat-and-mouse game with security as determined hikers start as early as 2am – 3am to witness and experience what is most likely one of the most breathtaking views in all of Hawai’i.