On the island of O’ahu, you’ll find one of the most impressive hiking trails in the entire world. It encompasses nearly 4000 stairs that ascend into the Koolau Mountains. Although it’s considered a hiking trail today, that wasn’t always the case. As a matter of fact, the Haiku Stairs were built by the United States Navy during World War II. They were attempting to build a communication system on the island that could be used to send coded messages to the Navy’s ships in the Pacific Ocean.
It wasn’t until 1987 that this treasure became open to the public — although, there were certainly some members of the public who explored the stairs well before that time, ignoring the numerous signs that warned against trespassing. However, since it was opened to the public, people have come from all over the world to hike up the stairs and to take in the amazing views of O’ahu.
Unfortunately, all of that fun stopped just this past Valentine’s Day. A particularly severe storm swept across the island, causing a landslide that severely damaged parts of the Haiku Stairs. So, for now, the Haiku Stairs can only be enjoyed in pictures.
1. The Entrance
As you can see, the authorities are quite serious about keeping people off of the Haiku Stairs.
From the very beginning of the stairs, you can tell what a treacherous hike you’re in for.
3. Into the Jungle
As you begin to climb the Haiku Stairs, you’ll be surrounded on all sides by lush forest.
4. Starting to Clear
Provided you have the endurance to climb the stairs, you’ll soon find yourself poking out of the jungle.
5. Take a Breather
There are a lot of stairs that you’re going to need to climb, so be sure to take a break here and there.
6. Not All Stairs
Of course, there are some places where there are no stairs at all, and these areas can be especially treacherous.
7. Use the Rope
In those especially treacherous areas, you’ll want to grab hold of anything that will help you keep your footing.
8. Take a Look Around
Once you’re up this high, you’ll definitely want to pull out your camera to take some pictures. Hopefully it’s not too cloudy!
9. Keep Going
As always, there are more stairs to go! So make sure you rest up and keep on climbing.
10. What a View!
As you get higher and higher up, the views you can enjoy gets more and more impressive.
11. Like, Really Impressive
When you look at this picture, you can understand why so many people feel that Hawaii is a true paradise.
12. Still Farther to Go
You thought you were done, didn’t you? Nope! You’ve got to keep on climbing until you reach the top!
13. Getting Closer
From this view, you can see what the last leg of the trip up the Haiku Stairs will look like.
14. Getting There
Once you’re almost all the way to the top, this is the view that you can expect to enjoy.
15. You’ve Made It!
Admittedly, what waits for you at the top isn’t all that impressive. But, it’s the journey that counts, right?
16. And Now…
Now that you’ve made it all the way up, there’s only one place left for you to go: Back down.
17. Why The Haiku Stairs Are Closed
Of course, the Haiku Stairs are currently closed to the public. And, as you can see up above, it’s for good reason!
18. Here’s Hoping…
The Haiku Stairs are clearly amazing, and a treasure for Hawaii. Here’s hoping the stairs are repaired sooner rather than later!