Stairway To Heaven; The Haʻikū Stairs
The area is named “Haʻikū” after the Kahili flower which flourished throughout the area.
Located at the east valley wall of Haʻikū Valley, Ko’olau mountain range is what we know as “Stairway To Heaven”; The Haʻikū Stairs. The foot trail consists of over 3,000 metal stairs which ascends 2,800 feet with an average slope of 30 degrees, some sections are nearly vertical to the peak of Puʻu Keahiakahoe.
After the Pearl Harbor attack, wooden stairs were constructed in 1942, commissioned in 1943 as means for the U.S. Navy to gain access of the Haʻikū Radio Station; a top secret facility that was used to transmit radio signals to Navy ships that were operating and maneuvering throughout the Pacific.
When the Naval station was decommissioned in the 1950s, the U.S. Coast Guard used the site for an Omega Navigation System station. The wooden stairs were replaced in the 1950’s with metal steps and ramps — by one count, 3,922 steps.
The communication station and trail were closed to the public in 1987. Although, it has gained worldwide popularity as hikers continue to trespass illegally to experience the breathe-taking views of the two-hour climb.
The Honolulu mayor & city council voted to remove the stairs in September 2021.