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.