On the island of O’ahu, Hawaii the Haiku stairs were once used as means to install a number of antennas for the Naval Radio Station as from here signals could be picked up by submarines from as far as Tokyo! In the 1950s the Naval base was decommissioned and the site became the location for the Coast Guard Navigation System. The station and trail were closed to the public back in 1987, but people still make the trek up the almost 4,000 stairs for a view from the heavens, despite the ‘No Trespassing’ signs and the guards.
In the dark of night you will find groups of hikers ready with flashlights, gloves, snacks and water bottles silently making their way to the stairs so they don’t disturb the neighbors. This adventure will have you full of adrenaline and you won’t be able to tell if it’s from the climb or the fear of running into a guard (the best time to go is 2:30am).
WARNING: This is not for those afraid of heights.
When you get to the stairs, you’ll notice that it’s really more of a ladder going up the side of a cliff than a staircase. On your climb to the top there are three plateaus where you can stop for a rest. As you get higher it will become windier and there will be more moisture in the air; this is where you’ll need those gloves to keep your grip.
After about 2 hours you’ll reach the last step. As you catch your breath you’ll be gazing upon the world from the heavens. Provided you chose a clear night, you’ll have a breathtaking view of green rolling mountains and bright blue waters dotted with mini islands. Make sure you stick around for the most wonderful panorama sun rise before making your way back down the steep staircase.