Haiku Stairs: the forbidden Stairway to Heaven on Oahu in Hawaii

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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"... and she's buying a stairway to heaven ..."
If you too recognize the lyrics of the famous song by the British rock group Led Zeppelin, you may have also wondered what a stairway to heaven might look like. What if we told you that it really exists? Maybe it doesn't exactly match the image you've built, but it probably comes very close.
It is a trail for hikers, located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. In fact, along this road it is possible to reach very high heights, from which to enjoy truly paradisiacal landscapes.

There is more: at the end of the "staircase" a large swing has been installed, overlooking the void. If you are already packing your backpack and booking airline tickets, finish reading this article first! Thanks to some important warning, perhaps, you will be dissuaded from taking this trip ... or maybe not?


  1. The "forbidden" Stairway to Heaven
  2. A thrilling swing
  3. User questions and comments

The "forbidden" Stairway to Heaven

The "Haiku Stairs", also called the "Stairway to Heaven" or "Stairway to Heaven" represents one of the most extreme and fantastic excursions that Hawaii offers. For over 30 years this route has been declared illegal, but that hasn't stopped people - dozens every day - who decide to take the "walk" anyway. It winds along 3922 steel steps and allows you to reach the top of Puu Keahi in Kahoe on the island of Oahu. The staircase was built in 1943 during the Second World War to allow access to the buildings located on the top of the ridge, used as radio stations. In some points, the staircase reaches almost vertical slopes, at such dizzying heights as to be immersed directly in the clouds. The trail was quite a popular hike during the 1987s, thanks to the management of the Coast Guard, until, in 2013, it was declared too dangerous for the public. Despite the ban, however, tourists and some locals still attempt to climb the Scala to Heaven every day. According to the travel site "ToHawaii", from December 2014 a guardian was expected to be present at the base of the staircase, but it seems that the person in charge of monitoring the site was often absent and, during the first months of the service was completely canceled. The "coup de grace" to the route, already rendered unsafe by years of neglect, has given it a violent storm which took place in February 2015: since then, the staircase has been officially and definitively declared off-limits.
However, the non-profit association "Friends of Haiku Stairs" offers hope, which has designed a plan to repair the staircase, to finally be reopened to the public in complete safety. To finance the project, the association decided to charge a ticket for the Scala per il Paradiso: foreign visitors will be asked for a contribution of $ 100 each, while the rates for residents range from $ 5 to $ 20. A price that may appear high, but it must be considered that the fine for being "caught" for breaking the prohibition to walk the path can reach $ 600 plus six months in prison.

A thrilling swing

What, however, is the story swing at the end of the staircase? As the route was not already dangerous and forbidden enough, someone decided to add this equally risky and forbidden attraction. The swing consists of metal chains and hooked to two rusty poles placed on top of the lush ridge of Koolau Mountain, which faces east of the island of Oahu.
Fortunately, the swing will be short-lived: the "Board of Water Supply (BWS)", the agency responsible for the site, said that both the swing and the crumbling poles that support it will soon be removed. Of course, the view from here is truly breathtaking and enjoying it from a swing in the void was a unique emotion, but the experience certainly wasn't worth the risk. Or maybe yes?

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