The Stairway to Heaven is busy these days. Sure, it’s technically forbidden to hike the Haiku Stairs, but on a recent Saturday morning, there were people strung all along the steep hillside before dawn. (It’s necessary to start early, before the security guard takes his post at the base of the trail and starts turning hikers away.)
Ascendants included military bros, couples from out of town and an entire church singles group, out, apparently, to mingle via fence hopping. Out-of-breath climbers traded bits of wisdom as they trudged up: Don’t wave at the cars on H3, they’ll think you’re in trouble. The first third of the hike is the hardest; it gets easier, promise. Save some energy for the way down.
There were so many hikers that the security guard seemed resigned at the sight of each group arriving back at the bottom. He contented himself with funneling trespassers along one access road back to civilization, to make sure they don’t cut across any more private property than necessary. Just another day at the stairs.
For a history of the stairs and the naval radio station, including a collection of black-and-white photography documenting the construction and early days of the area, check out this site, maintained by Dave W. Jessup.
More current information, including recent legal status updates, is also available at www.friendsofhaikustairs.org.