The Stairway to Heaven in Oahu, Hawaii. Photo by Alysha Mendez.
One of Untapped’s most popular Google Keywords is the “Stairway to Heaven,” and it doesn’t refer to the Led Zepellin song. The Stairway to Heaven, also known as the Haiku Stairs, is a series of 3,922 steps in Oahu, Hawaii on the Koolau Mountain Range. The staircase was built by in 1942 by the U.S. Navy and its scenic views made it a popular tourist attraction. The Stairway to Heaven was closed off in 1982, and scheduled to re-open in 2001 after an $875,000 renovation but local residents opposed access in a NIMBY (Not In My BackYard) move. Hikers ignored the signs placed by the city, the city hired security guards to block access, so hikers then accessed the Stairway to Heaven in the middle of the night.
Read more about one of our writers’ experience hiking the Stairway to Heaven at 2am.