We were looking for a "good" hike to do. My daughter wanted to hike from the Hilton Hawaiian Village up to the top of Diamond Head. Nice, but a little vanilla. I challenged her to do something a little more challenging. We agreed on the Pali Puka Hike. Problem was we got confused with directions and ended up at the parking lot for the start of the Moanalua Valley Trail Hike. This hike is the "legal" way to gain access to the Stairway to Heaven (Otherwise know as the Haiku Stairs).
We thought that the hike we were attempting (Paki Palu) was an easy 2.2 miles out and 2.2 miles back. WRONG.
We were there, so not realizing what lay before us, we started the hike. Very little water, no food, a little candy, cameras and fortunately GOOD hiking boots.
(Note - If you do this trail, the whole thing is 10-12 miles in length, start no later than 0830 am, have plenty of water, food, good boots and gloves for climbing the last sections).
The first 2.8 miles is a nice little hike, ANYONE can do it. At the 2.8 mile point you come to a fork in the road, go LEFT. Do NOT go right like we did initially. We went 30 minutes the wrong way, had to double back, this ate up a lot of our daylight.
Once back at the sign, we went left and immediately all hell breaks loose. The entire climb ascends some 2,600', most of it after the split at 2.8 miles. If it's muddy, it's really tough. Intermittent cloud cover, and rain makes its even more challenging. Since we started out so late, we did not see any other people until we were well into the hike and they were returning. Most being successful, a few tapped out at the rope sections. Every single group however started that from whatever point we met them at, it got a lot steeper from that point on. And it did. It is ABSOLUTELY CRAZY, but exhilarating. People have died on this trail. A lot of the time you have 1.000' vertical drops on both the left and the right of you and the path is only 2' wide. If you don't like heights, don't do this hike.
Up and up and up we went. our pace slowed dramatically as a result and with 0.9 miles to go, while not having reached any of the most challenging rope sections, my daughter (27), wife (55) and myself (60), decided that we did not have enough daylight left to complete the hike and return down the mountain safely (like it was even safe in the first place). We turned back.
Phenomenally beautiful photos. Absolutely 10 out of 10 in regards to challenge, adventure, craziness, confidence building etc.
I am amazed that one of the three of us did not get seriously injured at sometime in our adventure.
Although we failed, I sort of understand how people must feel, not being able to complete a venture like Everest etc.. initially stating that they would never attempt it again and then the next year, there they are.
So I guess we'll see.
There was a 75 year old, purple haired hippy looking dude who supposedly does the thing 5 times a week and completed it over 800 times. He's in great shape and I guess acts as a guide for hire. So there's hope for me I guess.