Hawaii's 'Stairway to Heaven' to be Removed Due to Illegal Hiking

A popular steep stairway structure that extends over Hawaii’s Ko’olau mountain range on the island of Oahu is likely to be removed to due regular and illegal hiking, following a Honolulu City Council vote on Wednesday, September 8.

The Haiku Stairs, often dubbed the “Stairway to Heaven”, was built by the United States Navy in the 1950s to provide access to military communications facilities, but for decades has been a major attraction to hikers due to its sweeping views of the island.

This footage from Maximilian Alarcon shows visitors hiking the stairs. Alarcon told Storyful he recorded the video in September 2020.

The area, however, is not open to the public and, according to Hawaii News Now, local residents have long complained of trespassing and safety issues.

Councilmembers, citing the illegal visits and fearing rising maintenance and security costs, unanimously voted on September 8 to remove the stairs under a $1 million plan that was later approved by Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, Honolulu Civil Beat reported. Credit: Maximilian Alarcon via Storyful

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