How much has life changed in your household since COVID-19 began? Recently, a new way of life has immersed upon all of us in some way or another. We are now cooks, educators, artists, fitness enthusiasts, and backyard explorers to name a few. Some of these tasks and roles can be very challenging. But I am here to share with you these ideas on how to navigate the stay at home life today! Including ideas in fitness, cooking at home and more!Read More
The Spring season is a favorite of mine, and it seems there might be a few of you feeling a bit down nowadays. I am here to help bring a little light hearted beauty and refocus to you! This is why I am going to help you Spring Info Flowers! Featuring Hawaii, California, and more; a blooming photo journal that will bring you bright, beautiful happy visuals to make you smile!Read More
Are you finding yourself cooking more at home these days due to today’s current events? Here is a healthy delicious seven layer casserole recipe that I am sharing from my mother in law, M.F. The normal recipe is here below, but I do change mine a little from time to time. I will leave out the corn and add a little more ground turkey meat. The meat I use is ground turkey meat substituted for the ground beef. And, I also use organic or non-gmo tomato sauce.Read More
The Review of the Yeti. Its slogan states: “Built for the Wild” and wow, did our Yeti Ramblers endure some grueling tough adventures and came through wonderfully! From hiking Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, to exploring Granite Mountain in the 106 degree temps, Yeti performed when we needed it most!Read More
After reading an inspiring article, Hello from New Hampshire, by my friends at Roarloud.net, I too wanted to help bring a sense of togetherness and hopefulness to others. My hope is to also inform you about whats going on in my little community in Florida. Before I do however, I want to reflect on the unforgettable experiences of California. As you read on, I wish to inspire you about a new appreciation for home. So here is my Hello from Florida.Read More
As many of you can tell from my blog, hiking is one of my biggest passions in life. The act of exploring and seeing new places just fill my heart and soul with joy. Adventures definitely come in all variations, types and places. One of the most beautiful places in the United States is Washington state. So I asked my friend Irine, from Travel with Irine to share some of her awesome Seattle hiking trails with us. Enjoy perusing these 25 amazing hikes near Seattle, Washington.Read More
Hiking to Haiku Stairs a.k.a. Stairway to Heaven is no easy task. The trail is actually closed and illegal to hike. However, there is a back route to reach the stairs via Moanalua Valley Middle Ridge trail which is long, challenging, and more dangerous.This hiking adventure has been on our bucket list for a while now ever since we saw the stairs while driving on the interstate, H-3 of which you can see from this freeway. So, we were determined to take on this unique and beautiful journey.
History of Kamananui Valley
Before we dive into the dirty details of this extraordinary day hike, let’s talk about some of the history of this particular trail and the stairs. Otherwise known as Kamananui Valley, this section of the trail towards the Haiku stairs is mostly flat, comprised of lose rocks, and muddy or water stream crossings. The lush forest lined path and bridges will take you on a journey through history.
On the trail, there are several remnants of Hawaii’s past during the 1500s-1800s. These include stone petroglyphs and articles left by early missionary; Samuel Damon. The brick fireplace from his residence is here now covered in moss, vines, and leaves. And a staircase that once led to the home, now leads to know where.
The Haiku Stairs or Haiku Ladder is a very steep hiking trail on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. It’s comprised of wooden stairs that are spiked to the south side of Haiku Valley. This ladder (stairs) was installed to enable the construction of antenna cables to create a continuous communication link between Wahiawa and Haiku Valley Naval Radio Station. The antennas transmitted extremely low frequency radio signals that could reach U.S. Navy submarines as far away as Tokyo Bay.
The wooden steps were later replaced with metal steps and ramps. Today, this hiking trail is closed and there is a hefty fine if caught, possibly up to $1000 fine. There is however, a different and somewhat legal route to take to reach the stairs. Follow along as I take you on this exciting excursion of hiking to Haiku Stairs | Stairway to Heaven Hawaii.
The Adventure Begins
The forecast is calling for full sunshine and clear skies on the day we decided to hike to the Haiku Stairs. The morning is gorgeous with its fresh dew, quiet, and peaceful skies awaiting for sunrise. We are joined by our local native friend, Mr. R. as we head out armed with our backpacks, water, lunch, and hiking gear.
We arrive at the parking lot area of Moanalua Valley Park-Directions, gather our things and start trekking towards the stairs around 7 a.m. Restrooms are available at this park and they are clean. We kept up a great pace and only a few people caught up to us. Early on the trail is quite smooth and wide, but later becomes full of lose rocks and very muddy.
We continue on for about three miles approximately until the trail becomes much more challenging with climbing and slithering through mud and trees. This hike has a little bit of everything that any adventurer would love! Rocky paths, thick mud, water streams, swinging ropes to use for climbing, and gorgeous views!
Climbing The Ridge
After passing through about 17 stream beds and bridges; we come to the point where the fun begins. Be cautious, the early part of this route is noticeable, wide and somewhat smooth.
However, the ridge part of the trail isn’t quite as obvious and you might miss it. Once you pass through the final stream to begin the ridge section of the trail, you will incline about 900 feet for about a mile. The second mile will bring about an 1100 feet elevation along with tree roots, mud, and sharp drop offs.
Further up on the ridge section, it is more exposed and open that of which strong winds can be present and again sharp drop offs on either side.
There are approximately three sections where a rope is available to assist with climbing and descent on the ridge.
We reach the summit of the Moanalua Valley Middle Ridge Trail finally. Now there is still a short distance of about a half mile to the radio towers and the top of the Haiku Stairs. The views are amazing from up here!
The Radio Tower
You must not be fooled as you are so close to the stairs now and lose focus. This section is even more muddy and slippery. More tree roots, and several areas you lose your footings.
Reaching The Haiku Stairs
The moment we have waited for! We finally reach the stairs and radio tower and continue to be in awe. As the beautiful blue and partly cloudy skies linger on, we are lucky to enjoy a gorgeous day of mostly sunshine today.
More fabulous photos of the Haiku stairs and views from up here!
Although very tempting to continue on and take the stairs down and finish the hike, this is highly illegal. Please do not take this path. We are now ready for our return trip down the ridge after about an hour at the Stairs/Radio Tower enjoying the views and having lunch. We took our time, proceeded with caution, and made it back to the parking lot about 9 hours later.
FitLife Tips and Gear
FitLife Hiking Tip: We had hiking poles with us and are so grateful to our friend and hiking pal for providing us with his poles. They were extremely helpful during this challenging hike. On the hike, a couple hikers mentioned to us how much they wish they had poles to assist them here.
FitLife Hiking Gear: I had concern about my feet getting soaked and start swelling. As a part of my preparation, I wore water resistant socks and waterproof shoes. I couldn’t be happier with my Columbia hiking shoes and my Darn Tough socks! After the hike, I was pretty dirty and my shoes were filthy and muddy. Having dry feet made my hiking experience so much better! We cleaned them right up with soap and water, back to good as new too!
Hiking to the Haiku Stairs | Stairway to Heaven is one unbelievable hiking experience! The scenery and the views are incredible and the hiking adventure is intense! If you are looking for a rugged, Indiana Jones type experience, then this hike is perfect! Hawaii offers so many hiking adventures that can add a little spark to your visit. Be safe, enjoy and have fun!
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Depending on what your definition of ‘Top or Best’ is, I wanted to get your attention in this headline! I am actually sharing my travel highlights from 2019. They were so incredible, I highly recommend them to you. It can be exhilarating looking to what’s ahead for future travel and adventures! I get these feelings every time we make travel plans. Therefore, I compiled a list of the beloved places we have ventured to this past year. Here are the top 10 USA travel destinations & adventures you should do!
One of the world’s most popular and beautiful tropical destinations to experience is Maui, Hawaii. The incredible nature and unique things to do here are too many to describe. One of my favorites is seeing the whales on a whale watch excursion. Hearing the sounds the whales make while communicating underwater is amazing. Browsing around the small town of Lahaina is an absolute joy. You will find plenty of historic museums, restaurants, and souvenir shops to tickle your fancy. Take a journey with me on my 5 days in Maui here.
San Diego, California.
It is known as America’s finest city, and they are not kidding. With its comfortable year round climate, stunning landscapes, and beaches galore, it will have you coming back for more! San Diego, California offers such a diverse range of things to do, so I have gathered some of the unique activities and beautiful beaches to visit for your next trip. San Diego Beaches.
This vibrant Texas place is about much more than just music, restaurants, and culture. The nature and outdoor activity is incredibly abundant near and around Austin! Kayaking in Lake Austin and visiting a fragile ecosystem of waterfalls in Colorado Bend State Park, I highly recommend.. Here are some really cool things to do while in Austin!
Red and orange colored sunsets are not the only thing that will tempt you to visit Scottsdale and the Phoenix area. The types of fun and adventure can be found both indoors and outdoors in this Arizona desert oasis. From hiking Pinnacle Peak and Granite Mountain to browsing comfortably throughout the Scottsdale Mall or taking in a day at the spa; there is plenty to keep you engaged all year round!
The Gulf Coast is probably my favorite area within the state of Florida to visit. Having lived in Manatee County near Bradenton-Sarasota, I have a soft spot in my heart for this place. You will find plenty of the arts, museums, farmer’s markets, and of course beaches!
Salt Lake City, Utah
Utah is one of the most beautiful states in the USA. From the red rock canyons to the snow capped mountains this is one place you must see! Salt Lake City is a lovely city with its western charm and urban delights, to the outdoor adventures that will certainly entice! We enjoyed our visit to this destination taking in a stroll around the city park, enjoying the brisk Fall colors, the amazing hike to find waterfalls. Finally, we made a last minute road trip over to the incredible Capitol Reef National Park. Check out these many reasons why you should visit Utah!
Bryce Canyon National Park
One of the most beautiful parks among the Mighty Five in the spectacular state of Utah, is Bryce Canyon National Park! The perfect eye candy to appease any photographer and adventurer! Red cliff canyons galore, hiking through the hoodoos, and natural bridges are enough to fill your soul to last a lifetime. Plan your road trip to Bryce Canyon today!
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Located just outside the small town of Medora, North Dakota; Theodore Roosevelt National Park is home to 70,446 acres of open spaces, prairies, and painted rolling hills! You will find wild horses roaming the lands, wild bison grazing, and massive numbers of prairie dogs watching your every move! We enjoy this park because it is not over crowded, it’s peaceful and the yummy ice cream treats are delish in Medora! North Dakota is a wonderful place to visit!
Yellowstone National Park
This place is not only thrilling to visit, but it is also alive and active! The earth is bubbling, the geysers are blowing, and the wild animals rule these lands! The most beautiful area is the Grand Prismatic Springs, geysers and hot springs; but yet this might be the most toxic place as well. Take a journey through the park here.
Hiking Half Dome In Yosemite National Park
The highlight of the year for us has got to be our hiking journey to Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. We set a few goals to challenge ourselves this past year and this was one of them. Awaking to the early hours of the morning, climbing puddle filled stairs, splashing through waterfalls, and climbing slippery granite rock stone. This hiking adventure is one unbelievable experience! Plan your Half Dome hiking challenge today!
Many people find themselves pressured to make new year’s resolutions or plan to do this or that. Perhaps this year should consist of taking one day at a time. Fill your days with appreciation and do things that make you happy. I enjoy setting goals and challenging myself, so this is what I like to do. We also enjoy seeing new places and exploring amazing nature filled parks and lands. So plan your year and keep a journal and I hope to see your top 10 travel and life adventures too!