Daredevils the world over have found numerous ways to conquer their fear of heights. There’s Sydney’s Harbor Bridge or the terrifying El Caminito del Rey in Spain. But for sheer vertical height or astounding views, there may be no more perilous set of steps than the Ha’iku Stairs on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu.
Currently off-limits to the public, the Ha’iku Stairs is a series of nearly 4,000 steps rising 2,800 feet to a peak in the Ha’iku Valley. Originally constructed in 1943 to help the Navy install and maintain a series of radio antennae, the climb has long been an underground hiker favorite for its ridiculous heights and amazing views. Take a look at these photos and you’ll understand why the stairs were nicknamed the “Stairway to Heaven.”
Don’t dust off your climbing shoes just yet. The area has been closed to visitors since 1987 and trespassers risk serious injury or death on the poorly maintained trail. Thankfully, groups like the Friends of Ha’iku Stairs have been lobbying for the site’s eventual reopening. You can sign a petition on the site to help voice your support and help renew public access to this unique place. Let’s hope this one-of-a-kind attraction will once again see the light of day.