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July 1, 2020 at 8:20 AM HST - Updated July 1 at 8:31 AM 


HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Board of Water Supply has officially transferred ownership of the Haiku Stairs over to the City and County of Honolulu as of Wednesday.

“Haiku Stairs is world famous as one of the most breathtaking hikes in the world,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, in a statement. “I’m very pleased that we will be able to save this treasured site from being torn down.” 


BWS voted unanimously in April to transfer ownership to the city.

BWS’ preferred action was removing the famed Haiku Stairs, citing liability and cost concerns.

However, after more than 3,600 people testified to keep the stairs, board members voted to transfer the stairs to another city department instead.


The city is now responsible for managing the attraction and its security. Officials still haven’t made a decision on the future of the stairs.


Caldwell said he’s currently looking at bids from private companies to manage the so-called “Stairway to Heaven” in hopes of reopening it.


“We know with the right operator, Haiku Stairs can be opened safely, preserving this unique experience and cultural resource,” Caldwell said. 

Managed Access to Save the Stairs

The following Concept Plan outlines how The Friends of Ha'ikū Stairs would run the Stairs under managed access in order to save the Stairs, mitigate potential risks, and best serve the public interest.

Please feel free to download the Plan and see for yourselves how managed access is not only feasible, but also the best way forward for the Stairs.

Friends of Ha'ikū Stairs advocate reopening the Ha'ikū Stairs under managed access. 

**Please Note: The stairs are currently closed and illegal to access, no matter how you access them. We do not provide information that will aid people in breaking the law**

Why Save the Stairs? 


These are some of the key reasons:


  1. As per the findings of the BWS's DEIS: “The Haʻikū Stairs was built in the 1940s, is defined as a historic property per §6E-2, HRS, and retains its historic integrity.” (Vol 2, p. 701). Why would you destroy a historic structure, especially if you could repair it for less?

  2. The Haʻikū Stairs represent one of the safest hiking trails in Hawaii. There having been no documented serious injuries or deaths resulting from accidents on the Stairs

  3. Reopening the Stairs under managed access would provide unique, internationally recognized, educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities and save one of the world’s top 10 best hikes on the National Geographic Endangered Trails list.

  4. The Kāneʻohe Neighborhood Board resolved in May 17, 2017 to support reopening the stairs under a controlled and managed access plan that respects the privacy rights of residents of the Haʻikū Village neighborhood

  5. We have read the DEIS report and we agree that managed access (conveyance alternative) is by far the best alternative with a total score of 7 good as compared to removal with a score of only 4.

  6. FHS has a managed access plan in place that is in alignment with the recommended Poʻokela Street access route and can be adjusted to meet all the listed concerns.

  7. FHS has years of experience leading people on legal maintenance climbs on the stairs, carrying out repairs to individual modules, controlling invasive species, and mitigating run-off concerns. 

What We Do
PETITION the Board of Water Supply & the Mayor

We started a petition on in 2015 in order to garner support for Saving the Stairs. By July 2nd 2019 when we delivered our petition to the Board of Water Supply, and handed a second copy to the Mayor's office, our petition included 11,650 signatures of support, as well as 171 pages of comments from supporters. Mahalo to all of you who contributed towards this effort.

REACH OUT to the community and to local representatives

Our board members sit on community groups and liaise with local representatives to promote managed access as a sensible alternative to destruction. We make presentations at conservation group meetings and discuss our vision for the future of the Stairs and Ha'ikū Valley with local community groups with with the goal of Saving the Stairs and its environment for current and future generations.


We hold rallies and events in order to raise awareness for the plight of the Stairs. Through sign-waving and public events such as the Save the Stairs rally at Hawaiian Brian's in 2019, we show that there is widespread support for saving this historic and much-treasured monument.

How We Do It

THROUGH THE SALE of Merchandise

Friends of Ha'ikū Stairs is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization. All proceeds go directly to our mission to protect the Ha'ikū Stairs and its environment for current and future generations. Your purchases are tax-deductible. Prices include shipping and packaging to all US locations. Please contact us for international orders.

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Fill our the form below to send us a message. Mahalo.

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