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About the Haiku Stairs

xfs_250x250_s26_IMG_1854  Haiku Stairs, a.k.a. Haiku Ladder, Pali Ladder, and Stairway to Heaven, is a series of galvanized-steel ship ladders that allow access for hikers to the top of Puu Keahiakahoe. At an altitude of more than 2800 feet, the top of the Stairs is some 2200 feet above the main building of the now decommissioned U.S. Coast Guard OMEGA Station and about 2,300 feet above the bottom step. (Ha’iku is a Hawaiian word meaning Kahili flower and has no connection to the Japanese word for a poetry genre.)

The ladders are 18 inches wide and altogether about 4000 feet long. The average slope is about 30 degrees.

Each section of the ladder contains seven steps, and the sections are numbered consecutively to the top. There are other steps apart from the ladders themselves, however, which complicates the counting. Various counts have been made, but the most widely accepted is 3,922—the number on the Friends of Haiku Stairs T-shirts.

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Flora and Fauna

The plants you encounter while climbing Haiku Stairs include a good cross section of native species. As you ascend, you pass through several micro-environments, where differences in slope, soil, exposure to the wind, rainfall, and clouds combine to favor different plant communities. In these communities, you can also see how different species, and sometimes the …

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A Tour of Haiku Stairs


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