On the beautiful Hawaiian island of Oahu, you’ll find a tall steel stairway, called Haiku Stairs, that stretches straight up a large mountain. At its highest point, the stairs reach an altitude of 2,800 feet. It’s no wonder the attraction is nicknamed the “Stairway To Heaven!” While hikers who visit the popular stairway can’t wait to climb up to the top, right now, the journey is technically illegal. The rickety Haiku Stairs have been closed to the public for more than 30 years for safety reasons. While it may re-open to the public soon, that hasn’t stopped recent tourists from climbing the stairway and taking advantage of its magnificent views. According to the Huffington Post, hikers will just head over to the stairway early in the morning (before the sun is up) to avoid guards.
The stairway was built back in 1943 during World War II and officially closed in the 1980s. Since the Stairway To Heaven is a well-loved attraction, one nonprofit organization is currently working to clean and re-open it to the public. The organization, Friends of Haiku Stairs, wants to first repair the damages, then create a management system, and eventually charge hikers a fee to climb. The group is proposing a plan to charge out-of-state residents a $100 fee. Hawaii residents would have to pay $10 to climb the stairs. While the out-of-state fee may sound as steep as the stairway, it’s way cheaper than the current trespassing fine. Right now, hikers caught trespassing can be fined up to $600 and/or spend up to six months in prison. Plus, any fees to use the attraction would go toward maintenance.
As we all anxiously await its official opening, sit back and enjoy these stunning tourist photos: