The stairs are the left-overs of an old military railway that took supplies to an lookout/outpost at the top of the crater during WWII.
The first half of the steps is a fairly easy incline....but the 2nd half gets really, really steep!
At about the 1/2 way point, there is a trellis bridge you have to cross. It's really strange because you can see straight down as you hop to each railroad tie. It's not hard, it's just messing with your mind since there is no "dirt" to catch you in-between steps!
The climb was really, really hard. It was hot and sunny. We'd take about 20 stairs at a time towards the really steep end. Rest for a minute, then take 20 more stairs. I was too tired to pull out the camera!!
But the views from the top were beautiful!
The trail was about a mile total - it took us almost 1 hour to walk that mile!
We rested at the top for a few minutes....drank plenty of water from our backpacks. Then started on the trip down. It actually was harder to go down! The "stairs" were really not in good shape - the railroad cross ties are WWII vintage and are in terrible shape. So you really had to plan each footstep.
And it is really, really steep!!! But, we made it down without injury - although we saw 2 different people with ankle injuries being helped down the trail. (They were both young folks - probably weren't as careful as us old-codgers!)
If you want to get in the "island spirit" - click on this you-tube video - just let the music play in the background while you see the rest of this blog-post.
Once safely back sitting on our tired and sweaty butts in the rental car, we drove for a little tour around the east/north side of the island.
We made our way along the shoreline to Hukilau Bay....I particularly wanted to see it since it was in the song that we danced to many, many years ago at Gretchen's "Hula" party.
It's a lovely beach - almost entirely used by locals. We set up our chairs and umbrella and read/snoozed for a couple of very nice, breezy hours.
Time to head back to Waikiki...I just snapped a bunch of photos along the drive back. Beautiful hilly ridges.
The island isn't all that big - it only takes a couple of hours to go from north to south. The middle is basically these huge cliffs. Folks only live on the flat areas around the coastlines.
Beautiful countryside, but we ran out of daylight!