The Stairway to Heaven is located on Oahu, Hawaii, and is one of the most interesting tourist sites in Honolulu. Although the entrance to the public is prohibited, mountaineers, tourists and locals make ascents permanently.
Sectors of this stairway are in poor condition and there are precipices on each side of the path, making it dangerous. Still Thus, many take the risk because they consider that it is an experience onlywhich will be preserved forever in memory.
The origin of the stairway to heaven
The origin of the stairway to heaven dates back to 1942, during World War II, when the United States decided to contract a company for its construction. The objective was to install a radio antenna capable of intercommunicating its fleet of ships.
These vessels would carry out military maneuvers in the Pacific, so the entire procedure should be kept secret. Also, a military base would be created to ensure the safety and maintenance of said construction.
After the war and during the 1950s, these facilities were converted into a radio station. It was around this time that the structure, which was made of wood, was replaced by a metal one at a cost close to a million dollars.
This is how the 3922 steps of the extensive Haiku staircase or stairway to heaven that we know today were inaugurated. Along with a cable car that fulfilled the function of moving the operators of the radio station, since otherwise it would be somewhat exhausting.
The closure of the structure
The Stairway to Heaven was open to the general public until 1987. In that year, the authorities considered it unsafe due to the lack of maintenance. That is why they decided to close it down and put an end to the broadcasts of the radio station.
Since then they have remained closed, despite being part of the list of must-see places on the island.. In this sense, the population is divided: while some oppose its reopening, others state that it is a historical treasure that must be recovered.
This situation has not prevented tourists and hikers from slipping away and ignoring the guard guarding the entrance.. In order to experience the emotion of traveling the 1,220 meters of the structure and being able to touch the sky with their fingers, they do whatever it takes.
The stairway to heaven, a surreal experience
The path of the stairway to heaven passes through mountain ranges of lush vegetation and fauna. It is coming into direct contact with nature and breathing really fresh air.
Halfway through the stretch, the road seems to vanish in the middle of the dawn mist and the feeling is that it leads straight to heaven, hence its name. This is a surreal and wonderful experience.
As you walk, new things are being discovered, such as the best panoramic views of the entire island. It can certainly be an exhausting journey, but it is part of those things that are worth the effort.
Friends of the stairway to heaven
In 2015, after a devastating storm, part of the structure disappeared or was destroyed.. This situation motivated a group of residents to create an organization known as Stairs Friends Haiku.
Its primary objective was to recover the stairway to heaven, due to its historical importance and for the identity of its inhabitants. Since then, They have been carrying out maintenance work and launching preservation projects..
In the same way, wage a battle against those who oppose making the place an official tourist destination. They add that its dismantling by the State is more expensive than its recovery.
They are convinced that it is a unique tourist destination in the world that is worth preserving. In fact, they consider several alternatives that ensure their self-financing, how to restore them and start charging for access.
Take the risk or not
The inhabitants of the residential area near the entrance to the stairway to heaven are the ones who most resist the opening of this tourist destination. They express their disagreement based on the number of cars and people that would congest the place.
Although there is always a guard in charge of prohibiting the passage of those who wish to enter, there are several sectors through which you can enter. Even, there are clandestine guides who are willing to provide this service for money.
On the other hand, even though the cases in which offenders are caught by police officers are very rare, it is always a possibility. In these cases, Those caught can end up paying a fine of up to $1,000 or go to jail for up to 6 months..
Many think that the current restrictions only carry unnecessary risks that could be avoided by reopening. However, the possible fines of the entities involved is what most fears adventurers.