hiking the Stairway to Heaven, Oahu

The Haʻikū Stairs, also known as the Stairway to Heaven or Haʻikū Ladder, is a steep hiking trail on the island of OʻahuHawaii. The total 3,922 steps span along Oahu’s Ko’olau mountain range. …

The City and County of Honolulu has stated that there is currently no plan to open the stairs for public use, citing liability concerns …

Dozens of people, however, routinely hike up the stairs every day …

Andy Beth Miller hiked it.

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trip report – Hiking Oahu’s Forbidden Stairway to Heaven

cycle hiking Mayne Island

Cycle hiking the Gulf Islands – trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Mayne Island is a rustic 21-square-kilometre (8.1 sq mi) island in the southern Gulf Islands chain of British Columbia. …

… a population of 1071. Mount Parke in the south-central heart of the island is its highest peak at 255 meters (837 feet). …

I arrived early enough on Mayne to do some sightseeing. First stop, historic St. Mary Magdalen, Anglican Church.

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Nearby on Georgina Point is the most scenic light station on the island, built 1885.

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One species not endangered anywhere. Canadian geese. 🙂

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The previous two nights I was hidden away in the trees. But this wild camping tent site was worthy of a photo. Perfect.

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I packed up next morning, stashing my panniers in the the trees. And cycled to the most popular hike on the islandMount Parke.

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I did a loop: Haliday Ridge Trail to the (appropriately named) Old Gulch Trail to the Lowland Nature Trail. My best hike in the Gulf islands, so far.

On the Haliday ridge I left a Summit Stone in an Arbutus tree. It seemed appropriate.

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A highlight was watching Turkey Vultures pretend to be Bald Eagles.

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The vistas are magnificent up here. My best weather, so far.

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I was starving by the time I got down off the ridge. Happily Farm Gate Store is located near the trailhead. I had a burrito, coffee and muffin. All unbelievably healthy. 🙂

The rest of the day would be easy.

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I peddled on to Campbell Point.

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And was quite impressed with the facilities at the Adachi Community Pavilion.

It was here that the Kosumi family lived. Until 1942 when the Canadian government rounded them and all the other Japanese immigrants on the island and moved them to an internment camp. 😦

Today, the Japanese Gardens, located near Dinner Bay, are dedicated to the memory and legacy of the Mayne Island’s Japanese-Canadian community.

Of all the beautiful retirement homes I’ve seen so far, this one caught my eye. Elegant simplicity.

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So … in the end I did only the one big hike on Mayne. Island Parks and Recreation does produce a brochure. But most of the other walks are very short.

After all this good weather it began to POUR liquid sunshine while I waited for the ferry to Victoria.

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Hmm. What does a cyclist do in the rain?

10 very scary hiking trails

Matador posted this list of thrilling walks.

1. Hua Shan (Shaanxi, China)

2. Caminito del Rey (Málaga, Spain)

3. Huayna Picchu (Machupicchu District, Peru) *

4. Half Dome (Yosemite National Park, California) *

5. Angel’s Landing (Zion National Park, Utah) *

6. Tianmen Mountain Walkway (Zhangjiajie, China)

7. Liathach (Torridon, Scotland)

Liathach

Liathach

8. Crib Goch (Snowdonia National Park, Wales)

9. Pu’u Manamana (Oahu, Hawaii)

10. Amphiteatre (Northern Drakensberg, South Africa) *

10 DEATH-DEFYING TRAILS YOU’LL STILL WANT TO HIKE [PICS]

I’ve done four * of the ten. And put the rest on my “life list”. 🙂

West Coast Trail day 5

Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles.

day 0 | day 1 | day 2 | day 3 | day 4 | day 5 | day 6 | info page

Morning was, again, misty.

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We enjoyed one of the better toilets here, however.

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Sawdust does help reduce odour.

Seems the expensive solar composting toilets (used in the past) are no longer “must have” technology.

Hicham dressing for battle.

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We faced the most dangerous section of the West Coast Trail — dread Adrenaline Surge.

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Our arrival was perfectly timed for low tide.

Two choices. Down and back up? … Or scramble around?

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We opted to stay high rather than risk a freak wave flushing us out to sea. That had happened to a friend of ours in the past. (She was washed back into the Surge on the next wave. And pulled to safety.)

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All 11 made the traverse safely. But it was very, very slippery.

If not confident in your agility, take the inland route, instead.

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On the other hand, in good conditions, at low tide, the coast can be like a sidewalk. Sandy and myself ALWAYS voted to take the coastal route. Vistas are magnificent.

The first word that comes to mind when describing the WCT is … LADDERS.

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There are MANY. Some are LONG and STEEP.

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This is no adventure for those afraid of heights.

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The second word that comes to mind is … RAIN.

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The WCT is no place for those afraid of slipping on wet surfaces.

Nor those who don’t like to get dirty.

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Actually, we had only a few hours of rain. This was a relatively dry week on the Wet Coast Trail.

Any idiot can hike when it’s dry. It takes experience and expertise to enjoy camping in the rain.

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I insisted we finish off my booze.

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Good night.

more photos from this day

day 0 | day 1 | day 2 | day 3 | day 4 | day 5 | day 6 | info page

West Coast Trail day 2

Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles.

day 0 | day 1 | day 2 | day 3 | day 4 | day 5 | day 6 | info page

To catch low tide we were up and moving as early as possible.

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Of tidal pool creatures, I love starfish best.

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Fishing was lousy out of Port Alberni in 2013. But there were plenty of Sport fishing boats off the WCT.

This is the water taxi bringing yet another group of hikers from Port Renfrew to the trailhead at Bamfield.

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Some of our group had seen a bear off our night 1 campsite. Rare on the WCT. That one had been attracted to the coast by washed up dead dolphins. The most common prints are mink.

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The WCT is the called the shipwreck coast for good reason.

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I stopped by the First Nations Trail Guardian cabin to thank the guys for taking in my friend Greg Kolodziejzyk the year before. At risk of hypothermia during a non-stop WCT trail run, Greg took refuge here for a few hours.

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Boardwalk sections are better than ever.

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Donkey Engine

Still, sections of boardwalk are rotted and/or collapsed.

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Some who’ve never done the WCT wonder why BestHike.com calls the WCT the BEST hike in the world.

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It’s the VARIETY. Every step offers up a wonderful new vista.

The many cable cars are a thrill.

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Climbing ladders with full pack, a challenge.

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We carried a good first aid kit, of course. About 1 of every 100 hikers is evacuated due to injury.

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How do you beat campsites like this? 🙂

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Normally windy on the beach, I prevent Maytagging by putting smooth stones inside my tent.

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We camped at famed Tsusiat.

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Taking a plunge while reaching for the waterfall, I seized the opportunity to wash clothing and body.

Living this close together, the ladies insisted on some standards of personal hygiene. 🙂

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One of the biggest motivations for the trip was to show the West Coast Trail to some young people. Teegan thought it was pretty cool.

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more photos from this day

day 0 | day 1 | day 2 | day 3 | day 4 | day 5 | day 6 | info page