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Hiking News: Haiku Stairs Removal, Margherita Peak Closure, Unrest in New Caledonia

May 24, 2024 | News

Check out these news updates that could affect your hiking in Uganda, Hawaii and New Caledonia.


Haiku Stairs Being Removed

The infamous Haiku Stairs, or Stairway to Heaven, a trail on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, has drawn hikers for its Instagram-worthy views and the element of danger associated with the hike. The steep trail, featuring more than 3000 constructed steps climbs along the Ko’olau mountain range, is an almost 4 km hike, with a 700 m elevation gain.

The trail has been officially closed for several decades due to the liability associated with it, the cost of maintenance, and complaints from locals, but that hasn’t stopped thousands of hikers from attempting the trail each year. After several years of contemplation on how to deal with the trail, it has been decided by the City of Honolulu that the stairs will be removed completely, and the removal will begin imminently.

Fines and/or threat of arrest are being imposed upon trespassers, so it is not recommended to attempt it (despite the many people online offering to take hikers onto the trail). Read more about it here: Hawaii to Remove Haiku Stairs Hiking Trail

There are other hikes in the area (and in so many other parts of Hawaii) that offer spectacular views, so check out these other hikes. And for more information on hiking in Hawaii, go to the Hawaii page.

uganda mountains

Margherita Peak Closed

The Rwenzori Mountains, Africa’s tallest mountain range and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts the third highest mountain in Africa, Mount Stanley, in Uganda. As the highest peak on Mount Stanley, Margherita Peak is a popular draw for climbers of this mountain.

As of mid-May 2024, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has suspended hiking to Margherita Peak due to a crevasse formation in the glacier, compromising the safety of hikers crossing the glacier. The UWA is exploring ways to make it safe to cross, but in the meantime, hikers are encouraged to explore other great hikes in Rwenzori Mountains National Park. Read more here: Suspension of Hiking to Margherita Peak in Rwenzori Mountains National Park.

The ideal months to visit and hike in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park are January – February and June – August. For more information on where and when to hike in Uganda, visit the Uganda page.

mountain waterfall

Unrest in New Caledonia

New Caledonia is a small group of islands lying off the eastern coast of Australia, but are a department of France and are close to French Polynesia.  The main island, Grande Terre, is quite mountainous and has beautiful trails to hike.

In mid-May, due to change in French legislation (in Paris) that would amend voter rules in New Caledonia, protests erupted in the island nation, with several people killed and hundreds injured amid ongoing riots and violence.

If you’ve been planning a trip to New Caledonia, check your country’s travel advisory as currently commercial flights have been suspended. Read more about the situation here: Australia and New Zealand Evacuate Nationals from New Caledonia

And for more information on hiking in New Caledonia, check out the New Caledonia page.


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