Haiku Stairway to Heaven

Oahu, Hawaii

United States of America

Latitude

21.404604

Longitude

-157.827199

The Kaiku Stairs, also known as the Stairway To Heaven, was built by the United States Navy during World War II. The purpose was to build a radio station to transmit signals to Navy ships sailing the Pacific Ocean.

Wikipedia

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

Beginning in 1942, contractors for the United States Navy began construction of the Haʻikū Radio Station, a top secret facility that was to be used to transmit radio signals to the Navy ships that were then operating throughout the Pacific. In order to obtain the necessary height for the antennae, the Navy stretched them across Haiku Valley, a natural amphitheater surrounded by high ridges. To accomplish this, they needed “easy” access to the top of the ridges, so they installed a wooden ladder up the mountain. The ladder was later replaced by a wooden staircase. Once the cable car was in operation, most workers preferred to ride the car to the upper hoist house rather than enduring the tedious climb up the stairs. Some remnant parts of the wooden ladder may still be seen beside the metal steps.

The radio station was commissioned in 1943. To transmit such a powerful signal, the Navy needed a transmitter of greater capability that was then possible with vacuum tube technology. They therefore decided upon an Alexanderson alternator, a huge device capable of generating powerful low-frequency radio signals, and requiring an antenna of heroic proportions.

When the Naval base was decommissioned in the 1950s, the United States Coast Guard used the site for an Omega Navigation System station. In the mid-1950s, the wooden stairs were replaced by sections of metal steps and ramps — by one count, 3,922 steps. The station and trail were closed to the public in 1987. Some hikers ignore the "no trespassing" signs and continue to climb, contributing to the local community's misgivings about reopening the structure.

Provided By: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiku_Stairs

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