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Dog Falls 50 Feet Off ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Hiking Trail in Hawaii

A dog fell 50 feet while climbing a 4,000-step staircase called the “Stairway to Heaven” in Kaneohe, Hawaii. According to the Sacramento Bee, the accident required both ground and air rescue teams to retrieve the dog and his handler.

Dog falls off dangerous staircase on Hawaii hiking trail

On Labor Day, a woman and her 55-pound dog attempted to trek up the Haiku Stairs, a steep staircase also known as the “Stairway to Heaven,” outside of Honolulu. The stairs are part of a trail that has been closed to the public since 1987 due to its “extremely dangerous” nature.

Somehow, the dog fell off the staircase. The woman was able to make her way off the trail to reunite with her dog. Then, she called for help with her phone. Thanks to geolocation, the rescuers were able to dispatch teams to save them. Around 5:42 p.m., five units, with a total of 13 staff, arrived at the scene.

Rescuers saw the woman and her dog waiting for help near a waterfall. Then, a rescuer was dropped to the site. He harnessed the dog. The rescuer then helped air-lift the woman and her dog out of the area.

Neither the woman or the dog suffered injuries from the incident.

Hiking trail has dangerous reputation

The Stairway to Heaven is illegal to climb. But that hasn’t prevented hikers from attempting the illegal feat. They are drawn to the site because of the physical challenge and the incredible views of the Moanalua Valley once they reach the top.

In September 2021, the Honolulu City Council voted to excavate the stairs. The city chose a contractor in July to do the job, but it is still pending.

“We recognize the interest the stairs have to certain community groups, however issues such as trespassing, personal injuries, invasive species and overall safety of the public cannot be ignored,” Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi told KHON2. “Fundamentally, it is inappropriate to have a high-use tourist attraction entering through this residential neighborhood, which lacks in the capacity to provide appropriate facilities or parking.”

Hiking with dogs always comes with hazards. Make sure you have everything you need before setting off on a hike, and always follow hiking trail etiquette.


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