- A Hawaiian TikToker shared a viral video of tourists appearing to climb the Haiku Stairs in Oahu.
- The trail, also known as the “Stairway to Heaven,” has been closed to the public since 1987.
- Camille Leihulu criticized the video and said “outsiders get to blatantly ignore laws.”
Hawaiian TikToker Camille Leihulu went viral when she criticized a travel TikToker whose video appears to show her climbing a forbidden hiking trail in Oahu.
Leihulu posted her reaction alongside the original video (known as duetting on TikTok) of a travel vlogger called Sofia Mcmillan who has 40,000 followers. The original video showed Mcmillan and her friends at the top of a hiking trail which she speculated was the Haiku Stairs, which has been closed to the public since 1987.
The video was captioned “full circle rainbow on stairway to heaven,” which the trail is also known as.
Mcmillan did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
In her response TikTok, which received 1.5 million views, Leihulu said she had never been on the stairs.
“I’ve never been up these stairs to see this view and I never will because I have respect for Hawaii and my homelands,” she wrote in the caption. “Why do outsiders get to blatantly ignore laws and rules and do as they please without facing any repercussions or acknowledging the consequences that Hawaiians have to deal with as a result of their actions?”
The 3,922 steps were constructed along Oahu’s Ko’olau mountain range in the 1940s to reach the US Navy’s top-secret Haiku Radio Station at the summit, which was used to transmit radio signals to submarines. The stairs have been open to hikers in the past, but were closed in 1987 due to safety concerns. Anyone using them is considered to be trespassing on government property and could face a fine of up to $US1 ($AU1),000 ($AU1,400), according to TV news outlet Hawaii News Now.
Leihulu added that “Hawaiians and Hawaii residents pay thousands in taxes to rescue people who get stuck up there.”
In April, the Star Advertiser — Hawaii’s largest daily newspaper — reported that a 24-year-old man had to be airlifted out from near the summit after injuring his knee.
In September, the mayor of Honolulu Rick Blangiardi ordered the stairs be removed following a City Council meeting.
“Due to rampant illegal trespassing, Haiku Stairs is a significant liability and expense for the city, and impacts the quality of life for nearby residents,” council member Esther Kiaʻāina told Hawaii News Now.
Another council member, Brandon Elefante, told the outlet the city had spent “$US1 ($AU1) million in taxpayer dollars to remodel the stairs” as well as “hundreds of thousands of dollars in security costs.”
Insider has reached out to Blangiardi’s office for comment.