This by far was one of the best hikes I've done. It envoked both the feelings of pleasure and pain. Here are some of my tips for making it to the top and not feel like death. LOL
Trail stats: 10.7 miles in/out, 5,109 feet in elevation gain. Rating: Hard
1. Start before the sun comes up. We met up with our guide at 6am.
2. Have a backpack and make sure you have 1-3 liters of water. Pack sun screen. The trail is partially shaded, but for the unshaded parts, the sun really beats down on you.
3. If you can, grab micro spikes for your shoes. LIFE SAVER! and they saved us some time as well. We met up with a guide who took us in part-way and provided us with micro spikes, head lamps and gloves. Hit him up on Instragram @mike.karas. He is a local and is experienced with the trail. It cost us $75/person to hire him, but worth it (the micro spikes alone are $80 a pair if you were to purchase it).
4. The stairway going up to the hike is actually ILLEGAL. We did see some people come up from that way, but I wouldn't recommend it. I read that fines can be up to $1000 AND you have to fly back to the island for your court date. Do the trail instead, the views and terrain are breathtaking and the stairs, for me, seems like it would be pretty boring and not worth getting caught.
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Enjoy the video!