Okay, I can understand the meaning to why they call it stairway to heaven. Just stairs that just goes on and on up. Yet, at the same time, its not so heavenly to your legs. haha! My legs feel like they have been through hell. Anyway's today, a couple of the Marines in the shop went to go run our Stairway to Heaven during lunch. The group was mainly made up of new join Marines who just checked into the unit and my Gunny and Staff Sergeant thought it was a good idea to take them on this run and explain to them that there is more to staying in your rooms or drinking beer. So we took them on a run to have their first experience of Okinawa.
It was a grueling mile and half up this mountain. Which had different sets of steps. One set of steps would be close tight to each step. Another would be spread apart, to where you landing on the edge. Some where steep and some were gradual.
The trail started down a hill by the parking area, it was a pretty good decline but not too bad. I just hate down hills, it tends to hurt more for some reason. Anyways, as everyone knows. What goes down, must come up. Yup, there was a up hill, once we got to a certain section. We had to take a left onto a trail through the woods.
It's a pretty nice trail, not too muddy, not too much water but there was a lot of roots sticking out. So if you weren't careful, you'd probably end up face first in the dirt, mud or rock. Which would not be good. As you maneuver through the forrest, you would reach an open area. It seems to be like a park of some sort. Then you would go to the right, where the stairs begin, keep in mind there were stairs before that but once you reach this point. There are stairs. haha.
After the multiple steps and your legs burning from them. You will get to the top and you will get to see the Western part of Okinawa. Its a beautiful sight but today it was a bit cloudy, so we couldn't see too far out.
Just be aware that there may be some creatures you may encounter. Like our buddy the Banana Spiders. haha! But before you start the run, if you don't see any cars parked there. You're pretty much the first people that are running this route that day. Meaning you'll probably catch some spider webs here and there. haha! I have not yet stumbled upon a Habu Snake. I don't want to ever but there is always a possibility because of how much vegetation there is and that this route isn't a high traffic place. So just be aware, when you go and don't go alone.
After this run, I was drenched in sweat. I mean it wasn't the coolest day but there was humidity. You won't catch a breeze until you get to the openings. So yeah, just make sure to plan ahead and drink plenty of water. Other than that, this is a beautiful place. Very calm and its worth it.
Directions: Starting on Camp Hansen. You would exit out the last gate of Camp Hansen and make a left, drive down to the first stop light and make that left. Keep following the road until you see a blue tarp over a fence on the right side and make that right. Follow that road until you get to a Y. The parking is not he right side.
(Click on the photo to get a bigger look at it.)
Route 329 (on the bottom of the photo) You'll take a left (which is the light) Keep follow that road (which is shown in yellow) Then make a right.
This is were the blue tarp on the fence on the right side of the road is located. Then make that right on the Y. (just follow the start point and follow that road to the yellow line on the photo. That green dot is where you will park.
Confused? Well then let me show you were to go. Lets plan on a run.