Hafa adai! This weekend’s hike leads us down 1,000 steps to reach Guam’s eastern coastline, which is dotted with several island hikes showcasing the surrounding Pacific Ocean. Another great family and beginner’s hike, this one is definitely for the inner explorer.
After descending down some steep stairs for a short while, the reward is open and free coastline with lots to see, including the highlands of southern Guam and the continuing rocky coasts lining northeastern Guam.
Because this hike takes you along the eastern side of the island, I recommend doing it at sunrise. You’ll get a heavenly view of the rising sun, and there have even been reports of dolphins swimming in the distance in the early morning here.
This medium-rated hike is also known as “Taguan” or “Fadi’an” Point, and starts at the end of a residential road in Mangilao. Located along the back road bridging Mangilao and Yigo, there is a pretty noticeable National Park sign that reads “Fadi’an Point/1,000 Steps.” Turn in here.
Reaching the end of this road, you might notice that it’s come to a fork. This is where you have options for parking. While the road to the left leads to private property, the road to the right will lead to parking lot, which, ideally, is where you'd leave your ride. However, because the road to the parking lot is made of dirt and has a few jagged rocks and dips in it, you might consider parking along the side of the road to the right of the fork if you’re driving a compact car.
You’ll start the hike on an open path. From here on out, there aren’t many directions needed, as the hike is self-explanatory.
Following the fence along the start of the path, you’ll soon reach the top of the 1,000 steps you’ll be traveling down and eventually have to retrace to get back up. In reality, there are only about 256.
Why the 1,000 Steps name? No idea, but just be glad that you’ll only be descending and ascending a fraction of that.
The "steps" part of the name, though, is plainly true, which you'll appreciate as you traverse the well-constructed and stable staircase (kudos to the National Park Service) that makes up most of the pathway down.
The descent to the coast, however, isn't all stairs. There are also sections of the trail that cross thick jungle and lead over concrete slabs – cement poured over the ground, possibly an improvised sidewalk.
Unfortunately, the concrete has worn smooth and slick, making it slippery and dangerous to walk on, especially in wet conditions. The slabs are unavoidable, so be very cautious walking over them.
After a relatively short descent – with views of the coastline below for most of the way – the staircase ends at a large pine tree, beyond which lies the coast.
The coast is composed of weathered, plant-covered rock. It, too, can be difficult to walk on, so be aware of your footing while exploring the area.
Traverse the coral rocks toward the water to get a better view of the landscape – the vast open ocean before you, and the incredibly vegetated cliffline behind you.
Finally, retrace your footsteps to the large pine tree at the end of the staircase to begin your ascent. Happy hiking!