In the early nineteenth century there were three routes from Honolulu to Windward Oʻahu: around the island by canoe; through Kalihi Valley and over the pali by ropes and ladders; and over Nuʻuanu Pali, the easiest, quickest and most direct route. The first foreigner to descend the Pali and record his trip was Hiram Bingham in 1821.
In 1845 the first road was built over the Nuʻuanu Pali to connect Windward Oʻahu with Honolulu. In 1897, Johnny Wilson and Louis Whitehouse constructed a ‘carriage road’ over the Pali. When the current Pali Highway and its tunnels opened (1959,) the original roadway up and over the Pali was closed and is now used by hikers.