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Hikes on Guam: The Spanish Steps Trail

Basic Information

  • What: The Spanish Steps
  • Where: Naval Base Guam
  • Distance: 1 mile roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 150 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • More Information: The Best Tracks on Guam

Map of the Spanish Steps Trail

Spanish Steps Trail

Narrative

Naval Base Guam has a lot of nice attractions from its base amenities, its various historical sites and the beautiful Gab Gab Beach.  Something else Naval Base Guam has is one of the more interesting short hikes on the island.  Near the very end of the Orote Peninsula, that the base is located on, is a short trail known as the Spanish Steps:

This trail is believed to have been built by the Spanish during their colonization of Guam as a means to bring up fresh water from a well located below the cliff line.  Getting to the trail is very easy if granted access on to Naval Base Guam.  Once on the base it is just a matter of driving passed Gab Gab Beach and taking a left after driving through the unmanned checkpoint.  Drive to the end of the paved road and look for this pull out with orange pylons:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

Since I was driving a small compact rental car I did not want to drive any further down the road so I just walked up the dirt road to the trailhead:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

At the trailhead there was one four wheel drive vehicle parked there, but there is no reason unless it is muddy that a two wheel drive vehicle cannot make the short drive to the trailhead:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

At the trailhead there was a a number of signs with a wealth of information about the hike.  The biggest sign at the trailhead shows overhead imagery of the route and warns hikers that they are entering an ecologically sensitive area:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

The other signs at the trailhead explain the history of the site:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

After spending a few minutes reading the signs I then headed over to the trailhead to begin the hike down the Spanish Steps. The start of the hike does not feature any steps, but instead ropes and ladders:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

I found the ropes to be in good shape and helpful with descending down the slick rock.  The first ladder was also very sturdy and easy to descend:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

I next descended down a section that did in fact have steps:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

I am not sure if these are the original Spanish Steps or just steps put in later by the Navy.  If these are the original Spanish Steps it is pretty amazing they are still being used after all these years.  I then came to another section that required the use of ropes and a sturdy ladder to descend:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

Here is a closer look at the final ropes and ladder:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

Once I reached the bottom of the cliff I reached a fork in the trail where going left leads to one of the most beautiful lagoons on Guam and a right leads to a beach with views of Apra Harbor.  I could not check out the beach because it was closed for sea turtle nesting:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

I really wasn’t disappointed because I have seen plenty of views of Apra Harbor from the nearby Gab Gab Beach.  Near the fork in the trail is also where the Spanish Well is located at:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

Compared to the Spanish Well I saw over at Ritidian Point that was in very bad shape, this one was in remarkably good shape:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

After the Spanish Well it was just a simple walk through the jungle towards the lagoon:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

There was some social trails along the way, but the main trail was easy to follow due to the orange flags:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

Along the way I noticed this cave along the cliff line:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

Here is a view inside the small cave:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

After checking out the cave I then exited the jungle and was rewarded with this view of the lagoon located below the cliffs at the end of the Orote Peninsula:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

The lagoon is formed due to a small island that protects it from the larger waves of the Philippine Sea:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

As I stood there taking in the views I wish I would have brought my snorkel gear, but I just did not have time on this day to go snorkeling due to other commitments:

Picture from the Spanish Steps

Conclusion

Though I did not have the chance to go snorkeling I still found the hike down the Spanish Steps to be one of the best short hikes on Guam.  The hike can be completed roundtrip in under an hour, has some interesting rope climbing, a lot of Spanish history and most importantly beautiful views.  Next time I come down here I will make sure I bring my snorkeling gear as well.

CLICK HERE TO FIND MORE HIKES AT THE GUAM REGIONAL TRAIL FINDER

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3 Comments
  1. Dobbs

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