Spanish Steps on Naval Base Guam is one of the best hikes and snorkeling areas on Guam that we have been to so far! This short but adventurous hike with ropes, ladders, & stairs leads to an amazing hidden oasis. This is a must do while in Guam!
The hike is rated moderate due to the inclines, climbing, rope use, and ladders. It is however a short hike it took us about 13 minutes to get down and that was with me stopping to take photos it was closer to 11 minutes to get back up. Gloves are a good idea to help as you use the ropes and grab onto some of the rocks while climbing.
Once on US Naval Base Guam take Route 1 until the the end and make the onto San Luis Rd, then a right onto Orote point road. After you pass vacant guard shack there will be a gravel road on the right in a grassy area, turn here and this will lead to the parking area.
Large parking area in a grass area, park in front the signs. Make sure to read the signs to be informed of the rip currents if you plan on swimming or snorkeling as the current can be strong through there.
There is cell phone reception all the way down the hike and down the bottom as well. I even had it while we’re out snorkeling because I heard messages coming through my waterproof bag. As we got further out to the left I did lose signal for a little bit but not long. So this is great if you’re going as a date day while the kids are in school you know the people are still able to get a hold of you if needed.
The hike down will require some stairs, using a rope, climbing a ladder, and trying not to slide on the slippery gravel on the declines. However after the adventure down you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking view. While we were there a group came down and watching them walk out into the clearing was fun as they were gasping and exclaiming at the sight in front of them!
While the ropes were super handy the gloves in our backpack were much appreciated to use them.
Note the slippery gravel at the bottom of the ladder, I know someone who successfully managed the whole climb down and then took a bad spill at this spot.
Hopefully these pics of the hike will give you an idea of if this is a good hike for your family.
Once you get to the bottom there’s a large rocky area where you can set your stuff and change into snorkeling gear. This area does have some strong rip currents so be aware of the area and where the currents are. Make sure you check out the large signs before heading down they show the current. The day we were snorkeling there was some small current flowing through but it was nothing scary or anything to worry about. As long as you stay in that protected cove area it’s pretty mild. And if you have fins with your snorkel gear makes swimming a lot easier.
Note there is a path to the right that will take you to a sandy beach area but it’s been closed awhile for turtle nesting according to the sign.
I recommend bringing a waterproof camera or a waterproof bag for your cell phone so you’re able to take them to take pictures, there some great picture opportunities. If you’re looking at the swimming area from the shore there’s a small island directly in front of you, if you go to the right and around it to the left there are so many fish it’s like swimming in an aquarium. Behind that if you keep going down to the left along that wall ridge there were a lot of blue starfish. The area is fairly shallow with some deeper areas but nothing really extreme. Do take care while you’re swimming over the rocks and coral if you’re in a shallow area watch your knees and arms because if you drag them you will get some cuts. Try to swim around the shallow part with the coral and rock to avoid bumping into them.
It is some of the best snorkeling we’ve had so far here in Guam. Tons of fish great beautiful area, not very many people. It’s a great little secret oasis.
Many types of fish!
The hike back up was fairly easy it did require a bit more muscle power and will get your heart pumping a little bit but it was nothing terrible as long as you have good mobility. I do have friends who have done this with their littles who are four and two they wore the youngest and the older one walked. While it may not be ideal for all with littles those who are a little bit more adventurous should be fine. There are some steep areas and where there is gravel it is a little bit slippery so watch your footing if you are hiking with littles.
There’s also a cave down at the bottom. We took a quick peek in but did not walk through to the other side as we didn’t have a headlamp with us at the time and we were headed back up to the top.
I do realize that visiting the Spanish steps can be a bit challenging because it is closed what seems like often & randomly. The best policy is to monitor the US Naval Guam Facebook page, and in the NOTES section on the left hand side you’ll find current updated information for the month about whether the beaches are open or close and this includes Spanish Steps. You can’t see the Notes from a mobile phone without the direct link though, so that’s annoying. Also note they can however close quickly or last minutes notice due to mission requirements so always have a backup plan in mind.
Overall I’d say Spanish steps is a must visit for those here in Guam and for those visiting Guam! I can’t wait for some of our family to come visit so that we can take them!
Know Before You Go
What: Spanish Steps – US Naval Base Guam
Hike Info: Rated – Medium, Length – 1 mile, Elevation change- 160 feet both up and down.
How To Get There: It’s on US Naval Base Guam at Orote Point. This is a google map to the parking area HERE it’s from Andersen but you can change the from on the left hand side.
Bring: Water! Clothing: Swimsuit, swim shoes, & snorkel gear. Fins are great here as the currents can be temperamental & strong. Also sunscreen, & snacks. Visor/hat/sunglasses are optional. Also waterproof bags for cellphones, at a bare minimum as zip lock bag so it doesn’t drown if you get caught in a downpour!
Parking: Large parking area in grassy field before the signs at the start of the hike area.
Traveling with little kids: While this is a bit of a challenging hike it can be done with littles for the adventurous. Take care to mind your step on the lose gravel going up and down.
How long: Plan on at least 1-2 hour to hike down and swim/snorkel & hike back up. Possibly more if you want to check out the cave & well.