Hike the Lanikai Pillboxes

Pillboxes Trail

Hiking to the Lanikai Pillboxes is an easy, leisurely walk that offers amazing views of Mokulua Islands and Lanikai beach. This is a dog and family friendly hike.

The Lanikai Pillbox Trail, also known as the Kaiwa Ridge Trail, is a family-friendly hike. The beginning of the trail is steep with loose gravel, but gets more manageable as you climb the trail. The hike is ~1.25 miles one-way and is an out-and-back trail with a 500ft elevation gain. If you’re an early-riser, this is a great hike to do just before the sun rises. The pillboxes offer panoramic views as well as of the Mokulua Islands. This trail allows dogs on a leash if you’re hiking with your four-legged friend(s). After the hike, you can hang out at Lanikai Beach and rent paddleboards, kayaks, or just go for a swim. If you’re like us and are famished after hiking and have some time, head to Cinnamon’s Restaurant for a bite.

Pack List

  • Walking shoes
  • Swimsuit
  • Beach gear
  • Sun block
  • Water
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RT Distance 2 Miles
Elevation Gain 800 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Romantic
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Memory lane

Thanks for posting this hike. This was my “backyard” as a 10 yr old in the late 50s. Hiked here frequently with playmates or alone. We sometimes encountered Marines from the nearby base who would share their canned rations with us when taking a lunch break at the pillboxes. Love of outdoors spawned here on these humble hills.

Great spot for sunrise

Great hike with an amazing view for sunrise. Bring a flashlight and wear sturdy shoes, as the elevation is steep and the path can get muddy.

Great hike for sunrise near Kailua

This is an awesome sunrise hike in the Kailua area. If you search Google Maps for "Pillbox Hike," it takes you to the trailhead on The Outbound. There is no parking lot at the trailhead, so you have to park in one of the surrounding neighborhoods. Once you've parked, the trailhead is pretty well marked and is past the entrance to the Mid Pacific Country Club. The hike to the first pillbox is moderate as you gain elevation and need to make your way up an incline filled with rocks and tree roots. Once you make it to the first pillbox, the hike is much easier and very much like a leisurely stroll to the second pillbox and beyond. If you want to do this hike for sunrise, be sure to leave a little early so you can get a seat on one of the pillboxes. Otherwise, you will need to watch the sunrise from somewhere on the trail. Either way, the sunrise is amazing and you should have a great view of the Mokulua Islands and beyond. I did not do it, but the chatter on the trail seemed to indicate that you could make this hike a loop by continuing on the trail and walking along the road it drop you on to back to the trailhead.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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