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: 

Amazing

I hiked this place alone, and as I climbed up, I took off my shirt and only went up in a sports bra, as humidity increases with the elevation. Then again, I did go in a hot August. The views are gorgeous, and you get a 360 view of the mountains and town. There were a lot of gnats when I was there, so I didn't get to stay too long, as I was overwhelmed by bugs no matter where I moved. But I would go back again on another visit. I have no input on where to park, as I took an Uber there. There are a ton of private roads there and a park across the street, so I'm not sure where one would park.

Great Hike Near Kailua

This is a great hike if you have time and are in the Kailua area. There are two trailheads you can park at. The directions for the trailhead on The Outbound put you in a little less crowded neighborhood with more parking, but the hike to the pillboxes is longer. This hike is moderate (it can be a little tough if you're bringing the whole family and/or don't have great shoes for the trail). You'll be walking on roots, rocks, and tackling a decent incline on the way up. Once you make it to the ridgeline, the hike becomes much easier. If you want a shorter hike to the pillboxes, the trailhead is at 21.38847,-157.7222644.

One Of My Favorite Hikes

Great views, best for sunrise, not too crowded during the day on weekdays. Not a difficult hike but comes with amazing views of the water and Kailua


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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