Hike the Lanikai Pillboxes

Pillboxes Trail - Search Nearby - Added by Brooke Willson

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.

Distance

2 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

800 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Romantic
Scenic

Nearby Lodging

From $67/night

Outsite Haleiwa

Haleiwa, Hawaii

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

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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.

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.

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