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Lanikai Pillbox

This short, popular hike leads to two historic pillboxes, which offer spectacular views of the beach and the ocean beyond.

Hiking Moderate

2.6 km
176 m
176 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
22 m
High Point
183 m
Lanikai Pillbox Map

The Lanikai Pillbox hike, also known as the Kaiwa Ridge Trail, is a short but steep hike that offers amazing views of Lanikai Beach, the Mokulua Islands, and the Kailua Bay. The trail follows a ridge that has two old military bunkers (pillboxes) that were used during World War II. The pillboxes are now covered with graffiti and serve as lookout points for hikers.


The trail starts from a dirt corner on Kaelepulu Drive, near the Mid-Pacific Country Club. There is no dedicated parking lot for the hike, so you will have to find street parking in Lanikai or Kailua and walk to the trailhead. Be aware of parking signs and rules, as they are strictly enforced.

The trail begins with a series of switchbacks that ascend quickly up the ridge. The trail is well-marked and maintained, but it can be slippery and rocky in some parts. There is no shade on the trail, so bring plenty of water and sunscreen. The trail can also be windy and cloudy, so dress in layers and be prepared for changing conditions.

The first pillbox is reached after about 0.4 miles and 20 minutes of hiking. It offers stunning views of Lanikai Beach and the Mokulua Islands. You can climb on top of the pillbox or go inside it to explore. The second pillbox is about 0.1 miles and 10 minutes farther along the trail. It has similar views but also overlooks the Enchanted Lake and the Ko'olau Mountains. You can continue on the trail for another 0.4 miles to reach the end of the ridge, or you can turn back from either pillbox.

The Lanikai Pillbox hike is a rewarding and enjoyable hike that showcases the natural beauty and history of Oahu's windward side. It is suitable for hikers of all levels, but it requires some caution and fitness. It is a popular hike, especially during sunrise and sunset, so expect some crowds and noise. Whether you are looking for a quick workout or a scenic adventure, you will find it on the Lanikai Pillbox hike.

Source: Lanikai Pillbox Hike | Kaiwa Ridge Trail | Updated 2023. https://lanikaipillboxhike.com/. Lanikai Pillbox Trail | A visitor's guide from residents of Lanikai. http://www.lanikaipillbox.com/. Lanikai Pillbox Hike Information & More | Oahu Hawaii. https://www.hawaii-guide.com/oahu/hiking-trails/lanikai-pillbox-hike. Conversation with Bing Chat



Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

all year round


  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Family friendly

Guidebooks in this area