Lanikai Pillbox hike is quite popular at sun rise especially with early-risers of all ages watching the sun light up the sky. This hike is the perfect way to start your day on a positive note while surrounded by some of Oahu’s finest scenery.
Great for Kids
1 Mile Round Trip
30 Minutes From Waikiki
Lanikai Pillbox Hike:
Soft white sand is met by crystal clear water and lined by palm trees on Lanikai Beach. Arguably the prettiest beach on Oahu, which looks out over two small islets known as Na Mokulua. What makes this beach even more special is that the sun rises directly over Na Mokulua, making for an amazing morning visual. Where is the best spot to catch the spectacle? From up high, resting on an abandoned military lookout at the summit of the Lanikai Pillbox Hike (Kaiwa Ridge).
The short trek takes approximately half an hour and reaches 600 feet above sea-level. Several pillboxes sit atop the ridge trail, which make a perfect perch to enjoy the sun rise. As the sun creeps over the horizon it lights up the ocean and beachside suburb of Lanikai with an array of intense colors.
The trail leads you up a sheer, rocky surface. It’s best to wear enclosed shoes for this hike as the terrain can be a little slippery. The path is moderately easy and most age groups are capable of completing this hike although the incline can be quite challenging. Several sections of the trail are quite narrow but the trail is quite safe. However, if you are hiking before the sun rises be sure to bring along a torch so you can illuminate the path before you as it may still be quite dark.
After the hike you can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the stunning Lanikai Beach or continue the adventure by Kayaking out to Na Mokulua to explore the remote islets.
From the summit you will be able to look over Lanikai Beach, Kailua Beach, Waimanalo Beach and a great view of the Ko’olau Mountain Range.
Where To Park:
The Lanikai Pillbox Trail is only a 30 minute scenic drive from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki.
The trail is relatively easy to find and is directly across from the Mid-Pacific Country Club parking lot. Unlike many hikes on the island, there is a Trail sign and there is often parking available in the surrounding suburb.
Best Times To Go:
The best time to do this hike is for sunrise or before 9am. Later in the afternoon the hike tends to get more crowded.