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Lanikai Pillbox Hike


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that is where true passion lies."

Updated: December 30, 2016

Location: Located next to the Mid Pacific Country Club, this pillbox hike overlooks the beautiful Lanikai Beach and Mokulua Islands.

Type: Ridge hike

Hike Difficulty: Beginner

Total Time: 1 to 2 hours

Distance: ~1 mile

Elevation: ~800 feet

Things to Consider

  • Kid friendly: yes
  • Pet Friendly: yes
  • Also known as the Kaiwa Ridge Trail.
  • Please be courteous to the neighbors. They still allow access to the beach and hike, however no parking is allowed anymore.
  • This hike leads to a couple of bunkers, with the second bunker being the most popular spot to stop at.
  • This hike is perfect for a novice hiker, who wants to experience hiking in Hawaii.
  • This hike is great for a sunrise! The sun rises right over the ocean by the Mokulua Islands!
  • There is a steep incline in the beginning so be careful on your way up. There are ropes to guide you.
  • This hike can be confusing going back down or up in the dark if you are going for a sunrise or sunset. Follow the main trail and don't go off on any of the side trails.

Your hiking backpack

  • Sunscreen
  • 1 Liter of water
  • Snacks
  • GoPro/Camera


Take H3 or Pali Highway towards Kailua. Turn onto Kalaheo Ave heading towards Kailua Beach Park. This is where you need to park because there is no parking available next to the hike anymore. Walk all the way towards Kaelepulu Dr and head up towards the Mid Pacific Country Club. The start of the hike is across the street from there. There is a sign locating the hike as well.

Our Journey

I've done this hike many times and it was one of my first hikes I've ever done.    My first hike was actually Koko Head, but if you want to start off with a hike that you will love then this is the hike for you. The most memorable time I did this hike was definitely during a sunrise. This is probably one of the best sunrise hikes on the island and is just so beautiful. I have to go back to do another sunrise soon. The parking situation is very limited because the residents disliked how people would put trash everywhere and park on their grass, but mainly for the congestion. The parking along the roadways are banned now from 8am to 11pm, which is pretty much during the times when you want to do the hike or go to the beach. The only close parking I found was at Kailua Beach Park. However, even this parking spot is limited as beach-goers are also fighting for parking. Despite the parking, this hike is still a great hike for first timers, kids, and pets as well. The hardest part is at the beginning going up the steep hill. It can be very slippery after a heavy rain, so ropes were installed to help ease the way up and down. Once you get up the hill, you are awarded with a beautiful view of Lanikai! Then take a right and head up the trail. It is a short 10 to 15 minutes to get to the bunkers. I think it's easier going up than going down. I say this because I have taken the wrong trail down many times. The trail can be very misleading and take you into a side ridge down into bushes. If you are not sure, just follow the other people down and hopefully they aren't lost like you are. There are no ribbons or trail markers on this hike, but sometimes I feel like there should be for the way down, especially in the dark. I have only been to the second bunker, which is the best spot for a picture I think. I know that you can continue further along the ridge and it will loop back around and down into the residential houses. Then you would have to walk back to your car. This route would take about half an hour longer. Most people just stop at the second bunker because you get that 360 panoramic view of Lanikai. After the hike, we headed down to the beach for a quick dip in the water. Definitely feels good after a hike!
























Nice sign! Lol this is the start of the hike!
























Notice the loose dirt. Be careful on your way up this hill.






















Once your up, you get an amazing view of Lanikai!





























The graffiti art is constantly changing so it's always good to go up here every once in a while to see what's new.


















This was a lone tree inside the brush.

The branches were brittle and everything we held on to broke off





You can also continue on the Kaiwa Ridge Trail to journey further into Kailua. The trail will be another 30 minutes or so and will lead you back down into the residential area.


































This picture doesn't do any justice to how beautiful the sunrise is at Lanikai.



































Rising just over the Mokulua Islands.


































Sunrise hike at Lanikai is a must! Then eat at Boot's and Kimos or Cinnamons for breakfast after!

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Lanikai Pillbox Hike
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