Lanikai Pillbox Trail


The Place:

The Lanikai Pillbox Trail also traditionally known as The Ka’iwa Ridge Trail has some of the most profound views you will find on the island of Oahu. These are world war 1&2 era cement structures designed to watch for enemies approaching for battle.

The Hike:

2.1 miles of primarily uphill hiking. A 1-2 hour intermediate hike will bring you up to a breezy post war era set pillboxes that were originally built as a defense system to alert ground forces of any approaching planes or ships. Upon arrival you will be amazed at the breathtaking views that await you. A short hike along the trail will bring you to the 2nd Pillbox sharing the same beauty as the one before it.

The Area:

You should know upon arrival that this is a residential neighborhood. Local Kailuans are great people and very welcoming however it can be overwhelming with over 1,000 people per day driving in, parking and moving through the area. Please be courteous and respectful as you are in some of our backyards. If you are coming very early or late, be mindful of your noise levels. Thank you in advance!

The Risks:

Every hike in Hawaii has risks. Even if a hike seems or reads as “easy” on the internet, you must be prepared for any and all possibilities. Over the last 10 years on just this hike alone there have been several deaths, broken bones and pet deaths. Here are a few tips to remember anytime you are hiking.

  1. Always go with a friend and let your friends know where you are
  2. Bring water as it can be hot and dehydration can happen quickly
  3. Pace yourself. This is not a race. Take your time and enjoy the journey
  4. The hike has some very steep parts with loose soil. Wear appropriate shoes to avoid getting injured
  5. If you bring a pet, bring water and watch them often. We have witnessed several pets die from either exhaustion or dehydration on this hike. Its heartbreaking.
  6. Stay away from the edge especially if you are taking a selfie.
  7. Be respectful and courteous going up and coming down.
  8. Take ALL your trash with you. What you pack in, you pack out. There are no trashcans and this isnt the place to leave your rubbish.

Hawaii Hiking Guidelines

  • As always exercise caution when Hiking anywhere in Hawaii and be sure to be prepared.  
  • The sun sets around 6:30, please do Kailua Residents a favor and start all hikes by 2pm!The helicopters fly very low over neighborhoods all through the night when they look for you. Be considerate and use common sense…..
  • Watch for flash floods and stream beds when it rains. Hawaii clay “red dirt” is much more slippery than mainland dirt, be careful. 
  • Be considerate of hikes in residential areas, stay off private property, bring a cell phone and keep it dry, bring water and a towel to wipe yourself off after being muddy, stay on the trail, park in designated areas, don’t bother the residents when you failed to plan, use the restroom before you go, pick up your doggie’s “presents” if you bring a dog, be considerate and respectful
  • Please do not leave your trash anywhere on the trails!. Keep Hawaii beautiful!
  • Remember not to drink or swim in streams or waterfalls of you have open cuts due to leptospirosis. 

All common sense yeah? Enjoy it and have a great time!