A few weeks ago, Dane and I ventured out early on a Sunday morning to check out the famed Lanikai Pillbox Hike. It had been YEARS since we did it and the views are second to none, so I had been wanting to go back and check it out. Life happens, so I think it had honestly been 4 years since our last venture up there, but man – it did not disappoint.
The hike is an easy one, located on the eastern side of Oahu, with parking in an open neighborhood near Lanikai Beach. The trail is well marked and people of all ages can be seen going up and down. It’s one of the shortest hikes (about 1.6 miles round trip), but offers some of the best views, which is a pretty freaking awesome combination. The only downside is it’s a pretty gnarly incline initially with crumbly dirt and rock. If you can look past that (and not be afraid to fall on your ass if you aren’t careful) – it’s a total MUST.
Your phone’s GPS will recognize Lanikai Pillboxes and bring you right to the trailhead. You will be parking in a residential neighborhood, so be mindful of that and respect the homeowners who live there by not blocking driveways, creating a mess or otherwise interrupting their lives!
The “pillboxes” are two old military bunkers erected during World War II that have remained (and have been painted). You are able to hop inside, explore, or sit and relax for a moment before continuing on.
It got hot really quickly so in addition to wearing good sneakers, bring lots of water and wear a hat and/or sunglasses. Don’t forget your sunscreen either!
It only took us an hour to accomplish this hike up and back, including about 20 minutes of chill time at the top where we snapped photos and Face-Timed our parents to show them the view 😉
No shirts, no problem 😉
If you’re visiting Oahu, I recommend hitting this hike first thing in the morning (would be AWESOME for sunrise) and following it up with brunch at Over Easy. Order a lilikoi mimosa + cheers to a beautiful day in Hawaii!