Lanikai Pillboxes Hike Hawaii

The Lanikai Pillboxes Hike

Lanikai Pillboxes is probably one of my most favorite hikes on Oahu, and I recommend it as one of the top things for visitors to do in Hawaii. It has amazing views of the east side of the island, it’s the perfect spot for sunrise/sunset, and best of all it’s frequented by dogs. I know, that last one sold you.

Lanikai Pillboxes Hike Hawaii

There’s no official parking lot for this hike, so you’ll have to find street parking if you drove. Not a whole lot of availability because it’s a residential area, so we often do this hike early in the morning. (Plus it’s amazing for sunrise!)

Lanikai Pillboxes Hike Hawaii

You walk up the street and see this area to your left – this is the entrance. Walk up the dirt path and start your trek.

Lanikai Pillboxes Hike Hawaii

The actual hike up is fairly simple, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t hike too often. (Oh, that love-hate hiking relationship.) Some areas are very steep, but all in all this is one of the easier hikes I’ve done. I would say it takes about 20 minutes or so to make it to the first pillbox shown below.

More Hiking in Hawaii:

Kokohead Crater Trail Hike

Diamond Head Hike

Manoa Falls

Lanikai Pillboxes Hike Hawaii
See the graffiti-covered pillbox? – It used to be a military bunker!

You can continue on to the 2nd pillbox, which is usually less crowded, and only takes about another 10 minutes. You can also continue walking further down the ridge if you’re feeling adventurous! (I’ve never done it, but I heard it doesn’t take too long – maybe another 3o minutes.)

Lanikai Pillboxes Hike Hawaii

Lanikai Pillboxes Hike Hawaii

The hike is dog friendly, and you get extraordinary views of the Mokulua islands in one direction, and the beautiful Ko’olau mountains in the back.

Lanikai Pillboxes Hike Hawaii

Lanikai Pillboxes Hike Hawaii

Coming down is quick and relatively painless, but watch out for the loose gravely bits – they always get me!

Lanikai Pillboxes Hike Hawaii


  • While this hike isn’t what I would call dangerous, I would still advise caution as certain areas are steep, and certain areas of the walkway are narrow with drop offs on the sides.

Every friend that we’ve taken to Lanikai Pillboxes has loved it, and of course it’s a favorite with the locals. Hiking up for sunrise and spending the day at Lanikai beach afterwards is the definition of a great day! Make sure to put it on your Hawaii Bucket List 🙂

Lanikai Pillboxes
265 Kaelepulu Drive
Kailua, HI 96734


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