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Kaiwa Ridge (Lanikai Pillbox) Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1819)
Kailua Beach Park

Kaiwa Ridge (Lanikai Pillbox) Trail is a 1.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 1.8 mi Elevation gain 649 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Hiking Nature trips Walking Running Views Wild flowers Wildlife Muddy Rocky Scramble No shade
Description
Waypoints (4)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

Great short rocky steep hike along the Ka'iwa Ridge offers great views of Lanikai and Kailua. Near Waimanalo Beach - wonderful white sand and calm water, Lanikai and Kailua Beaches The Kaiwa Ridge Hike is great to go either sunrise or late afternoon short 0.6 mile each way but gains 500 ft so is steep in places with great views along the way - It takes about 30 minutes or less to hike from the trailhead to the top (second) pillbox (elev. 565-ft). Its another 10 minutes to reach the ridge's highest point (elev. 603-ft) marked by a geodetic marker (the small concrete platform with broken surveyor's pole). The "official" trailhead, unmarked, is about 40 feet uphill on a paved, private driveway along Kaelepulu Drive. The driveway is opposite of the Mid Pacific Country Club & Golf Course just before you reach an exclusive, gated community. The first part of the trail is very steep, slippery, and can be confusing. This trail is undeveloped. The trail is rocky, windy and rewards you with a great view on top of the pillboxes. No guardrails so can be dangerous for young children. Also the trail is very poplular and can be crowded.

No official parking; however, you can find a spot along the road; take notice of no parking areas.

While there is no official contact info try these: Fred Bannan (Oahu) Trail and Access Technician Division of Forestry and Wildlife Department of Land & Natural Resources 2135 Makiki Heights Drive Honolulu , HI. 96822 tele: (808) 783-1983 Nelson Ayers Division of Forestry and Wildlife Na Ala Hele Trail and Access Program Department of Land and Natural Resources 1151 Punchbowl Street Room 325, Kalanimoku Building Honolulu, Hawaii 96813 tele: 808 587-4175 Dept of Parks and Recreation 1000 Uluohia Street, Suite 309 Kapolei, Hawaii 96707 Phone: (808) 768-3003 Fax: (808) 768-3053 email: parks@honolulu.gov

Directions: From Kalanianaole Highway, turn right on Kailua Road into Kailua. Continue through Kailua town (road turns into Kuulei) until you reach a T-intersection at a traffic light. Turn right on Kalaheo Road, continuing past Kailua Beach Park, where the road turns into Kawailoa. Heading into Lanikai, follow the right fork onto Aalapapa Dr., and take a right onto Kaelepulu Drive.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (1823)
Photos (1371)
Recordings (1124)
Completed (6235)
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Kelly Alone
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Hiking
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Ben Watley
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HikingGreat!

Great hike to view the sunrise! Easy to walk to if you happen to be located in Lanikai or near Kailua beach. Not strenuous or too technical, with only a few spots slippery spots from the usual loose rocks/dirt. The ascent is quick, so you can enjoy both ocean & mountain-side views only a few minutes in.

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Stephanie Gillum
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HikingGreat!
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BreAnn Wheeler
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HikingGreat!

Such a fun trail! I have a 4 year old and 7 year old who both loved it. However I did have to put the 4 year old in a Tula for at least half way up and half way down. Bring lots of water since there is basically no shade.

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Chasity Inman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 20, 2020
HikingGreat!

Beautiful view. Wasn’t that hard of a hike. Going down, just watch for loose gravel. Both pillboxes are quite interesting

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Andrew Huang
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Hiking

Do this for sunrise and you will not regret it. One of the best views from a hike - totally worth it.

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Luvsandondov Lkhamsuren
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Hiking

Quick hike with the great view

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Michael Appleton
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HikingGreat!

The start of the trail was the most difficult , but only because I haven’t hiked in a few weeks! The rest was a breeze, and went to both pill boxes. A bit warm today, nice breeze though. Take water, you’ll do fine.

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Eric Haberthier
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Hiking
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Bo Ryals
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful view!

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Megan Fischer
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HikingNo shadeRocky

Great hike, no matter how experienced of a hiker you are. Took my three kids with me and they absolutely loved it. Trail running is possible as well, however it gets pretty crowded, especially for the sunrise. The view is stunning but it can get extremely sunny and there’s almost no shade!

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Jess Raeanne
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I hiked this last October and forgot to leave a review. It was very humid and raining that day. Making it very muddy, the ropes helped for that, and being able to see the cloud coverage over, made it a beautiful sight over those islands. Good time to be there.

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Kiante Wilson
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Hiking

Nice, easy (unpopular opinion) trail. Very steep, a few ropes at the beginning to help out. Would do again

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Victoria Parris
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HikingGreat!Rocky
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Christen Kelley
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HikingNo shadeScramble

This is a tough hike but the view is definitely worth it. Going for the sunrise is best but it’s very popular even then. You have to find street parking a ways away because the trailhead is in a residential neighborhood and there is a security guard watching the entrance. The hike itself is a scramble uphill where you have to use ropes to pull yourself up. It’s definitely a challenge but fun. The view from the top is absolutely amazing.

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Ryo Ishizuka
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Hiking

Fairly steep short terrain with gorgeous 360 ocean views from top. Rocky, but not too much pebbles.

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Michelle Wang
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Hiking

Short, steep, and hot - make sure to bring water! Amazing view of the entire east side from Kailua to the Lighthouse.

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Miranda Morris
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HikingNo shade

This pillbox bike is perfect if you want a warm up into harder hikes around the island. It’s very easy to follow & the view is incredible!

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Brian Corbin
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HikingRocky

Short but steep. we arrived around 6am and it was fairly busy, but by the time we were heading down it was not very busy. Many come for the sunrise I think. Rocky, for sure. There are a few splits where you can pick your poison. Wear proper shoes. Young kids and dogs were there in abundance as well.

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Lydia Bunten
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Hiking

It was really steep and had drop offs after the first landing. Great moderate hike.

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Danielle Roussos
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HikingRockyScramble
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Celeste Hope
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HikingNo shadeScramble

Windy and sunny! So glad we didn’t bring my dogs. It was so gorgeous. The views are truly amazing. Went for a dip in the ocean afterwards at Lanikai beach. My four year old did this pretty easily because she’s good at climbing and has more energy than us. Haha. We did the first two pillboxes. Only 4 stars because it was slippery coming down due to loose dirt.

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Erin Schmiedt
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Hiking

This is a manageable steep climb with spectacular views of Kaneohe Bay through Bellow AFB Bay. Be sure to take plenty of water, sunscreen if later in the day and wear closed-toed footwear.

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Analise Nelson
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HikingRocky
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Kaile Wilson
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Hiking

Crowded on a Saturday morning by 6 am. Only came for a sunrise hike because today is my birthday. Otherwise I would never do this home on a weekend.

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