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Kaiwa Ridge (Lanikai Pillbox) Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1865)
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.

Distance: 1.8 miles Elevation Gain: 649 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

walking

running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

no shade

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.

hiking
scramble
8 days ago

hiking
no shade
10 days ago

Just did this trail today, very easy and the 360 degree views are amazing once at the top. Can get a bit busy depending on when you go but total hike time isn’t too long. We took breaks and enjoyed the views and it took us 40 mins to get up. Can be done in 20 if you don’t stop at all. Highly recommend!

hiking
10 days ago

Awesome, but get ready for some steep climbs. There seem to be a million ways up and down this thing. It is CRITICAL to do a sunrise hike, if you can manage it! We happened to be staying down the street on a trip, so we even walked there, and the experience really was magical (although absurdly crowded for 6-something AM).

hiking
no shade
scramble
11 days ago

The best pillbox trail in short climbing and the views are superb with 360 degree panorama!

hiking
no shade
14 days ago

My favorite workout. Takes about 20 minutes up if you continuously move and 15 down (without stopping at the pillboxes). Very dry and can be slippery. I recommend hiking shoes but I’ve seen people go up barefoot or in slippers. If it’s your first time, use the ropes on the left near the fence (especially on the way down). Beautiful views at the top!! Bring water.

hiking
15 days ago

Pretty and not too intensive. Nice views of the Mokes!

hiking
17 days ago

Beautiful hike for sunrise over Lanikai. Short and sweet. Good workout. Go early - less crowds.

hiking
no shade
rocky
18 days ago

Amazing views! There were quite a few bees along the trail so be cautious if you're allergic. There were a handful of spots with a lot of loose dirt and gravel so I'd highly recommend proper shoes.

hiking
no shade
scramble
24 days ago

Heavily populated trail. Great views!!

hiking
no shade
rocky
24 days ago

spectacular views. intense in the beginning, but worth it. if you are allergic to bees like myself, be slightly cautious in some parts as there are quite few here and there. this was my second time taking this hike and made it to the second pillbox. 3rd time I will aim for the third one.

hiking
no shade
scramble
24 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

One of my favourite views in Hawaii! Definitely recommend going early as the trail is heavily trafficked in the summer months. Hiked it in thongs but wouldn’t recommend unless you’re an Aussie bastard like me.

hiking
no shade
29 days ago

I love this trail! It’s a pretty steep first few minutes, then it mellows out a little bit. I’m very out of shape and I did it just fine stopping when I needed to. I DO NOT recommend bringing dogs on this hike. There is no shade and they overheat very easily. Many dogs have died on this hike and it’s not worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Quick & Easy Hike! It’s a little rocky, and Hot so make sure you go early in the morning so you can see the sunrise. Beautiful views.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

great leisurely, well trafficked route with many trails to get to the same destination. a bit slick to star but once in the lava rocks, you are golden.

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

Great hike, will get your heart pumping. Go for it, take some great pics!

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

Really nice views!

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

A great shorter hike with beautiful views. The pillboxes were well maintained when I went. No shade but luckily we were there on an overcast day!

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

Go early! It gets pretty busy. Not a lot of shade and it definitely earns its moderate badge in some parts. Can’t beat the views from the top though.

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