Explore the most popular cave trails in Hawaii with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great trail to hike. Nice gradual incline.

Beautiful, challenging, slippery, and a grind. Did it one year ago. I am in my 60s and trained. It was an excellent challenge, every step requires focus. You will be present or else.....

Straight up and straight down, lots of huffing and puffing, but SO WORTH IT! Luckily wasn’t muddy when I went, but can definitely see how it would make it pretty difficult. The view is insane! When you reach the picnic tables, cross the path and go to the one that is going down to the left. That’s the one that takes you down then up to the 360 view, on the left. Be on the look out for strawberry guavas!

Short hike with lots of fun scrambling to reach an amazing view. We ventured to a little scramble area that looked like it’d reach the peak but we turned around with the kiddos.

If you take the back trail it is more of a challenge and tales longer, but the views are amazing!

Gorgeous 360 degree views! Can be a slippery mud slide of a trail if it’s rained at all but if you take your time and go slowly it’s 100% worth it. A bit of rock scrambling at the top just before the last and best viewpoint but there are some sneakpeaks of the view on the way up if you choose not to go to the tippy top!

The trail was not muddy when I went. However I would not be comfortable doing this hike if it was slippery. Saying that it was an absolutely stunningly beautiful hike and vistas! Well worth it. Provided 360°views of the island at the top!

This trail is wild. Once you get past the tourists at the black sand beach, keep going on the trail. At some point the trail transitions to volcanic rock. Like, you're literally walking on rocks, the only way you can tell that it's a trail is because the black rocks are slightly less black (can't even call them gray tbh). Don't fall. You'll get cut up. The views along the way are gorgeous. We lost and picked up the trail a few times. Eventually turned back due to time constraints, but felt like we could keep trekking along the coast. Moderate rating due to uneasy footing. Easy rating based on elevation.

We were planning on going to this hike again this year, January 2019, but the road just past Hanalei town is closed to through traffic. We parked and walked for about 1/2 a mile to get a look at the construction/work going on. Only trucks and heavy machinery, hauling lots of dirt, moving large rocks etc. heard it is closed until Summer of 2019. I believe some people will still get there by sea, but once open, that trail is going to be a bit more tough as the foot traffic will be about 95-98% less than normal for roughly a year.

This was a nice hike and had pretty spectacular views from the top. It was very muddy and there were some spots that were very difficult to maneuver, in fact there were some people who couldn’t make it because it was so steep and slippery (just one spot). Must have sneakers at a minimum (flip flops, toms or speedy won’t work) if it’s been raining. Worth the time.

great hike. 2.5 hrs in and out. went to the head. all the warnings seem overplayed... trail in good shape. just don't rush, stay on the designated path, and its fine. views are awesome.

hiking
5 days ago

The loop should be done if (1) you’re an advanced hiker (2) you have decent navigation skills outdoors (3) you’re up for an adventure, a solid workout, and getting a little dirty.

If not, you can do the trail starting clockwise (go left) out and back for a good workout and amazing views. The trail is quite safe on this part. Even easier, start at Hawaii Loa which starts much higher up the ridge.

I did not find this hike as dangerous as some people are saying. I even did it clockwise. If you’ve explored ridge hikes here, it’s nothing too intense.

Caution: It’s easy to get lost on this trail. Pretty overgrown and the dense forest can make it difficult to navigate the trail.

Tips and Stats: (1) The trail splits into the two directions at a dirt opening just after the tall grass and the forest section (2) AllTrails app marked my hike as ~7.6 mi (3) 4.5 hour trip for an advanced hiker going at a relaxed pace with lots of stops for pictures and snacks

The view at the end is spectacular. Parts of this very steep (albeit very short) trail were too steep for some in our group. Absolutely beautiful view at the end for those who were more able!

Gave it a 5 star because it was a really nice hike with great views at the top. You start by driving up into a neighborhood where locals usually do a morning hike up and back down. Its nice if you have other things planned around noon. My brother and I made it up in about an hour and spent an hour on top exploring little trails that lead to the edges of the mountain to take some photos. Then we came back down and it took us about 40-50min. It hasn't rained in a few days so the terrain wasn't as slick as everyone makes it out to be... If it rained I can kinda see how it could be slippery.. But it's definitely doable even in the rain.
It's worth the view on top (:

hiking
10 days ago

Nice view from the top. In my opinion the second pillbox has a much better view. The first Pillbox has more space in the bunker though. Great photos and great place to watch the sunset from.

hiking
10 days ago

Not exactly a hike, but a quick steep incline and beautiful views at the top. The cave doesn’t look like much when you first see it, but make sure to go into the cave and look out so you can see it frame the ocean view. Make to sure to check out the lower cave too - now that’s a cave! It’s huge, maybe 5x the size of the top cave!

hiking
11 days ago

Decent trail...VERY Muddy at the beginning going up - that said - super sketchy going down!! The Pillbox has a Pretty View of the Ocean but Nothing that I think is “Noteworthy”! Definitely NOT a Lanikai Pillbox View which you’d think from the name!! There is suppose to be 2 Pillboxes but only found 1. The AllTrails App is a MUST for this outing because there are SO many other trails!!! All woods!! So have Bug Spray on!! I had kids ages 9,7,6,3 (baby wore 3yrold) and they enjoyed it but said at the end it was kinda boring because there wasn’t a Spectacular View at the end!!! Definitely NOT worth an Hour drive (Coming from Kailua)!! Lanikai Pillbox Hike offers MUCH more Viewing!! Although a This would be a Great Nature/Woods Hike!! Very Pretty inside the Woods!!

Considering all the Na Pali trails were closed we opted for this one. Super muddy and slippery but decent views at the top. We had hiking boots on with hiking sticks. Saw a bunch of kids on the trail, runners, and also people with no shoes.

hiking
15 days ago

It was a very rainy day today, and the caves were an excellent way to spend some time. The path to the caves is easy, though the stairs are steep.

I did the right cave first, since a woman was unhelpfully scowling at her companions at the easiest means of entry to the left cavern, and seemingly unwilling to let me pass. The abundant water saturating this part of the island beads on the ceiling, occasionally splashing down on you. If you shine your light up, they glow like the glass beads in a stop sign.

Along the way you pass by many years of graffiti carved into the lava. The path is a bit torturous, at least for me, but I did have a pre-sprained ankle.

When I exited I went to the left cave, where the woman was still scowling at her now invisible companions, and I hopped down in front of her and made my way in. It really was nice to travel through a lava tube.

Very Cool hike on the Westside of Oahu. Follow the map as it will guide you where to turn right towards the caves. We went up too far and got side tracked and had to climb down to the turn for the caves. Great view and pretty easy.

16 days ago

good

My first hike ever in Hi & it didn’t disappoint! I loved the green moss and the trees and the lava tubes. There is a pretty steep climb down (& back up) so I wouldn’t recommend this for little kids. The trail is only about 2 ft wide & drops off. You follow a series of switchbacks to the bottom where there are several tubes and water trickling down the sides of the rock. We even had a rooster friend at the bottom... this is a fun, quick hike that burns those thighs!

Closed due to 2018 volcanic activity.

Access road, Crater Rim Dr. as well as Chain of Craters Rd, was closed due to the Dec 18 partial govt shutdown.

beautiful :) take the time for the history !!!

19 days ago

Breathtaking

20 days ago

Super muddy - no infrastructure to make it safer for visitors. DO NOT RECOMMEND unless you have proper equipments.

Hike up one side and back down this side. It was sort of an accident but fun.

hiking
20 days ago

Neat caves and quite the ol lava tube.

Flash Lights and closed toed shoes a must.

on Upper Makua Cave

20 days ago

The mistake I made was going after it rained and making a left right before I made it to the top (puka) You’ll understand when you get there. Just make sure you stay on the trail and if it’s hard to get up, you’re probably off track. Definitely not kid friendly or dog friendly. View is no doubt amazing. Definitely will be going on dryer days.

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