Finished the Lanikai Pillbox Hike, also known as the Ka`iwa Ridge Trail. It is one of the Oahu hiking trails with awesome coastal views and vistas. The structures at the top of the ridge, which are commonly and mistakenly referred to as the “Lanikai Pillboxes”, functioned as Coast Artillery observation stations in 1943 and were not equipped with defensive armament. The raised concrete platforms found in the stations did not mount machine guns but high-powered observing instruments to fix a maritime vessel’s position from the station. In military terms, a pillbox actually means a defensive site such as a machine gun pillbox, which is not the case here. You can learn more about the history of the trail from the link below…

History of the trail

It’s an intermediate hike rising, a bit steep and eroded in places, just above beautiful Lanikai Beach. In the distance, you can also see Kaneohe Bay, Chinaman’s Hat, Waimanalo Bay, and the Makapu’u Lighthouse. The Lanikai Pillbox Hike is about an hour to 90 minute round trip, depending how far you decide to go. You can easily reach the first old military pillbox bunker in about 30 minutes. From here, another 10 minute walk along the top ridge will take you to the second pillbox.

Kaiwa Ridge Trail

Lanikai, Oahu
0 - 520 ft.
Day Hike
Common Plants
10 species
Difficulty for this hike
The Pillbox Hike in Lanikai offers unique beautiful views of Lanikai Beach and the Windward coastal side.