Hiking the Lanikai Pillboxes
After two weeks in Hawaii, I was on a hiking kick and wanted to go on more despite not being an avid hiker at all and tend to want to die while on a trail – especially steep ones.
Will (check out his other adventures on Instagram) decided to take me hiking The Lanikai Pillboxes Hike at sunrise (a.k.a, Ka’iwa Ridge Trail), which is well known for being one of the easiest hikes on the island and one of the most scenic. That’s a rare combination so you can imagine my delight when he said, “it was one of the “easiest” hikes we could do,” until he told me we had to do it at…sunrise.
Before dawn, we rolled out of bed in a groggy daze. Will drove as I sat silently in the car, trying my best to wake up.
Hiking the Lanikai Pillboxes starts off with a “short” incline although it didn’t seem all that short at the time. After you get past the hard part, the rest is just a gradual incline with a well-beaten trail that even had steps in the dirt from so much use! Be sure to pause and take photos from behind you as well. 🙂
We got to the top sooner that I expected, especially since I was having flashbacks of the never-ending torturous hike through the Moanlua Middle Ridge and (closed) Stairway to Heaven that I hiked with Carlo a few weeks prior. It didn’t help that I had a few glasses of red wine the night before and felt a raging headache creep on. Nevertheless, the hike was short and sweet and the view was worth it!
There’s two pillboxes (from WWII) to enjoy the awesome view but we opted to sit at the edge of the cliff on some rocks since there was already a small crowd around the boxes. I easily got lost staring off into the distance at the red, orange, and yellow rays filling the horizon, the glistening dark water, and the Mokulua Islands. Moku Nui on the left and Moku Iki on the right.
Then of course, Will unzipped his backpack and with a wide grin, asked if I wanted a beer. Of course in my half-awakened state, I forgot about bringing beer (what an amateur move!) but he’s the master of hikes and of course, was well prepared with cold cans of beer (and water).
One of the regrets is not taking more pictures along the hike rather than just at the end. In my defense, it’s usually because I’m doing a horrible job pretending I’m Frodo Baggins hiking Mount Doom. At least, I always finish….! So if you are hiking the Lanikai Pillboxes at sunrise, here’s some essential information below.
265 Kaelepulu Dr, Kailua, HI 96734, United States
+ Go at dawn or dusk for the best views
+ Parking is not available on the street in the neighborhood so park a few streets away and walk to the entrance.
+ Please watch your noise level as you walk to the entrance since it’s in a residential area.