Oahu Hikes: Lanikai Pillboxes

The beauty of Hawaii's beaches can sometimes distract tourists from other ways of experiencing the islands. Hiking is one of the best ways to explore the scenery. It's free, outdoors, gets you moving and offers a new perspective on the ocean, mountain and city views. Here is one of our favorites to get you started!

The Menehune enjoying the view from the Lanikai Pillbox hike

The Menehune enjoying the view from the Lanikai Pillbox hike

The Lanikai Pillboxes hike in Kailua is one of the reasons we love hiking in Hawaii – you don’t always have to work that hard to see one of the most beautiful views you might see in your life. The first ten minutes of the hike are slightly intense because there is a rocky uphill incline that can be slippery at times. Once you get past that, it’s mostly flat or a moderate incline the rest of the way, and that incline puts you up above Lanikai Beach with an aerial view of the Mokulua Islands or “The Mokes.” Lanikai Beach is known for its soft powdery white sand and crystal clear blue water and looking down on it from the ridge is simply pleasing to the eyes.

You can go as far as you like along the ridge - within 25-35 minutes you should be at the fist of two pillboxes, which makes a nice stopping point to sit and catch the breeze and view. Here you can turn around or venture on to the next pillbox which is within view of the first. 

Insider Tip: Try doing this hike at sunrise or during a full moon for an added effect.