Lanikai Pillbox Hike, Oahu

First Hawaiian Hike! For once we got out fairly earlyish but still late as we’d been travelling the day before and spent the afternoon exploring Honolulu’s main shopping street. Although we had more fun finding Farmland Farm in Ala Moana Mall, one of Oahu’s supermarket chains in the evening, getting back late and eating late which was the theme of the whole Oahu and Northern Californian trip earlier this year.

Farmland Farm was also the best recuerdos or souvenirs. All gifts are local to Oahu or the islands, supporting small businesses. I got some great flour sack print towels I’ll never use as they’re too nice! I want to frame them instead. Sadly researching the printer they’re no longer printing. Farmland Farm also has a great organic section mixed in with non organic foods (which I like, as you get more options) and sold many Hawaiian brands. It was a little expensive factoring in most other items are shipped in however we found everything we needed. During the whole trip we only ate out 3 times, none of which were in Oahu. 2 times were great, the other a disappointment. We prefer to stay apartment hotels or airbnb to keep costs lower by making own meals. We get back late when most places have closed the kitchens so it makes more sense. Being vegans, it makes everything easier to make own meals too.

2nd Pillbox. Chinaman’s hat in the distance

Anyways, The Lanikai Pill Box hike is in Lanikai, Kailua along Kaiwa mountain range I think the posher part of the Island. All the houses looked kinda immaculate driving through the neighbourhood and looking down from the hike the lawns looked manicured. We parked near the golf course, so it’s in a posher area for sure. 

We found out about the hike from watching a few YouTube videos before and online I think Trip Advisor. The start of the hike is a blink and you’ll miss it. It’s just a road construction sign with directions. Some comments said it can be muddy and thankfully it was dry. We only took our workout trainers as who needs hiking boots in Oahu?! Maybe shoulda took them. I felt for girls in sandals, cute IG outfits for the pictures awaiting ahead struggling on the path. The trail is ranked intermediate as it gets rocky and steep in places with parts of the trial nothing to grab hold onto. Being British we find the term hiking a little weird. Even saying the word hike is weird. For us it’s a walk. Hiking is what takes you all day or a few days in remoteness in the mountains and even then we probably wouldn’t use the word hike. Anything less is a walk regardless of the terrain with trails being paths. The hike takes about an hour’s loop to the first pillbox.

As usual I’m a shit editor with photos. I cut out a lot. A lot!

Path to 2nd Pillbox
Chinaman’s Hat in the distance

The views at the top are 100% worth hiking up for. If you want no humans, Instagrammers taking all day to get the shot go early. It’s a popular trail, everybody wants a photo of them there. I did too but I gave up waiting my turn or any vista with few humans. We hiked onto the 2nd pillbox with less people and then onto the 3rd which is now just it’s base. So much quieter and got to walk through shaded wooded bit. We didn’t see anybody past the 2nd pillbox. The hike went on over the range top however as it was getting late in the afternoon, there was a beach to hit and more importantly the water. 

1st Pillbox
1st Pillbox

We got to check out the 2nd pill box on the way back when the most of the groups had gone. I was expecting it to sink of pee coming from Europe but it was sink free. We did want to do the Pink Pillbox trail on the other side of the island however didn’t get time and it’s on a part of the island locals prefer to be local away from tourists. Some rental cars can get damaged according to Trip Advisor reviews. I completely understand wanting an area of the island tourist free. Barcelona in the summer can get so busy filled with tourists, it feels like the whole city caters for them and their money. As a result barrios cater to tourists, locals can’t pay the higher rent, living costs and get kicked out. 

Trial to the 2nd and 3rd pill boxes.

2nd Pill Box
Grass on the ocean side of the range
Path to 3rd Pillbox
Path to 3rd Pillbox. It was so so quiet. Just the breeze and insects.
Trees on the island side of the trail
The butterflies were huge!
3rd Pillbox
3rd Pillbox
Trail back. I put my camera away to enjoy the hike!
Pale face was there!
Road leading to the trail

More info about the trail land and how to get there here.

6 thoughts on “Lanikai Pillbox Hike, Oahu

    1. 🙂 We only had 5 days on Oahu and the countryside, water will stay with me for forever. It’s a beautiful island. I’d like to go back one day as the island’s full of places to explore! You’re lucky to live there (I’m sure some days it doesn’t feel it like 🙂 )! Thank you for stopping by!

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      1. Hi natjtan, I recently changed up my profile info. Hope you weren’t here during quarantine, it’s been really hard. All those boutiques and restaurants are like a ghost town. Wife and I are adjusting as you may have read. Please be safe during these hard times.

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      2. We were there the end of January when covid started to hit Europe. 6 week’s later Spain started a 14 week strictest in Europe lockdown. It was tough, Thankfully the beginning of May we were allowed out for age time slotted exercise and June they started easing restrictions. I’m hoping we don’t have to go through another. I don’t think the economy can take. If there is one over the winter I’m hoping it’s similar to restrictions in June. Take care!

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