Thursday, December 24, 2009

Lanikai Pillboxes - Kaiwa Trail

Trails: Lanikai Pillboxes - Kaiwa Trail
Distance: Just under 2 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: about 600 ft
Hiking time: 1 hour
Area: Kailua Lanikai - Windward side of Island
Trailhead: 301 - 499 Kaelepulu Dr., Kailua, HI 96734
Trailhead Coordinates: N21 23.424 W157 43.169
Sights: Kailua, Lanikai, Windward coast and Koolau Range
Directions via bus: Click here for Google Maps transit directions from Waikiki
Directions via car: Click here for Google maps directions from Waikiki The trail head is near the entrance to a private community and next to a golf course. As you are going up Kaelepulu Dr, when you see the culdesac, you'll see a private road to the left. You'll notice a trail on the right side of the private road.

Recommendations for hike: Sunscreen. There's no shade so make sure you have sunscreen and some sunglasses and/or hat (becareful of the strong winds though). Though it can be done in slippers, I would recommend sneakers. Some of the terrain is loose and rocky along the steeper parts. Boots are unnecessary. Water. No need for bug spray.

The yellow path is the trail

This profile is to and back.

After walking all of Kailua beach, Nicole, her mom, and I headed to the Lanikai Pillboxes (as it's commonly referred to). This is a relatively easy and short hike that over looks Kailua and Lanikai. Lanikai means "heavenly sea" in Hawaiian and has been on various lists of top beaches across the world.

The hike is along a well marked trail. It's a popular trail and well traveled by tourists and locals, sometimes with there dogs. Certain parts are rock scrambles but they are short and simple. We started off and the trail follows along a fence of the neighboring residential community. I'm sure they don't like the fact that so many people go there but screw them. It's public property and trails like this shouldn't be closed off.

As we climbed up to the pill boxes (bunkers), we saw this little chihuahua climbing up. It couldn't be more than 8 lbs. This tiny little thing seemed to struggle a bit but made it up. Most people head to the pill boxes and stop. The trail actually continues up and down the low lying peaks. As you continue we think we spotted Bellow's Air Force Base and could see Waimanalo Beach. There were some great views of Kailua and Lanikai too. Looking South, you can also see the Koolau Range and Olomana peaks. The trail actually descends down into another residential area.

Overall this is a nice casual hike with a bit of climbing. It's short and quick and conveniently located near Kailua Beach Park. Enjoy.

 Lanikai beach, looking North
 Some interesting vegetation on the way up. The individual plants looked like cactus stalks (not sure if that is the right term). They were thick and had a semi-waxy look to them.


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