on Oahu’s North Shore is a local
Unlike the Lanikai Pillbox Trail on the Windward side, that has become
extremely popular and a bit crowded at times, this Oahu hiking trail
still remains a gem worth discovering!
Elevation 725 Feet
Length 2 Miles Round Trip
Duration 60 to 90 Minutes
Terrain Steep Climb, Ridge, Loose Dirt
The Ehukai Pillbox trail is better known as the Sunset Pillbox Hike, because it has some beautiful views of Ehukai Beach (better known as Banzai Pipeline) and the North Shore coastline.
Located behind the Sunset Elementary School, this Oahu hike will take you
minutes to climb up to the top. The distance to
top of the ridge is short, but can be a little strenuous and
challenging to get up to.
The Ehukai Pillbox Hike begins across the street from the Sunset
Elementary Parking Lot. There is a sign marking the start of
The Sunset Pillbox Trail starts off flat through some
narrow trees that you will weave through for about 100 yards.
Shortly after that the trail progressively climbing up a
Like most mountain side hiking trails, you will find yourself
climbing over small boulders, ducking underneath fallen trees, walking
across soil eroded tree roots, and lucky to find some man made stairs
dug in the hill to make your climb a little easier...
There are a couple ropes tied off between trees to help assist you
up the mountain. Make sure to take your time and adjust your
footing as needed to avoid slipping and falling down the hill.
You might feel like you’ve made it midway up, as you will come
across a plateau resting area with a picnic bench waiting for
you. How it got there I have no clue! It’s
dedicated by the
students of the Sunset Elementary School below, and decorated with the
children’s hand prints.
It's a steep climb to reach this special bench, and I guarantee you'll need a moment to catch your breath. So take few minutes and enjoy the view.
The views are nice from this spot, but gets better as you climb higher to the pillboxes. Reach the ridge and you’re close!
As you reach the top of the ridge, there will be pockets between the trees that open up with some beautiful views of the ocean, surf, and residents below.
The Ehukai Pillbox Trail
leads both east and west direction, so make
sure to turn left and head east at this juncture.
The first Sunset Pillbox is only minutes away once you reach the top flat ridge. Take your time to enjoy the beautiful views of the North Shore coastline.
old military bunker
is accessible to
walk inside and explore around. Take a few photos and head on…
As exciting as it is to reach the 1st bunker, the real magical
await you at the 2nd pillbox.
The Trail seems to disappear for a second as you travel on
large bolder rocks, and start hiking down through the tall
The best way to explain it is to stay adjacent to the ridge, and don’t
wonder off into the mountainside.
You will even come across a private property, no trespassing, and guard dog on duty signs, that I cannot advise you to ignore.
if you choose to push forward past the signs, the trail comes back into
sight, and you should reach the 2nd Ehukai Pillbox within 5 minutes.
The views in the video capture the neighborhood below the
Ehukai Pillbox Hike, part of the
North Shore coast and the waves and lineup at Pipeline.
Reaching the 2nd pillbox is gratifying! The scenery open up to some of the best unobstructed views of Ehukai Beach and the North Shore coastline. The hillside is steep surrounding the front of the 2nd Pillbox, and is not open for exploring.
You must be very careful
if you decide to leap on top of the decorated peace sign
There is a gap between the bunker and hillside. Soak up the
memorable view and enjoy!
One of the most amazing experiences is taking it all in from above! Words can't explain flying just a few hundred feet in an open-door helicopter above the magnificent coastline, taking in panoramic views spanning from Turtle Bay to Kaena Point, including Waimea Bay, the famous Banzai Pipeline, Haleiwa Town, and much, much more.
Here are 3 additional Oahu Hiking Trails that are similar to hike, which you might want to consider climbing after this one...
- don’t start
this Oahu hike too late, unless planning
a sunset hike
(which can be
very beautiful). In this case, make sure to bring a
be knowledgeable about the trail, and don’t hike along, and make sure
to inform someone where you’re going.
Where proper shoes - you will want to good pair of hiking shoes for this hike to better grip the steep areas and loose gravel.
Bring water, snacks, hat, sunscreen, and a camera.
Hiking Gear Picks including Compact Hiking Poles, Mosquito Repellent, and GPS Mapping Tracker
Take the 52 bus from Kuhio Ave to Haleiwa Town. From there transfer to Oahu Bus number 88A or 60. These Oahu Bus will take you to the North Shore Beaches.
Ask the bus driver once again to notify you once you have arrived at Sunset Elementary School.
Note: Bus # 88A also travels from the Ala Moana Center to the North Shore and backdown the Windward (East) side of the island.
The North Shore
famous for its Hawaiian Shave
but I’m here to tell you that there's a new treat that is gaining
Bakery is known for its award winning cream
I recommend trying their local flavors such as Haupia Cream and Chocolate Haupia Cream, which resembles a coconut pudding.
Ted’s Bakery is also a great spot
to grab some breakfast or a plate lunch, including
Chicken, Teri Beef
Mahi. Could be a great way to fuel up before or after hiking
If you don’t make it to Ted’s Bakery, you’re still in luck. Ted’s pies are sold in Foodland grocery stores, back in town.
Beach, more popular
as the Banzai
views of Pipeline wasn't grand enough from up top the hillside, then
back down to Ehukai Beach where surfers line up and paddle into huge
barreling waves -you can't get any closer to feel the amazing Hawaiian
Pipe tubes are world famous and add to the
North Shore character and
that Ehukai Beach is right across the street from the Sunset Elementary
Tie on a visit to the waterfall with an evening luau dinner with cultural demonstrations and Hawaiian entertainment. The Toa Luau includes your entrance to Waimea Valley & Waterfall. Just make sure you give yourself enough time to get back in time for the festivities. Note that this luau only takes place on Mon - Wed.
Turtle Bay Resort is a
estate that sits at
the tip of the North Shore all by itself.
You might need to
check in with the security attendant if you are not vacationing on the
premises, but you are allowed to visit the restaurants & golf
Located on the Windward side of the island is another
quick 30 minute pillbox hike, with some unbelievable views!
unlike the quiet hike up to the sunset bunkers, that still remain
unknown for the most part, the Lanikai Pillbox Hike is quite