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Ehukai Pillbox Hike - Grand North Shore Views

The Ehukai Pillbox Hike on Oahu’s North Shore is a local secret.  Unlike the Lanikai Pillbox Trail on the Windward side that has become extremely popular and a bit crowded at times, I find this Oahu hiking trail still to be a hidden gem and worth discovering!

The Ehukai Pillbox Hike is an invigorating trek along the North Shore of Oahu, leading to historic military pillboxes atop a ridge with breathtaking panoramic views of the ocean and surrounding landscapes.

Hike Details

Elevation     725 Feet

Length         2 Miles Round Trip

Duration       60 to 90 Minutes

Terrain           Steep Climb, Ridge, Loose Dirt

Difficulty        Medium

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 about 30 minutes to climb up to the top.  The distance to reach the top of the ridge is short, but can be a little strenuous and challenging to get up to.

Disclaimer – all Oahu hikes have different challenges and hazards that can be dangerous and may cause injury. Know your fitness and skill level before embarking on any hike.  Stay on trails and obey posted signs. The information on this site is for your reading pleasure only.  Hike at your own risk.

Hiking the Sunset Pillbox Trail

The Ehukai Pillbox Hike starts at the trailhead near Sunset Elementary School in Pupukea, offering hikers a picturesque and challenging ascent to the historic military pillboxes while providing stunning views of the North Shore coastline.

The Ehukai Pillbox Hike begins across the street from the Sunset Elementary Parking Lot.  There is a sign marking the start of this Oahu hiking trail.

The Sunset Pillbox Trail is a scenic and moderately challenging hike on Oahu's North Shore, leading to World War II-era bunkers where hikers are rewarded with spectacular views of the coastline and a stunning sunset.

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 steep hill.

The Ehukai Pillbox Trail is a scenic hiking route on Oahu's North Shore, renowned for its breathtaking coastal views and the iconic military pillboxes perched atop the ridge, providing a rewarding outdoor experience.

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...

The Ehukai Pillbox Climbing Ropes are essential aids along the trail, assisting hikers in navigating steep sections of the ascent to the historic military pillboxes while adding an adventurous element to the hiking experience on the North Shore of Oahu.

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.

The Sunset Beach Hike Bench is a serene and scenic resting spot along the trail, overlooking the picturesque Sunset Beach on Oahu's North Shore, providing hikers with a peaceful vantage point to enjoy the breathtaking coastal views.

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 Ehukai Pillbox Trail Bench provides a tranquil resting spot along the hiking trail, offering hikers a chance to enjoy the scenic surroundings and panoramic views of the North Shore of Oahu.

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 offers stunning panoramic views of the North Shore's turquoise waters, iconic surf breaks like Pipeline, lush green landscapes, and the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, providing a rewarding visual feast for hikers.

The Ehukai Pillbox Trail leads both east and west direction, so make sure to turn left and head east at this juncture.

First Pillbox

The Sunset Pillbox Hike is a scenic trek on the North Shore of Oahu, culminating in the rewarding experience of reaching elevated pillboxes that offer stunning panoramic views of the coastline and the vibrant hues of the Hawaiian sunset.

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.

The old military bunker is accessible to walk inside and explore around.  Take a few photos and head on…

The Ehukai 1st Pillbox is a World War II-era concrete structure situated along the trail, providing hikers with a historical vantage point and panoramic views of the North Shore's scenic beauty.

As exciting as it is to reach the 1st bunker, the real magical views await you at the 2nd pillbox.

Second Pillbox

The Trail seems to disappear for a second as you travel on past the large bolder rocks, and start hiking down through the tall grass.  The best way to explain it is to stay adjacent to the ridge, and don’t wonder off into the mountainside.

The Ehukai Pillbox Hike is a scenic and moderately challenging trail on Oahu's North Shore, leading to historic military pillboxes with stunning panoramic views of the coastline and surrounding landscapes.

You will even come across a private property, no trespassing, and guard dog on duty signs, that I cannot advise you to ignore.

But 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.

The Ehukai 2nd Pillbox is a scenic vantage point along the Ehukai Pillbox Hike, offering hikers a historical vantage point and spectacular views of the North Shore's coastline and surrounding landscapes.

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 bunker.  There is a gap between the bunker and hillside.  Soak up the memorable view and enjoy!

Experience the North Shore from above

The North Shore Helicopter Ride provides an exhilarating aerial experience, allowing passengers to soar above the stunning landscapes of Oahu's North Shore, including iconic surf breaks, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls.

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. 

Explore a once in an life time experience...

3 Similar Oahu Hiking Trails

Here are 3 additional Oahu Hiking Trails that are similar to hike, which you might want to consider climbing after this one...

Ehukai Pillbox Hike Tips

Sunset Hike - 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 flashlight, 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.

Getting to Sunset Pillbox Trail

Directions By Car From Waikiki

  • Take the H-1 Hwy West to the H-2 Hwy North
  • Follow the H-2 Hwy to the Kamehameha Hwy (hwy 99)
  • Take Hwy 99 and continue into Haleiwa Town
  • or by pass Haleiwa Town , and continue on Hwy 99 and merge onto Hwy 83, which will lead you to the coastline.
  • As you continue on  Hwy 83, until you see a Sunset Elementary School sign (across the street from the Banzai Pipeline) on your right hand side.
  • Turn into the parking lot and the trail will be on your left side.

Street Level Map to Ehukai Pillbox Hike

Directions By Oahu Bus from Waikiki

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.

Aerial Map to Ehukai Pillbox Trail

In the Area

Ted's Bakery

Ted's Bakery in Haleiwa, Hawaii, is famous for its delicious pies, pastries, and plate lunches, attracting locals and visitors alike with its tasty Hawaiian comfort food.

The North Shore is famous for its Hawaiian Shave Ice, but I’m here to tell you that there's a new treat that is gaining popularity.  Ted’s Bakery is known for its award winning cream pies

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 BBQ  Chicken, Teri Beef & Mahi Mahi.  Could be a great way to fuel up before or after hiking the Ehukai Trail.

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.

Famous North Shore Beaches

The Banzai Pipeline is a world-famous surf break on the North Shore of Oahu, renowned for its powerful and challenging waves that attract elite surfers from around the globe.

Ehukai Beach, more popular known as the Banzai Pipeline!  If views of Pipeline wasn't grand enough from up top the hillside, then walk 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 surfing experience!

The Banzai Pipe tubes are world famous and add to the North Shore character and experience.  Remember that Ehukai Beach is right across the street from the Sunset Elementary School.

Toa Luau at Waimea Bay

Toa Luau at Waimea Valley offers an immersive experience of traditional Hawaiian culture, featuring vibrant performances, delicious Polynesian dinner, and free admission to the beautiful Waimea Valley.

Tie on a visit to Waimea Falls Park 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.  Learn more and reserve a spot...

Turtle Bay Resort

Turtle Bay Resort is a luxurious oceanfront retreat on the North Shore of Oahu, offering stunning views, upscale accommodations, and a range of recreational activities for guests to enjoy in a picturesque Hawaiian setting.

Turtle Bay Resort is just up the road is the grand resort, known as Turtle Bay .  Located over a stretch of 4 miles plus of beachfront property, including 2 championship Oahu golf courses.  

Turtle Bay Resort is a relaxing 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 pro shop.

Sister Hike on the Windward Side

Lanikai Pillbox Hike

The Lanikai Pillbox Hike is a popular trail in Oahu, Hawaii, leading to historic military pillboxes with breathtaking views of Lanikai Beach and the surrounding turquoise waters.

Located on the Windward side of the island is another quick 30 minute pillbox hike, with some unbelievable views!  But unlike the quiet hike up to the sunset bunkers, that still remain unknown for the most part, the Lanikai Pillbox Hike is quite popular.

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