There are several very popular hiking trails around the island of Oahu. Ka'iwa Ridge is one of them. It's also known as the Lanikai Pillbox trail -- "pillbox" because of the bunkers that are passed along the ridge. I never had the opportunity to hike Ka'iwa Ridge, so I wanted to give a try. Although short, the hike serves up a good workout and has nice views in all directions. It's dog-friendly and perfect for a family outing. It's also done by the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club as a night hike during a full-moon.
The Ka'iwa Ridge trail follows a dry, windswept ridge above the community of Lanikai on the eastern side of Oahu. Two bunkers are passed en route to the top. From the second bunker (elev. 565 ft.), there is the option of turning back the way you came, or you can explore past the second bunker and follow an obvious trail heading inland. The trail will eventually split. First, you'll see a junction on the right that leads to a gated community bordering the Mid-Pacific Country Club. Then a little ways past that junction is a trail coming in from the left that heads to Wailea Point. The latter option makes for a longer outing.
The views throughout the hike are awesome. Atop the bunkers looking to the ocean is the twin islets known as Na Mokulua. Moku Nui is the largest isle; Moku Iki is the smallest. To the left is Kailua Bay; beyond is Mokapu Point. To the right is Waimanalo Bay, with Manana Island (Rabbit Island) and Makapu'u Point in the distance. Behind, looking inland, are the tall mountain peaks of the Ko'olau mountain range. In the forground is the three-peaked ridge known as Mount Olomana.
Directions for this trail can be found by the clicking the following link:
Na Ala Hele Ka'iwa Ridge Trail Directions
Approaching the 1st bunker. (photo: B. Bautista)
View from the 2nd bunker looking toward Na Mokulua. (photo: B. Bautista)
photo: L. Yamasaki
Looking toward Wailea Point, Waimanalo Bay, Manana Island, and Makapu'u Point. (photo: L. Yamasaki)
The view looking toward Kailua Bay and Mokapu Point. (photo: L. Yamasaki)
Continuing on the trail beyond the 2nd bunker.
The towering peaks of the Ko'olau mountain range in distance.
photo: B. Bautista
In the top left portion of the photo is Mount Olomana.