Oahu, Hawaii has got tons of gorgeous hikes – some with waterfalls, some with a little bit of history, some that are a straight up work out, and some with stunning views. Oahu’s Ehukai pillbox hike definitely falls under the “stunning views” category, and it should not missed.
What Exactly Is a Pillbox?
So I suppose the Ehukai pillbox hike could also fall under the “little bit of history” hike category as well. Oahu’s pillboxes were built for the U.S. military during World War II (you know, we had to step up our defenses after the Pearl Harbor bombing on December 7, 1941). The military used these little concrete rooms keep an eye out for approaching enemies. (In other locations, pillboxes are used as a line of defense, but the ones on Oahu were never used for that purpose.)
Now, onto the hike.
Where is the Ehukai Pillbox Hike?
Ehukai Pillbox is quite the hidden hike, tucked away behind Sunset Beach Elementary School on the North Shore of Oahu. (You can add this hike as a stop to the Ultimate North Shore Day Trip!) As for parking, there are a few stalls near the entrance of the trailhead for a park right next to Sunset Beach Elementary School. The entrance of the hike is right behind those parked cars.
What’s the Experience Like?
Considering how few hikers we came across on our journey, the path was pretty clearly marked. When in doubt though, choose the path closer to the ocean. It was a bit muddy, but there are some hiker-made steps to help you along the relatively steep incline.
About halfway up, you’ll reach a single picnic bench with small painted handprints all over it (probably from some of the children from the nearby elementary school). Overall, it wasn’t nearly as difficult as other hikes on the island, particularly the Kokohead Hike.
And the Result…
You can make it to the first graffiti-covered pillbox in 45 minutes (roundtrip, the journey is a little over an hour). From there, you can see a stunning view of Sunset Beach on the North Shore (as pictured at the top of the post).
Plus, There’s a Secret Bonus!
There is a second pillbox further down the trail, which, rumor has it, has a better view. However, you do have to trespass on private property for that and the trail is much more unclear.
Have you ever done the Ehukai Pillbox Hike before? Tell me about your experience in the comments!
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