There really is no bad sunrise hike on the Island of O’ahu as you are going to experience breathtaking views no matter which one hike you choose. However, due to the location and the distance of the trail, the Lanikai Pillbox is the best sunrise hike on O’ahu. Be sure to Check out my O’ahu Travel Guide for everything you will need to know before your trip.
Lanikai is one of the most beautiful beaches on O’ahu. The quiet beach town has some of the most pristine white sand beaches and the most beautiful bluish waters. Just behind this stretch of beach sits the lush and stark Ka'iwa Ridge home to the iconic Lanikai Pillboxes. Located on the Eastern Side of the island, this hike makes for the perfect location to enjoy a sunrise. Don’t get me wrong, this hike is great at any point in the day too.
ABOUT THE HIKE
The hike clocks in at a 1.7 mile out and back trail up the ridge line. The hike has some steep points but overall is a relatively moderate hike.
This hike is known for being one of the best hikes and parking is VERY limited (there is actually no parking at the trailhead) so you definitely want to arrive here while it is still dark out. Get to the trail as the light starts to peak over the horizon so you can fully experience the best part about this location.
The beginning of the hike has eroded so there is a rope to help you up but you can surely do it without it if you are athletic.
The hike takes you right to the ridge line so there are some steep drop offs next to the trail path.
Once you get to the top you will see the two Pillboxes. The second one is a little further away and usually less crowded. These pillboxes serve as a great place to stand on and to enjoy the views. You will see the two Mokes, islands, below that are just a short ways away from the shore line. You will also get great views of the main mountain ridges that sit at the center of the island.
If you are going here for a Sunrise Hike then I recommend going to the Sunrise Shack for breakfast to grab an Acai Bowl or Smoothie before heading back to one of the best beaches on the island.