View of the Ehuaki Beach from the second Pillbox

Ehukai Pillbox Hike: Everything You Need to Know

You’ve probably heard of the famous Lanikai Pillbox Hike on Oahu, but have you heard of the Ehukai Pillbox Hike?

The Ehukai Pillbox Hike, also known as Sunset Pillbox Hike, is a great way to explore the north shore of Oahu.

It’s only 1.5 miles round trip, so it’s perfect for beginners or anyone who wants to get in some exercise without having to spend hours hiking!

Me and Cody on top of the second pillbox on the Ehukai Pillbox hike with views of Ehukai Beach
This shot was taken at the second Pillbox

You can do this hike at any time of day, but I recommend going early morning or late afternoon when fewer people are on the trail.

This will give you more privacy while exploring one of the most beautiful and easy hikes in Oahu!

If you want to see some fantastic views with minimal effort, then this is the perfect hike for you! Once at the top, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the Banzai Pipeline and Oahu’s North Shore.

You might even be able to spot surfers catching waves from up here! And if it’s your first time visiting Hawaii, make sure not to miss out on seeing these incredible sights for yourself.

Ehukai Pillbox Important Information

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.5 Miles (round trip)
Elevation Gain: 734ft
Route Type: Trail with Loop
How Long Does it Take: 1-hour round trip
Highlights of the Trail: Views of Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline) and Oahu’s North Shore

Gorgeous tree on the Ehukai Pillbox hike

How to Get to the Ehukai Pillbox

Address: 59-178 Ke Nui Rd, Haleiwa, HI 96815 (map shows trail location & route/directions from Waikiki)

The best way to get to the Ehukai Pillbox is to put the address in your GPS. But in short, here are the directions:

The drive from Waikiki should take about 1 hour to get to the trailhead parking lot.

The Ehukai Pillbox Hike is located on Oahu’s North Shore, right by Sunset Elementary School.

If you are coming from the Waikiki area, you will need to take the H-1 highway West to H-2 Highway, to Kamehameha Highway, also known as Highway 99.

Highway 99 should take you to Haleiwa Town and all the way to the Sunset Elementary School sign. The trail is to the left of the parking lot.

Ehukai Pillbox Parking Information

You can park at the Sunset Beach Neighborhood Parks parking lot or park along the Kamehameha Highway by the roadside.

Parking at Ehukai Pillbox hike

Be sure to follow proper parking protocols to avoid getting ticketed.

Please do not park at the Sunset Elementary School parking lot. There should be parking available for the hike to the right by the school.

The trail begins across from the parking lot.

Hiking to The First Pillbox

The first part of the trail starts off nice and flat with a steady incline uphill.

Cody hiking the first part of the Ehukai Pillbox hike with a forest view

Please keep in mind that the trail does get extremely muddy after heavy rainfall, so plan accordingly and wear proper hiking shoes for Hawaii.

There are ropes along the way to help with steep spots. Don’t be afraid to use them, especially if it’s muddy when you’re there.

Man hiking the first part of the Ehukail trail with views of beautiful trees
Cody hiking the Ehukai Pillbox trail on one of the steep parts
Me on one of the steep parts of the Ehukail Pillbox trail
Me enjoying the forest view on the Ehukai Pillbox trail
Me hiking through one of the steep parts of the Ehukai Pillbox trail with forest views

The first bunker has fantastic ocean views, but the second bunker is even better. Many people turn back after the first bunker and don’t know about the second one, so keep going until you see both of them.

View of the Ehukai Beach from the hike at the first bunker
View of the Ehukai Beach from the pillbox bunker

On the trail, you will find picnic tables with ocean views. Here you can enjoy a nice picnic or hike to the pillboxes to enjoy a picnic up there.

Cody entering the first pillbox on the Ehukai Trail
Cody sitting on the first Bunker on the Ehukai hike

See Also: 15 Best Beaches in Oahu You Should Visit

Hiking to the Second Pillbox

To get to the second bunker, you will need to go down and stay to the left for about 5-10 minutes.

Forest view of the second part of the Ehukai Pillbox hike

If you somehow get lost and are not sure where you are, always make sure to stay close to the ocean. It’s an easy way to avoid confusion and find your way back.

Me hiking to the second pillbox on the Ehukai Trail
Me hiking to the second bunker on the Ehukai pillbox

In my opinion, the second pillbox has better views than the first one. The views are breathtaking!

Me and Cody enjoying the view of the Ehukai beach from the pillbox bunker

Here you will be greeted with stunning views of Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline) and the north shore of Oahu.

Us on top of the second bunker on the Ehukai pillbox hike

Ehukai Pillbox Sunset

The Ehukai Pillbox is one of the best places to watch the sunset on Oahu.

Since it is on the North Shore, you will get amazing views as the sun sets over Ehukai Beach.

Remember to bring a flashlight if you are doing a sunset hike, as it will get dark quickly after the sun goes down. Hiking in the dark can be very dangerous without proper lighting.

Make sure you familiarize yourself with the trail and do your research before doing a sunset hike. Make sure to hike back down before it gets too dark.

As always, bring a hiking partner and let someone know where you are going and when you will be back.

Pillbox Hiking Tips

Get there early: I recommend getting to the trailhead early to avoid the crowds and to beat the afternoon heat.

Bring Enough Water: You will be hiking in direct sunlight, so make sure to stay properly hydrated.

Bring Snacks: It is nice to have snacks during the hike. It will give you energy along your way to the pillboxes.

Bring sunscreen: The hike will take you on a direct route facing the sun for most of it. Make sure to wear sunscreen or bring a snorkeling rashguard.

Bring a flashlight: as I mentioned before, make sure to bring a flashlight in case it gets too dark after the sun sets. It is extremely dangerous hiking down without proper lighting.

Wear proper shoes: You will be hiking across slippery terrain for most of the trail, so make sure you wear appropriate shoes.

Wear a hat: Again, you will be hiking most of the trail facing direct sunlight. You will want to make sure that you protect your head from the sun.

Bring Mosquito Repellent: The Ehukai Pillbox Hike can have lots of bugs at times, so bug repellent might not be a bad idea.

Do not litter: It is important that you pack out what you bring in and respect the environment. This is a delicate ecosystem and there are endangered species of plants on this mountain.

What Other Hikes are Similar to The Ehukai Pillbox Hike?

If you are looking for easy hikes in Oahu or one of the best hikes on the North Shore, or one of the best hikes in all of Oahu, be sure to check out our other article.

In a nutshell, here are some of our favorite easy hikes on the island:

  • Lanikai Pillbox Hike: This hike is on the windward side of Oahu, but it is similar in terms of views. It’s way more popular than the Ehukai Trail, and it can get pretty crowded. The Lanikai Pillbox Hike will give you amazing views of Lanikai Beach, the Mokolua Mountains, the east side of Oahu, and Kailua Beach.
  • Makapu’u Lighthouse: This hike offers fantastic views of Oahu’s southeastern coastline. You will be rewarded with views of Koko Head and Koko Crater, and the windward coast. If you are lucky, you might even see Molokai and Lanai on a clear day.
  • Diamond Head: This hike offers stunning views of Waikiki and the South Shore. It is an iconic tourist attraction and one of the most popular hikes on Oahu.

What Else Is There to Do in the Area?

There is so much to do on the north shore of Oahu. Below are a few of our favorite things to do.

View of the Ocean at Ehukai Beach. The sand is white and soft
  • Go to Ehukai Beach: After you finish hiking to the pillbox, I recommend going down to Ehukai Beach. It’s a beautiful white sand beach, and it is popular for surfing in the winter months. You will see the world’s best surfers take on Banzai Pipeline, one of the most famous surfing spots in the world.
  • Visit Turtle Bay Resort/Beach: If you are looking for some fun after hiking to the pillbox, I recommend going over to Turtle Bay Resort. There is public parking to access the beach area.
  • Check out the North shore Food Trucks: There are so many food trucks, including famous shrimp trucks, in this area. Our personal favorite is the famous Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck.
  • Go snorkeling to one of the best snorkeling spots in Oahu: Make sure to visit Shark’s Cove and Kuilima Cove while you are on the North Shore. If you are there during the summer, you can enjoy a nice swim in the ocean to cool off from the hike.
  • Get a smoothie at Banzai Bowls: If you are looking for a refreshing post-hike treat, head over to Banzai Bowls. They have bowls made with fresh fruit and all-natural ingredients. They are about a minute’s drive from the Ehukai parking.
  • Get some Acai Bowls at the Sunrise Shack: If you are looking for a healthy treat, check out the Sunrise Shack. They have acai bowls and smoothies as well as other healthy snacks.
A cute photo of the yellow Sunrise Shack where you can get fresh acai bowls after hiking the Ehukai Pillbox

Ehukai Pillbox Hike: The Wrap Up

The Ehukai Pillbox Hike is a great hike to do with friends and family. It’s not too difficult of a hike, so it’s good for beginners as well. If you are looking for beautiful views, this is the place to go!

This hike will reward you with gorgeous views of Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline) and Oahu’s North Shore.

Mahalo for reading our post, and until next time, Aloha!

Happy hiking in Oahu!

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