Hiking to Secret Pillboxes on O’ahu

The Ehukai Pillboxes is one of my favourite hikes on O’ahu for a few different reasons: it’s not a difficult hike, it’s not super well known, and the views are incredible!

This hike is on the North Shore and during the right times of year you can perch yourself on the pillbox and watch surfers catch the waves below you. There are two pillboxes here, the second is the one with the better views (I think). Both, though, make excellent spots to have a picnic lunch or watch the sunset and the stars come out (make sure you take a flashlight or headlamp with you).

The view of the North Shore from the first pillbox

I’d say that the hike took me about 30 minutes to get to the second pillbox. The specific starting location is beside a cute little elementary school, and I swear to you it’s called Sunset Elementary.

Follow the trail through the forest and up the hill, sticking to the trail on the left and you’ll reach the first pillbox after about 10 minutes! From there, continue along the trail…although, I should mention that I wasn’t even sure I was going the right way for a little while after the first pillbox. There’s an ominous ‘No Trespassing’ sign coupled with a ‘Guard Dogs’ sign on a tree but the trail definitely continues. So, I just decided to go for it. About 10 minutes later I came to the second pillbox and it was definitely worth trespassing to get to!

The second pillbox with a view of the North Shore and some optimistic graffiti

Both the first and second pillbox are super interesting to explore and have been graffitied with work that will, I’m sure, be covered and changed over time. It will make it fun to go back because each time things will look slightly different!

I do have to admit, though, that it was pretty weird to be in these bunkers and think about what their primary purpose was when they were originally built.

Another perk of hiking on the North Shore is that you can grab some deliciously flavoured shaved ice from Matsumoto! I wasn’t really sure what all the hype was about and was drawn in by the line. To be honest, I played the “if this many people are into it, it must be good” card, and got lucky and was totally right! There’s so many flavour choices there’s going to be something for everyone!


Have you done this pillbox hike, or another one on O’ahu? I’d love to hear your thoughts or suggestions in the comments!





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