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 – which means they also all have stunning views. (In other locations, pillboxes are used as a line of defense, but the ones on Oahu were never used for that purpose.)
What Should I Bring to the Ehukai Pillbox Hike?
In my opinion, you should bring water on a hike, regardless of how easy it may seem. However, I would especially recommend bringing water on this hike, because this trail is very muggy. That means that you’ll do a lot of sweating, and your body will need that water to be replaced in order to function well.
You can bring your water in a nice reusable bottle and help the environment while you’re at it too!
I like to keep my hands free so I can grab onto trees and help steady myself. I stuff my reusable water bottle, phone, and whatever else into my High Sierra backpack. I’ve been using my mini High Sierra backpack for my adventures for over a decade – and it is still in great condition!
With muddy hikes in general, having shoes with a good grip can seem like a blessing from the universe. The Fila Women’s Hiking Shoes have served me well on the many muddy hikes in Hawaii. If you’re interested, there is also a men’s version.
A Plastic Bag
When you get back to your car, you won’t want to get the floors and the peddles all muddy. My solution is to bring a plastic bag (or a reusable plastic bag that is easy to clean) and shove my muddy shoes in there until I have a chance to wash them!
Flip-Flops (A.K.A. Slippers)
If you shove your muddy shoes into that plastic bag, you’ll be walking around barefoot unless you bring something else to wear on your feet. That’s when a good ‘ole pair of slippers will come in handy.
If you want to support an amazing local Hawaii business, you can buy a pair of Olukai slippers for your adventure.
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 Koko Head 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.
Looking for another Oahu pillbox hike? Check out this post on Lanikai Pillbox!
Or are you looking for a more extensive list of Oahu hikes to check out? Here ya go!
Have you ever done the Ehukai Pillbox Hike before? Tell me about your experience in the comments!
Thinking about adding this hike to your list of things to do during your trip to Oahu? Pin it for later!