The Pink Pillbox hike (also known as Westside Pillbox or Maili Pillbox or Pu’u O Hulu) offers stunning views of the West Side of Oahu. You’ll be able to see the large pacific ocean expanding as far as the eye can see, waves crashing into the rocks below, and all the remarkable valleys from Ko Olina to Makaha. It’s completely different from the ones in town or on the East Side.
The start of Maili Pillboxes is located on the 9th street lamp up the hill on Kaukama Road.
From town or Waikiki, you’ll drive towards Waianae and just as you pass Electric Beach getting into Nanakuli, you’ll see a large mountain that juts out of the sea. On top of that mountain is the pillbox. As you take the right turn off the main Farrington highway for Kaukama Road, you’ll begin to see lamp posts on the right side of the road. Count to number nine and you’ll see the trailhead, just as you see it in the photo below. From there, it’s a 30-40 minute climb up the mountain that winds back and forth on a gentle slope.
The path zigzags upwards for thirty minutes with the view not changing much until the end. The trail is well worn, so there’s no need to bring long pants, and relatively stable for how rocky it is. Once you crest the ridge, you’ll be able to see the full ocean in all directions and that’s when the views really become worth it.
As a note, a major recommendation that everyone makes, is to bring water, especially if you go during any time of the day that’s not early morning or late, late afternoon. It gets really hot on this side of the island, and the only shade is within one of the pillboxes on this trail.
Once you’re at the top, it’s worth checking out the view from within the pillbox. The framing of the ocean and mountains within the small windows, makes it look like it’s out of a movie.
The view gets better the higher you go.
From the pink box, you can easily see the ocean and the road below.
From the bunker, you can see all the way down the mountain – a nearly 700 ft drop. It’s a nice place to people watch and see the sunset. On this sunday, it was a little crowded, compared to usual, but there were places to sit and relax all around.
After watching the sun set and taking lots of photos, we headed back down. The light stayed out long enough for us to climb to the bottom without a light, but near the end it might have been nice with a torch.
With only a 30 minute climb up and perhaps 20 down, this hike led to a nice afternoon sunset on the West Side of Oahu.
More Oahu Guides Here:
These are my other guides for Oahu:
Ultimate Guide to Oahu: Best Things to Do on Oahu – Complete Bucket List
Best Hikes: The Best Hikes on Oahu
Best Beaches: Top 5 Beaches in Waikiki
Where to Stay: Best Areas to Stay on Oahu, Hawaii – Your Travel Guide