Heads up! The Kaiwa Ridge Trail is closing for two months for repair work.
Also known as the Lanikai Pillbox Hike, this Windward Coast hike is one of the most popular on Oahu. The hike itself is relatively short, and not at all difficult, except, perhaps, for the first incline. And despite its ease, the hike offers some of the best views on the island. Which is probably why its become so popular. But that popularity, along with regular weathering, has caused the pillboxes to deteriorate to the point that they’re becoming unsafe. And, as a result, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources is closing the hike to make necessary repairs.
Beginning June 21, 2018, the Kaiwa Ridge Trail will close to the public for repair work. Work on the trail will include concrete spall repair, replacement of rusted steel roof supports, and the application of roof sealant. It is anticipated that the repair work will take 60 days to complete.
Originally, work was to begin back in March. However, the contractor needs to fly equipment and materials up to the pillboxes and could not obtain the necessary FAA approvals. As a result, the project was put on hold while awaiting those approvals.
Kaiwa Ridge Trail is Closing for Two Months, Final Thoughts
If you’re visiting Oahu in the next two months and were looking forward to this hike, I feel you. I too am bummed about its temporary closure, as it’s on my list of hikes to revisit soon. Heck, it’s a hike I recommend to people who think Oahu is all city and hate it because it really showcases the natural beauty of the island. But the repair work is necessary to ensure the hike will continue to be available in the long term.
In the meantime, there are other hikes to try while the Kaiwa Ridge Trail is closed. For example, the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail is one of my favorites. It isn’t much of a hike, as it’s paved all the way up, but it has great views and is a nice walk. And as touristy as Diamond Head (Leahi) is, the hike also boasts excellent views from the top. There are so many more great hikes on Oahu as well, and hopefully, I’ll be able to share at least some of those with you all in the not-too-distant future.