Pu’u O Hulu
PINK PILLBOX HIKE
87 Kaukama Road, Waianae, HI 96792
Note: Park on Kaukama Road. Be sure not to leave any valuables in the car or in plain sight! Bring plenty of water and sunscreen!
The Sun Rises in the East and Sets in the West.
Such a simple fact. How incredible is it that you could enjoy both in one day (if you are adventurous enough – and have enough gas in your car)? It’s funny though because I honestly kept getting the Lanikai Pillbox Hike confused with this one. I’d say I want to go to Lanikai for sunset and be laughed at by all my friends. Now that I’ve been to both, I surely won’t mistake them anymore. Abby, Emily and I were enjoying ourselves on the South-West side checking out the lagoons and the resorts a few weeks ago when Emily was still here visiting from the Mainland. Since we were already on the Westside we couldn’t pass up an invitation with some friends to do this sunset hike!
Pu’u O Hulu is a 1.9 mile easy out and back trail (more like up and down trail). We parked along Kaukama Road and easily found the start of the trail up the hill side. It hadn’t rained recently so the trail was very dusty and slippery in spots. Since we had just been at the beach all day we were not prepared for the hike and I ended up wearing my Birkenstocks. They worked just fine, but be sure to bring hiking/running shoes to make it a bit easier on the feet. Plus proper shoes will give you more confidence to walk along the ridge line. We started the hike about an hour and a half before sunset so we had more than enough time to make it up to the top and enjoy the views. The hike up was a little difficult to be honest. Maybe it was because we were going pretty fast and I was wearing sandals, but even in the evening it was still hot and humid. The trail undergoes a few switchbacks and minimal spots where you also have to use your hands to climb up.
There are five different pillboxes at the top and multiple opportunities to take pictures! The most well-known pillbox is obviously the one that has been painted pink and I was nervous we wouldn’t be able to get a picture without others in it. I mean, who doesn’t want to sit on a box of concrete on a hill looking out at an incredible sunset with their best friends? Since we got to the peak a while before sunset, we hiked around to check out the different pillboxes and even explored the ridge line for a bit. It was a little windy, but it helped cool us off from the hot sun.