My girlfrend and I did a short hike this past saturday at Kaiwa Ridge. I started from the trailhead near the golf course, Mid Pacific CC. We started around 12:15pm and weren't the only ones there. There was a gang of kids with a couple of adults that came down just as we were heading up.
The initial section was the toughest climb of the hike. It wasn't difficult at all, although it was dry and hot. The climb was also a bit slippery but after about 20 min., we reached the ridge and the cool trade winds that blow from the ocean side. I stayed as close as possible to the edge of the ridge to catch the cool breeze as I hiked to the WWII bunkers. The trail occasionally goes toward the Koolau mountain side of Kaiwa Ridge, but it's really hot, much hotter than the ocean side.
In about 40 min. or so we reached the first WWII bunker where we decided to stop and rest in the shade in front of the bunker. The heat was getting to my girlfriend so I decided not to go on. From that point on, I could see two WWII bunkers in the distance, which I think is the summit of Kaiwa Ridge. The bunkers are those "dual level" type. "Next time", I thought. I plan to bring a few of my friends on this hike in the future, so I thought I'd check it out first, which is what today's hike is.
From the first bunker, we could see all of Lanikai and the many pools of the residents. Some were suprisingly quite large, but no one swimming on this hot day. We also had a fantastic view of two small islands (don't know their names) as well as the Pacific Ocean. Rabbit island was in the far distance to the right.
I think the 2nd bunker will offer views of Waimanalo and Bellows AFB, as well as the views we had from the first bunker. I would recommend this hike for kids and adults. The younger kids may need some help getting in the beginning because it's a little steep and slippery, but there are a lot of trees to grab onto so it isn't that bad. Once you gain the ridge, you'll have cool breezes, a good view, and a gradual climb to the summit.