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“Hike into Kalaupapa, Molokai”

Kalaupapa National Historical Park
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Kalaupapa and Molokai Day Trip from Oahu
Ranked #2 of 4 things to do in Kalaupapa
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: This historical park was a former leper colony run by Father Damien in the 1930s.
East Wenatchee, Washington
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Hike into Kalaupapa, Molokai”
Reviewed 1 April 2014

Flew to topside Molokai for $20 more each person on a 1/2 hr comfortable flight vs the ferry (at $70 each way). Took a taxi to the Mule Barn at $30 each way--cheaper than renting a car that would be parked most of the day--reserved the taxi several days before arrival. Extremely nice taxi driver and service. Mule barn--terribly run down, nothing like the pictures--nothing to buy like the ad states. We preferred the 3.1 mile hike into Kalaupapa over the mule ride. Rained, overcast clouds, views limited, but nice. Trail is mostly steps (to help with drainage/erosion)-for hikers not a big deal going down, tougher coming up, but we made the 1600 foot climb back up the 26 switchbacks (which are numbered) in 1 3/4 hours, it would take longer on a hot day. Took the required tour (village of Hansen's disease patients & surrounding area) and were pleasantly surprised with what we learned. Only 4 stars because, first: the ferry leaves before the mule ride or hikers can get back (that's what they say)--so you have to stay over or fly. Couldn't the ferry service adjust the schedule to accommodate those who have one day to do the mule ride or hike.
Second: cannot just hike down and back up (to keep people from loitering)--you must do the tour. Rules may lighten up once the 9 remaining patients have died.

Visited March 2014
2 Thank odiewon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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146 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Omro, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
67 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2014

Easy to find, and a must see if going to this Island. The beauty, the smell of the Ironwood trees, the history! Wow! Make sure you do your homework on the history of this park, so that you understand what you are seeing. I felt honored to have been able to see such a historic place. Also, walk the short distance down the path to the Phallic Rock, you won't be sorry.

Visited February 2014
1 Thank sloppyjoes89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
72 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Amazing place”
Reviewed 11 March 2014

This is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It is like stepping back 50 years in time. I walked in and out while my wife came in and out by plane. The plane takes seven minutes each way while the hike took a 60 minutes down. We took our time with pictures and no rush. 90 minutes out. This is a strenuous hike so just know that if you plan to walk. There are usually walking sticks at the top that hikers leave for the next to do the trail. John our guide was wonderful. He was such a nice man with so much information and answers to all of our questions. I can't recommend this place enough. If you are ever on Molokai make the effort. It also helps if you read or have read the book "Molokai". You must also get permit to visit. No one under 16 allowed.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank JiuJitsguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York Beach, Maine
Level Contributor
481 reviews
115 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 159 helpful votes
“Astonishing Beauty of the Worlds Highest Sea Cliffs Combined With Historical Significance”
Reviewed 27 February 2014

Because of the isolation and the natural barriers of the high sea cliffs, this area was chosen in 1866 by the Kingdom of Hawaii as the place where victims of leprosy would be sent to spend the remainder of their lives. For several years, these people lived in complete desolation and misery. In 1873, Father Damien de Veuseter arrived to minister to the sick and dying. Eventually, he, too, contacted the disease and died at the age of 49 but not before Mother Marianne Cope arrived to take over responsibility for the care of the ill. A monument in Kalaupapa is dedicated to her life and service. The present hospital and the remains of the first hospital as well as the St. Francis Church are in the same area as the monument. Traveling by school bus, we journeyed a short distance to Kalawao where the first lepers were brought and where Father Damien ministered. His monument is located near the beautiful St. Philomena Church which he built prior to his death. The beauty of this area is simply astonishing and I would have liked to have had more time to enjoy the wonder of it all. There are 20 patients still living in Kalaupapa. No photographs are allowed of any of the people living there and certain areas are off limits to the visitor. All visitors, whether they be from the mule train, hikers or those coming in by plane, are asked to remain with the group. Our guide was outstanding!

Visited February 2014
2 Thank DRH0PS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“This could be heaven or...”
Reviewed 10 February 2014

The reality that this was a prison just couldn't jive in my head in the context of the absolutely stunning and relatively unspoiled natural beauty. I'm not a person who routinely has song lyrics running through my head, but the line from Hotel California about heaven/hell really resonates with me after visiting this place.

I got there via a charter airplane from Honolulu, which was expensive but totally worth it, doubly so because the charter flew past the sea cliffs. If you're going strictly for any one reason, you might be disappointed, but if you're open to an experience that isn't in line with day-to-day experience, it's a truly exceptional place to go.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank confoundation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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