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.