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Kalaupapa Trail

Hawaii > Molokai > Central Molokai
Length4 mi
Elev. Gain1600 ft
Difficulty4 / 5
Rating7 / 10
The trail is situated in the remote peninsula that drops nearly 2000 feet over sea cliffs to reach the Kalaupapa National Historic Park which homes the well-known Molokai leper colony. The leprosy victims were abandoned from their homes to this remote area but in 1873 Father Damien deVeuster from Belgium came here and arranged for settlements for these people at Kalaupapa. The peninsula is divided into the Kalawao region in the east, the Kalaupapa settlement in the west and the Makanalua in the center.

You will begin the trail under a forest on a wide path and go on till you enter the Kalaupapa National Historic Park. The next portion of the trail will make you descend on rocky steps and after passing 10 switchbacks you will reach the first lookout from where you get to see the sandy beach and settlements below. You will get to see the north shore sea cliffs when you reach switchback 20. When you reach switchback 26 after a descent, you will land on a place when the trail levels, finally taking you to a beach after a final descent. You end your trail on a dirt road.

Best time to go
Throughout the year

Permission required from the Hawaii Department of Health

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Hike Featured In...
Best Hiking Trips in Hawaii
By Pamela Wright
Trailhead Location
GPS Coordinates:
21° 10.299' N
156° 59.885' W

Driving Directions:
The trail starts close to the Palaau State Park near the end of Hwy. 470 which is above the Molokai Mule Ride store.
Hiking In Paradise
Weather Report for Kalaupapa, HI
Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. Lows 59 to 73. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Temperature: 74.7° F
Relative Humidity: 92%
Pressure: 30.05"
Dew Point: 72.2° F

Winds from the North at 0.0 mph gusting to 1.2 mph

Today: 0.08"

Sunrise: 6:26 AM
Sunset: 5:58 PM
Weather reported from Lahaina, Lahaina, HI (KHILAHAI22)
Mostly sunny in the morning then becoming partly sunny. Scattered showers. Highs 71 to 85. Light winds becoming northeast around 10 mph in the afternoon. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Sunday Night
Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. Haze. Lows 58 to 72. Light winds. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Mostly cloudy. Showers likely and isolated thunderstorms in the morning, then occasional showers and isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon. Haze through the day. Locally heavy rainfall possible. Highs 69 to 83. Light winds. Chance of rain 80 percent.
Monday Night
Cloudy. Occasional showers and isolated thunderstorms in the evening, then scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms after midnight. Haze through the night. Locally heavy rainfall possible. Lows 60 to 74. Light winds becoming south around 10 mph after midnight. Chance of rain 90 percent.
Weather information provided by Weather Underground. Current as of 10/22/2017 10:13 PM
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