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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
Partly cloudy. Haze through the night. A 20 percent chance of showers after midnight. Lows 59 to 70. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph.
Temperature: 71.8° F
Relative Humidity: 83%
Pressure: 29.97"
Dew Point: 66.4° F

Winds from the WSW at 1.9 mph gusting to 4.3 mph

Today: 0.00"

Sunrise: 6:56 AM
Sunset: 5:47 PM
Weather reported from Lahaina, Lahaina, HI (KHILAHAI22)
Mostly sunny with slight chance of showers in the morning, then partly sunny with chance of showers in the afternoon. Highs 65 to 80. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Tuesday Night
Mostly cloudy. Occasional showers in the evening, then showers likely after midnight. Lows 54 to 69. North winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Chance of rain 90 percent.
Breezy. Partly sunny with scattered showers in the morning, then mostly sunny in the afternoon. Highs 62 to 77. Northeast winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Wednesday Night
Breezy. Partly cloudy with isolated showers in the evening, then mostly cloudy with scattered showers after midnight. Lows 53 to 68. Northeast winds 15 to 20 mph. Gusts up to 35 mph early in the morning. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Weather information provided by Weather Underground. Current as of 12/12/2017 0:19 AM
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