Kalaupapa Guided Mule Tour Molokai
This is part of a series where we visit America’s beautiful National Parks and Monuments.
The history of this park is really interesting. When Hansen’s disease (leprosy) was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands, King Kamehameha V banished all afflicted to the isolated Kalaupapa peninsula on the north shore of Molokai. This is a rugged and unforgiving place. There are three ways to get to the peninsula. You can fly in on a chartered tour, you can hike in or you can ride a mule as part of an organized tour.
My wife had visited Molokai when she was in college and some of the people in her group hiked down the 1700 vertical feet from the trail head to Kalaupapa. This is a winding path with lots of uneven steps and tight turns. We knew better than to try to walk down, tour the park and then climb back up.
We really wanted to visit the park so we signed up for the Mule ride and tour. You pretty much have no choice but to stay on Molokai the day before and the night after the tour. The ferry schedule from Maui just doesn’t work for a one day trip.