This isolated peninsula on the north coast of the island of Molokai is surrounded by sea and high cliffs—and not easy to get to. Visitors must pre-arrange access, then hike a steep three-and-a-half-mile trail to get to the entrance, beyond which there are no dining or shopping facilities. The reward for all of this advance preparation, however, is an ecological paradise with natural beauty as well as a fascinating history. Kalaupapa was once an isolated colony for Native Hawaiians suffering from Hansen’s disease, also known as leprosy; in addition to lush, rare flora and fauna, the park preserves many archaeological features dating back to ancient times and historic buildings and relics from its once-exiled residents.
More about Kalaupapa
Trip National Parks of Hawaii Expert biologists, naturalists, and cultural interpreters will introduce you to six Hawaiian National Parks. Witness the diversity of the island landscape, hear from a volcanologist, and participate in an authentic Hawaiian family lu’au.
Blog Post Trivia Challenge: A Rare and Isolated Community Q: National parks help interpret diverse aspects of American culture, including unusual and exceptional stories from our country’s past. One unique park site preserves the history of a particularly rare and isolated kind of community: a Hansen’s disease settlement (commonly known as a leper colony). Can you name this park where former patients still live today?
Blog Post 10 Hidden Gems in the National Park System Want to explore a few remarkable places off the beaten path? These 10 NPCA picks offer great ways to escape the crowds while enjoying unique, underappreciated natural and cultural treasures around the country.
Magazine Article Exiled to Paradise Kalaupapa National Historical Park celebrates the triumph of the human spirit over Hansen’s disease.