Kalaupapa Sea Cliff Lookout
About Kalaupapa Sea Cliff Lookout
Molokai’s most dramatic scenic lookout on the island’s north coast is the Kalaupapa Sea Cliff Lookout, overlooking the infamous “leper’s colony” for people with Hansen’s Disease. At the lookoutwhich is located atop the world’s highest ocean sea cliffs, rising nearly 2,000 feetyou’ll discover a variety of informative plaques describing the area’s history and heritage.
The long, sorrowful history of Hansen’s Disease in Hawaiiand the “lepers” who were banished to Kalaupapa Peninsula because of their conditionhighlights the selfless actions of Father Damien, who devoted his life to treating Kalaupapa patients with leprosy. Hawaii residents affected by Hansen’s Disease were forced by law to relocate to the unincorporated colony of Kaluapapa. In 1969, the state legislature ended the mandatory relocation legislation after considering closing the colony entirely. The State eventually allowed the colony’s residents to live there for the remainder of their life because of the difficulties residents would surely face trying to find a normal life in mainstream society. After so many years banished from the public, these people would have an easier life living in Kalaupapa.
Father Damien died in 1889, but his legacy continues. Today the “leper’s colony” on the peninsula, which formed from a lava flow that spilled from the Kauhako Crater, is the Kalaupapa National Historical Park, where only authorized tours can explore.
Facts & Trivia
- Island: Molokai
- Amenities: Restrooms, camping, interpretive signage, trash cans.
- Insider Tip: Enjoy the fantasic views of the coast and Kalaupapa National Historical Park, but be sure to read the signage about the colony's history for a complete understading of this location.
- Fun Fact: Nearby in the Pala'au State Park is the infamous Phallic Rock, which is said to symbolize the Hawaiian male fertility god, Nanahoa.
- What to Expect: Gorgeous views of the Kalaupapa National Historical Park, surrounded by some of the world's highest ocean cliffs.