Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
Yes
Lodging
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Pala'au State Park is the only Hawaiian State Park on the island of Molokai. 

Lying a short drive from the airport, it makes a natural stop for those visiting the island. The park has some of the most accessible outdoor areas, as well as the best views of the isolated community of Kalaupapa, a former Leper colony on the northern part of the island.

Pala'au State Park is relatively small (233.7 acres), and contains only a couple primary attractions. Lying at the northern end of Molokai's Kalae Highway, the first park structure visitors will pass is the covered picnic pavilion on the left side of the road. With numerous covered picnic tables, the pavilion lies in the center of a large grassy lawn areas, where it is possible to camp. Campers must obtain a permit of the Hawaiian State Parks system before settling in here.

Following the road to its end brings visitors to a parking area.

Two short trails begin here:

Kauleonanahoa Phallic Rock trail leads 1/10th of a mile to the left, bringing visitors through a 90 year old ironwood tree forest to a fertility rock where legend says that women leaving an offering and spending the night will become pregnant. It is also possible to see Hawaiian petroglyphs in this area.

The Kalaupapa Overlook trail follows a paved ADA accessible walking path to a platform standing 1000' above the sea with the island's clearest view of the historic Kalaupapa Community, former Leper colony and prison site that remains a community completely isolated and separated from the rest of the island. 

Visitors can make arrangements to meet a tour guide in the town of Kalaupapa, which allows them to get a permit to hike the very strenuous Kalaupapa Trail that begins at the entrance to the state park.

A vault toilet is located at the parking area at the end of Kalae Highway. There are no markets or other amenities inside the State Park. Being pretty small, it is possible for visitors to see most of what the state park has to offer in well under two hours. Though the features in the park are unique on Molokai, so island visitors should not pass up the state park when making plans.

There is no fee required to visit Pala'au State Park. The park is open daily from 7am to 6:45pm. With its higher elevation, the weather may be cooler at the park, visitors should be prepared with a windbreaker or light jacket.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Offers accessible trails and viewpoints. Camping available.

Cons

Minimal amenities.

Features

ADA accessible
Vault toilet
Backcountry camping
Historically significant
Wildlife
Big vistas
Geologically significant
Family friendly
Picnic tables
Covered picnic areas

Location

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