Once you’ve visited Halawa Valley, you’ll understand why travelers and locals alike go gaga for Molokai. This unassuming little island is home to one of the most remarkable wonders of nature you will ever see.
Picture a lush valley that’s half a mile wide and up to 4 miles – yes, 4 MILES – deep. Imagine hiking through it and seeing all kinds of gorgeous waterfalls and, when you’re ready to cool off, stopping at one of those waterfalls for a dip in the amazing pool below. Yup, all of that is a reality in Halawa Valley. The area is so lovely, beautiful, and special that many believe people called it home as early as 650 AD, making it one of Hawaii’s oldest settlements.
The crown jewel of Halawa Valley is Mooula Falls, a 250 ft. waterfall, one of the tallest in Hawaii. You must do a moderate, guided hike to get there (you can’t go without a guide since some of the land in Halawa Valley is privately owned). Once you get there, you can take a refreshing swim at the base of Mooula Falls. Pretty spectacular!
It will take you about an hour and a half of very scenic driving (on pretty narrow roads, be warned!) to get to Halawa Valley, but the trip is worth it. Not only will you see beautiful landscapes and vistas, but on the hike you will also get to learn about the ancient history of Halawa Valley. The valley used to be much more densely populated, but decades ago tsunamis destroyed most of the buildings, fields, and infrastructure, so today the valley is mainly used for recreation – only a couple of families still call Halawa Valley home. Along the hike, you will get to see some remnants of the life that used to be in Halawa Valley, including temples, ancient walls, taro fields and more, and learn about the people who lived there.
Because Halawa Valley is raw nature, please come prepared. Bring sunscreen, insect repellent, sturdy shoes (no flip flops or you likely won’t be allowed to go on your hike), a hat, snacks and plenty of water, plus a swimsuit for swimming at Mooula Falls!