And we visited the taro farm! They taught us how to boil the roots and pound poi, such a great experience. I love seeing other's stories of camping in the valley! It's so rare for people to get there.
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I felt so fortunate, like going back in time. Thanks for posting your experience, I know exactly what you mean!! Our Hawaiian friends took us back there and showed us how to make a hale and survive. I miss Wailau everyday since I left Molokai. Quite a few years ago. Loren Gill, a naturalist for Moanalua Gardens, under the auspices of Foster Gardens, used to organize camping trips to Wailau Valley via a fishing boat.
Went on it twice for about a five day camping trips. Wish Foster Gardens had continued the trips; would go again. One highlight was to take a picture of a waterfall as it streamed over a cliff. The water fell in mists so one could take a picture directly underneath!
Hiking up the stream to the waterfall and the cliffs above for spectacular views were other highlights. Thanks for writing, we are lucky to have been there as so few get to go. Are you from Lanai? Another amazing place, but I've only been there by boat and seen the edges. A group of us hiked the Wailau trail in We were in college at u of h.
We spent 5 glorious days in the valley. I'll never forget how the waves made the rocks on the beach click together. My first year on Molokai I often asked what was required to visit the remote valleys on the backside of the island.
Answers to my questions varied considerably. For the most part it appeared I would not be welcome. Others said 'back side Molokai' was lawless and people didn't always come back. I was told that wild pigs would eat me while I slept or more generously that it would only be possible to go with locals who knew the way, but nobody could tell me who they were.
Of course there were the stories about scary dope growers, supernatural night marchers and always the man eating sharks guarding the bay. On the other hand people told me about taking their families camping there for weeks in the summer. They had a perfectly fine time and actually lived to tell about it, but when I said I wanted to go, invariably they brought up killer pigs.
Pristine places stay that way if few people find them. The premier mark of distinction on Molokai is exactly how much time one has spent on the island. It is usually the first question people ask.
I am usually visiting, which means I will be leaving, which is acceptable. My friend Jill was up for adventure regardless. Finally I met a woman who owned land in Wailau Valley and she gave us permission to stay on her property. Aside from a morbid fear of sharks our plan to jump off a fishing boat and swim ashore to camp in a nearly inaccessible tropical valley until a boat could return to retrieve us seemed perfectly sound.
Millions of years ago Molokai broke in half leaving rubble on the ocean floor all the way to Oahu. Wailau Valley is on the steep north side where the massive geologic event left behind the highest sea cliffs in the world. Witnessing the event was for the birds since humans didn't arrive until fairly recently in the spectrum of time.
Estimates of the peek population in the valley range from ten thousand on up. Wailau means many waters, although there is no accurate count of the waterfalls that line the cliffs when it rains as there are too many and it is always changing. Jill picked me up early following the implied law of the sea that boating adventures begin at the crack of dawn. It is often true that the sea is calmer in the morning, there is more day light to make use of and most people sleep at night so it is not a problem except to insomniacs like me.
Tom offered us a boat ride for the price of the gas.
Paddle my inflatable canoe into the wind over steep breaking waves for six hours, a conservative estimate, with no room for gear or food. Audrey Sutherland did it many times and never ran into any sharks, but I can't even begin to understand how her imagination allowed this to happen. There are people in the world we are not supposed to compare ourselves too. It used to be possible to hike over the mountain and down into the back of the valley. The trail is still printed on maps, but from what I could find out it has not been traversed in many years.
Supposedly the ragged bits of rope used to swing across the sections of trail that had fallen away were at questionable risk. Ranchers may give permission to cross their land, but a person would probably have to sign a waiver admitting a rescue attempt would be a waste of tax dollars for someone nuts enough to try it. We met Tom and a few of his friends where the boat bobbed serenely in a quiet bay.
As the sun broke the horizon we collected our gear and waded into waste deep water to the anchored boat. It was a good chance to float test the five gallon buckets we had packed our stuff in.
Of course I had imagined jumping over the side with a bucket so overloaded that it would be sucked straight to the bottom and I would not let go for fear of starvation. I sat forward on a cooler chest that either roved gently around on the floorboards or without warning made an animated gesture skyward. There was no guessing which. When we were out of sync the boat-cooler-spine connection banged my teeth together. The view shifted dramatically from overcast sky to rapidly approaching ultramarine trough below.
This was the real adventure; swimming ashore with a bucket did not equal riding a cooler chest through steep chop. Tom found his groove, judging which waves to throttle back on and which he could blast over without jetting into space. The cooler became my friend again and sightseeing was an option.
Views Read Edit View history. Numerous major landmarks dominate the area, such as Olokui , Molokai 's second highest peak, and the Kukuinui Ridge. Millions of years ago Molokai broke in half leaving rubble on the ocean floor all the way to Oahu. Audrey Sutherland did it many times and never ran into any sharks, but I can't even begin to understand how her imagination allowed this to happen. The hike in is possible, but your chances of death are high and you will have to face the pig tunnels.
Soaring high over the vertigo sea cliffs a helicopter looked like a gnat. The people looking down at us probably thought, Styrofoam cup. Land in the valley is privately owned, divided in parcels and camping is allowed by the discretion of the owners. Several families who own plots set up camps on the beach for the summer. It was still a little early in the year to make the trip, the seas were not calm and the trip to shore looked ominous. For the extinct shield volcano, see East Molokai Volcano.