Top 12 waterfalls in Molokai
Volcanoes, rain, and ocean in the north-eastern part of the beautiful Hawaiian island of Molokai have created one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world.
Volcanic activity over the last 1.5 million years has created mountains here. Summit of East Molokai volcano (1,514 m high) gets a lot more rain than the western part of Molokai island – approximately 4,000 mm per year – thus the rainwater has cut spectacular valleys in the volcanic shield and formed very tall, nearly vertical ridges. Rain maintains lush vegetation – even very steep slopes here are covered with an emerald green cover of plants. Waves of the Pacific have washed out the volcanic shield, creating spectacular cliffs.
All of this facilitates the development of countless tall waterfalls.
Map of the 12 waterfalls in Molokai
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About the waterfalls of Molokai
Falling directly in ocean
Northeastern part of Molokai is adorned with extremely high cliffs towering above the sea up to 1,010 meters high. These cliffs belong to highest seaside cliffs of the world. Such cliffs ending abruptly in the sea Hawaiians called "na pali" – sea cliffs.
Most impressive are two sections of these cliffs containing some of the highest waterfalls in the world.
The tallest cliffs – Haloku Cliffs – are located in some 4 – 5 km long section between the Pelekunu and Wailau valleys. These cliffs contain numerous extremely tall falls, though four falls stand out (from west to east):
- Haloku Falls (˜700 m tall)
- Olo’upena Falls (˜900 m tall)
- Pu’uka’oku Falls (˜840 m tall)
- Wailele Falls (˜580 m tall)
Just some 4 km to the east there are the next high sea cliffs rising some 750 – 800 m high. These cliffs contain the very impressive Kahiwa Falls (˜660 m tall) with numerous tall jumps along the basalt cliff.
When the wind is strong, Kahiwa Falls do not fall into the ocean – wind catches the water and rises it up again.
White ribbons in green valleys
Some of the most impressive waterfalls though are located further inland, at the far end of very deep, emerald green valleys. Contrary to seaside waterfalls, these falls of valleys in general are less subject to seasonal changes, they are perennial and more powerful.
These falls are (in the order of height):
- Waimanu Falls (550 m)
- Papalaua Falls (501 m)
- Mo’oloa Falls (440 m)
- Hina Falls (380 m)
- Haha Falls (240 m)
- Hipuapua Falls (152 – 160 m)
- Moa’ula Falls (more than 76 m)
- Waterfalls of Molokai, World of Waterfalls. Accessed in 9 June 2010
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Some 240 m tall fall, one of seven tall waterfalls at the upper rim of Kamalo Canyon.
Approximately 700 m high seasonal waterfall which falls directly into Pacific Ocean.
380 m tall fall, one of seven tall waterfalls at the upper rim of Kamalo Canyon.
Approximately 152 – 160 m tall horsetail falls with a single drop.
Roughly 660 m high waterfall with 6 drops up to 183 m high. Waterfall almost directly falls into the Pacific Ocean. Strong winds can raise the waterfall up in the air.
Picturesque horsetail fall with at least 7 drops. Last two drops are around 76 m tall.
440 m tall fall, one of seven tall waterfalls at the upper rim of Kamalo Canyon.
Some 900 m high seasonal waterfall which falls directly into the Pacific ocean. One of the tallest known waterfalls in the world.
501 m high waterfall with 5 drops, tallest drop is 340 m high. Located at the far end of deep, very impressive valley.
Roughly 840 m high seasonal waterfall that falls directly into Pacific Ocean.
Some 580 m high seasonal waterfall, falling almost directly into Pacific Ocean.
Approximately 550 m high waterfall, the tallest drop – 120 m.
This richly imagined novel, set in Hawai’i more than a century ago, is an extraordinary epic of a little-known time and place—and a deeply moving testament to the resiliency of the human spirit.
This informative and easy-to-follow guidebook makes the ancient sites of Maui, Molokai, and Lanai available to the general public for the first time. Grouping the sites by location, the book characterizes the cultural background of five main types of sites: heiau (temples), pohaku (sacred stones), petroglyphs, caves, and fishponds.