National Park Service.
When Hansen's disease (leprosy) was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands, King Kamehameha V banished all afflicted to the isolated Kalaupapa Peninsula on the north shore of Molokai. Since 1866, more than 8,000 people, mostly Hawaiians, have died at Kalaupapa. Once a prison, Kalaupapa is now a refuge for the few remaining residents who are cured but were forced to live their lives in isolation.
Kalaupapa is an extremely isolated place, surrounded on three sides by ocean and two-thousand foot cliffs on the fourth. Consequently, there is no road access into the peninsula. Kalaupapa cannot be reached by automobile. To get to the park, visitors must travel by air, mule, or on foot. See the park's Direction and Transportation webpage for additional information.