Geography of Kalawao County, Hawaii

Geography of Kalawao County, Hawaii

Kalawao County, located on the island of Molokai in the state of Hawaii, is a region of stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and unique geography. Encompassing approximately 53 square miles, the county is known for its rugged coastline, lush valleys, towering sea cliffs, and pristine beaches. In this comprehensive exploration, we delve into the intricate details of Kalawao County’s geography, including its climate, rivers, coastline, and notable landmarks.

Geographical Features:

According to dentistrymyth, Kalawao County is situated on the northern coast of Molokai, one of the least developed and most remote islands in the Hawaiian archipelago. The county’s landscape is dominated by the towering sea cliffs of the Kalaupapa Peninsula, which rise over 3,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean and create a dramatic backdrop to the region’s natural beauty.

In addition to its sea cliffs, Kalawao County is characterized by lush valleys, verdant rainforests, and pristine beaches. The county’s rugged terrain and isolation have contributed to its designation as a national park and preserve, protecting its unique ecosystems and cultural heritage for future generations to enjoy.


Kalawao County experiences a tropical rainforest climate, with warm temperatures and abundant rainfall throughout the year. The region’s climate is influenced by its proximity to the equator, the surrounding ocean, and the island’s topography, which creates microclimates ranging from lush rainforests to arid coastal areas.

Summer temperatures in Kalawao County typically range from the 70s°F to 80s°F (21-32°C), while winter temperatures remain mild, with highs in the 60s°F to 70s°F (15-26°C). The county receives the majority of its precipitation during the winter months, with frequent rain showers and occasional thunderstorms bringing moisture to the region.


Kalawao County boasts a stunning coastline that stretches for approximately 30 miles along the northern coast of Molokai. The coastline is characterized by rugged sea cliffs, pristine beaches, and hidden coves, creating a breathtaking backdrop for outdoor recreation and exploration.

One of the most notable features of Kalawao County’s coastline is the Kalaupapa Peninsula, a remote and isolated area that is home to the historic Kalaupapa National Historical Park. The peninsula is accessible only by mule ride, hiking trail, or small plane, preserving its pristine beauty and cultural significance.

Rivers and Waterways:

While Kalawao County is not known for its rivers or lakes, it is home to several streams and waterfalls that flow through its lush valleys and rainforests. The Halawa Stream, located in the eastern part of the county, is one of the largest and most scenic waterways on the island, with several waterfalls cascading down its steep slopes.

In addition to the Halawa Stream, Kalawao County is dotted with smaller streams and waterways, including the Waikolu Stream and the Pelekunu Stream. These waterways provide vital habitat for native flora and fauna and offer opportunities for hiking, swimming, and wildlife viewing.

Notable Landmarks:

Beyond its natural features, Kalawao County boasts several notable landmarks and cultural sites that showcase its rich history and heritage. The Kalaupapa National Historical Park, located on the Kalaupapa Peninsula, is home to the former leprosy settlement of Kalaupapa, where patients were once exiled to live in isolation. Today, the park preserves the memories of those who lived and died in Kalaupapa, providing visitors with opportunities to learn about the region’s history and culture.

Another iconic landmark in Kalawao County is the Phallic Rock, a natural rock formation located near the village of Maunaloa. The rock, which resembles a phallus, is considered sacred by the Hawaiian people and is believed to have fertility powers. Visitors often stop at the site to offer prayers and offerings in hopes of receiving blessings from the gods.

In conclusion, Kalawao County, Hawaii, offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and remote isolation. From its towering sea cliffs and pristine beaches to its lush valleys and hidden waterfalls, the county’s geography reflects the unique charm and allure of the Hawaiian Islands. Whether exploring its historic landmarks, hiking its scenic trails, or simply soaking in its breathtaking views, Kalawao County invites visitors to experience the beauty and tranquility of rural Hawaii.