Port Angeles, Washington
April 6, 2003
The park is most well know for it’s overlook of the Kalaupapa Peninsula. From the parking area, it is just a 1- or 2-minute walk to the overlook. If the weather is good, you will get a perfect view of the entire peninsula. You can see its flat shape. Kalaupapa means "flat leaf" and from here you can see why. You will get a glimpse of some of the north shore cliffs, but not an extensive view. The trail to Kalaupapa starts just before the entrance sign for Pala’au State Park. But remember, you are not allowed to hike down to the peninsula unless you are a guest of a resident or have reservation on a guided tour (see my separate entry for Kalaupapa).
Also from the parking area, there is a short 5-minute hike to Kauleonanahoa, or phallic rock. The interpretive sign at Kauleonanahoa says the following:
"Many years ago the man Nanahoa and his wife Kawahuna lived on this green hill of Puu Lua. One day a beautiful young girl appeared and began to admire herself in a pool of water. Nanahoa watched admiringly and the girl returned a smile to his reflection in the pool. Growing jealous, the wife grabbed the young girl by the hair. Nanahoa hit his wife in quick-tempered anger and sent her tumbling down a nearby cliff where she turned to stone.
Nanahoa also turned to stone but his power remains in this male rock. It is said if a woman goes to Kauleonanahoa with offerings and spends the night she will return home pregnant. Phallic or fertility rocks are found on all these islands, but this is the finest example. The rocks present form is a natural configuration which has been carved to some extent."
That said (or read, as the case may be), I made sure to keep my distance from this rock. Also, I think these woman wanting to get pregnant could improve their chances is they brought their husbands with them to camp, eh? Also, if these rocks are all over the islands, I better pay closer attention to where I camp or eat lunch while hiking!
There is also a small campground at Pala’au State Park. It is about ¼ mile back along Hwy 470 from the parking area. It is a flat grassy area surrounded by trees on three sides, and the highway on the 4th side. There are picnic tables and restrooms, but no showers or water. The camping fee is $5 per person per night, and a permit is required. I don’t believe that permits can be obtained at the park, so you will have to call ahead to Department of Land and Natural Resources office at (808)567-6923 for permit information.
From journal Activities and Adventure on Molokai