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“So Glad We Took Mule Ride”
Review of Molokai Mule Ride

Molokai Mule Ride
Ranked #2 of 4 things to do in Kalaupapa
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A two hour mule ride down an 1800 foot cliff to Kalaupapa Peninsula.
Victoria, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
268 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“So Glad We Took Mule Ride”
Reviewed March 16, 2013

After months of reading about the options to get to Kalaupapa, I gathered the great courage to sign up for the mule ride and was so happy that we did. I am a big chicken when it comes to heights and the fact that I hadn't been on a horse for more than forty years and my husband had never been on a mule, donkey or horse made me hesitant to do the ride.

After signing up before we left home (glad we did as the tour is kept small and sells out quickly), I finished reading "Molokai" by Brennart, which is good historical fiction about the settlement. After we arrived in Molokai, we viewed the area from the lookout, stopped by the ranch to see the well cared for mules and talked to people in town about the trip. "Trust the Mules" is the advice we got over and over again.

There were nine of us on the trip and three competent and friendly guides. The trip down took 1 1/2 hours after being made comfortable in the saddle. We wore long pants and running shoes. We took a light day pack with water and snacks as lunch was not served til after 1:00pm. We wore layers as it had been windy and cool in the morning. On the 1 hr trip back, I didn't wear my windbreaker. We wore hats as the sun is strong even on cloudy days. If you do not have a light pack, there are small saddle bags on the mules to hold snacks and beverages. Upon arrival, we boarded a very old school bus and Norman took us to the churches, graves and bookstore. He kindly gave us lots of information and answered our questions. Unfortunately, there were some people who had flown in and rudely talked, but others on the bus shushed them. The hikers joined the flyers and mule riders on this tour.
Lunch was fine. I was happy with the fresh assemble yourself sandwich. I doubt I would have wanted more than a sandwich, bag of chips and small sweet snack until I got topside.
Although we do a lot of hiking, our senior knees would not have been OK with the climb.
The scenery was awesome. We are happy we took the tour. The next day, we felt like we had been bike riding for the first time of the season, but that feeling only lasted a day. If you have very bad knees, hips or back, you may not want to do the mule ride.

It was a full day and the cost was fair. The mules did not have an odor.

Visited March 2013
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7 Thank coast_to_coast_250
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Colorado
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Don't be afraid of the mules!”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

It was our first trip to Moloka'i and this was a one of a kind trip so I booked it. We woke up to rain the day of our ride so I called and was told that they ride rain or shine and we might be blessed with a rainbow. I was a little nervous about riding a mule down 2,000 foot sea cliffs with 26 switchbacks, on a possibly wet and slippery path. It was wonderful! Trust the mules - they do this every day and are very sure-footed. And there WAS a rainbow from the sea cliffs to the ocean. Kaulaupapa is beautiful and fascinating and I would suggest you learn some history about it before you go. There is a novel called "Moloka'i" that I really enjoyed. You will learn a lot on your tour but I was glad I knew some background before I went. There is also a book called "The Colony" if you want to learn a lot about rhe history of Kaualpapa and Hansen's disease.

Be prepared with good shoes for riding, a raincoat and a camera. Don't bring anything that will flop around and frighten the mules. You will not be able to stop to untie anything from the saddle and there are no restrooms on the trail :) You can buy drinks and snacks in Kaulapapa at Fuesaina's Bar (smoking area under the mango tree) and the company provides a sack lunch. We will absolutely do this again.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
6 Thank Niram
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redding, California
Level 6 Contributor
239 reviews
163 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“Amazing Mule Ride”
Reviewed March 11, 2013

The trip is well worth the money. The mules make the hike less strenuous, but more exciting because you have to trust the mule on the edge of a HUGE cliff. The tour through the village of Kalaupapa was interesting, but had less history than I expected. The mules were definitely the star of the show. Expensive activity but well worth the cash. We also hiked the trail and it was still fun and beautiful, but much more work.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank AmyWren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“What an amazing adventure!”
Reviewed February 19, 2013

All I can say is this: read all the reviews, and dont hesitate for one second to second-guess or doubt any of them!

Its the kind of experience that is both humbling, and fulfilling, at the same time....but with splashes of sheer enjoyment mixed in for any, and everyone!

Gotta say this: Buzzy?????? Brah, you be da' story-talkin' king a da island! But story filled with such love....such enjoyment....maybe the single-best tour guide Ive ever experienced, anywhere....but certainly in a very close tie with Pilipo Solatario from Halawa Molokai! These two gentlemen taught me more about the islands...their spirit..their cultures...their sheer love for life, than all my other tours over the past ten years combined! And thats an understatement!

Book in advance.....dont worry about weather (as during the Winter you may experience some rain at almost any time)....the more moisture in the clouds and air, the more rainbows you will see, and our group saw several both on the descent, as well as the ascent of the trail.

The scenery and village at the bottom are wonderful pay-offs for a trip that can be a bit...."trying" on a mans....."kibbles and bits", if a person isnt used to this type of ride.

The animals are wonderful.....and the crew makes it as safe as it gets,anywhere. As Buzzy told us as we started our trek, "Dese mules.....dey got no suicidal tendencies to worry about"....

I can safely recommend this attraction to anyone considering this.....email if you have any questions!

Mahalo!

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank KonaJoe14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Book way in advance to avoid disappointment!”
Reviewed February 9, 2013

I actually didn't get to do the ride, because when I came to the island and staying for 1 week, I rang on 1st day, and found out its completely booked out, and owner Roy who is the most lovely man told me most people book a few weeks to few months in advance since there is only 18 mule a day!
So I am writing to let everyone know if you don't want to miss out, book early! I read the reviews on many review website, but no one gave warning to book early. It took me 2 days to get over the fact we are not able to get to the town which I was looking forward to! In the end, we went to the kanupapa lookout and see it from the top. As beautiful as it was, it's not the same not being able to get there, and my husband and I aren't fit enough to hike down! And we didn't want to spend $220 per person to fly down because not being able to 'experience' the land to get to kalaupapa town wouldn't be the same. (The mule ride is still $190 each, but we were prepare to pay for a unique experience)

Anyway, not meant to be for us, but hopefully my review will help others not miss out on this unique experience!

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Fairyland_Goddess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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