ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Lanai Hawaii The Gathering

Updated on August 31, 2016
elayne001 profile image

Ruth Kongaika was born in the Rocky Mountains and has lived most of her life in the South Pacific. She travels, gardens and writes.

Rocky cliffs of Lanai
Rocky cliffs of Lanai | Source

We just returned from a trip to the sixth largest island in Hawaii. Lanai is not your typical tropical island with coconut and rain trees, fragrant flowers on every corner, and rows of pineapple (although it once was the largest pineapple plantation in Hawaii). Instead, it is rugged, mysterious and isolated. The biggest challenge to the island is the lack of running water.

Our expedition through Palawai Basin
Our expedition through Palawai Basin | Source
Norfolk Island Pines in Palawai Basin
Norfolk Island Pines in Palawai Basin | Source
Vista from the top
Vista from the top | Source
Deep ruts and mud. Walking the rest of the way up the mountain.
Deep ruts and mud. Walking the rest of the way up the mountain. | Source
You can see Maui and The Big Island from the top
You can see Maui and The Big Island from the top | Source
Ferns at the top
Ferns at the top | Source

As a member of the Mormon Historical Society, our group departed from Lahaina, Maui on a ferry bound for Manele Bay. It is about a 45 minute ride on a good day. In the early days of the Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), new members from Europe and the Eastern United States were encouraged to join the saints in the Salt Lake Valley (Zion) to avoid persecution.

The Church sent missionaries to Hawaii in 1850, and many people joined. However, Hawaiian law did not allow them to migrate to Zion. Brigham Young, the prophet at the time, asked that the missionaries establish a gathering place in Hawaii for the new converts. The spot chosen for the gathering of the saints in Hawaii was on Lana’i, in the Palawai Basin. Jonathan Napela, a Hawaiian convert and judge, leased 6,000 acres which included the Manele Bay up to the mountain.

Similar to the Mormon pioneers, these Mormon saints underwent many hardships to gather to this new location. Our group rented five jeeps and began our journey through Palawai Basin. Our goal was to reach the top of the mountain on the island so we could look down at the basin to see it from above.

I noticed that the land was very arid, except there were long rows of pine trees. I was informed by our guide that these were Norfolk Island Pines. George Munro, a ranch manager, discovered that the trees could soak water out of clouds and fog, producing much needed moisture for crops. Then the pines were planted throughout Lana’i. Some are nearly 100 years old.

We left the paved road and took off on the Munro Trail. It was dusty and overgrown with thick brush. The further up the trail we traveled, the more tropical foilage appeared. There were times when there were steep drop offs on both sides of the trail, and I reminded the driver to keep his eyes on the road.

I was surprised to see some hikers along the trail. The guide informed us that there are two five-star hotels in Lanai - the Four Seasons Resort Lanai and the Lodge at Ko’ele. Many tourists come just to hike or to play golf at the world-class golf courses on the island. Jack Nicklaus is the one who designed them.

We advanced almost to the top of the mountain and because of the moisture, there were patches of mud which made us slip and slide. There were plenty of ferns, eucalyptus trees and beautiful views. You could see Maui and The Big Island. Then we abruptly stopped and learned that our leading jeep was unable to get to the top due to deep pot holes and slippery mud. Our guide said that it was only about a five minute walk to the top, so we all left the jeeps, and about twenty minutes later, reached the summit. It was well worth the effort when we realized we could see the whole Palawai Basin just off the ridge. It was an amazing site. You could see the blue ocean and breath-taking vista. We had a few moments of meditation, picture taking and telling stories. We then sauntered back to our jeeps. There were unfamiliar ferns and flowering plants.

We had lunch at the Lanai Mormon Chapel and listened to some informative presentations by members of the society. We learned that trouble at home in Salt Lake City required all the Mormon missionaries to return to the headquarters, leaving the saints under local leadership. Walter Murray Gibson, a convert and an opportunist, arrived in Lana’i, and stirred things up. He had dreams of creating his own kingdom, and set out to start it on this island. From 1861-1864, Gibson collected money from the saints to buy more land and put it in his own name. This charismatic individual deceived many of the members and had quite a following. Once the Mormon leaders got news of the antics of Walter Gibson, two of the Apostles and three missionaries, who had learned to speak the Hawaiian language, traveled to investigate. Gibson was excommunicated, but continued on his quest to create his own utopia, which never materialized.

Afterwards, we visited the Heritage Center, the Lanai Museum, and saw many pictures, maps and other Lanai historical artifacts. It was interesting to find that at one time Dole Pineapple ran a large pineapple field and that sugar cane had been grown on the island. Tourism is now the main income for the sleepy little island of Lanai.

Naupaka Flower
Naupaka Flower | Source

Lanai is amazing, it is owned by a single person (David Murdock), population around 3,000 and not a single traffic light on the island. This is the trail we too

Lana'i City - Nice video - great song! Uploaded by fafaru06 on Nov 23, 2007 Reasons why I love my home Lanai


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)