Geologists tell us that, at one time, there was a much gentler slope to the terrain on the north shore of Molokai. Here we call it “The Backside.”
The precipitous cliffs evident today resulted from a landslide of enormous proportions. Evidently the continuously pounding surf on this shore, over a gazillion years, undercut the land until one day, Splash! Huge pieces of the island fell off into the Pacific, leaving behind the world’s highest sea cliffs which have been beautifully sculpted over the millennia by rain, wind and waves.
At the highest point, the pali (cliffs in Hawaiian) is 2,600′ (793m) from top to sea level.
The left photo shows a small part of the pali looking west toward Kalawao on the Makanalua peninsula. Notice the triangle shaped moku (island) at the right center.
That same moku is at the left center of this next photo looking east from Kalawao on the peninsula.