The Nounou Trail aka Sleeping Giant Hike
Kauai is a hot spot for hiking and has an unlimited number of hikes. The Sleeping Giant Hike in Kauai also known as the Nounou Trail, is a popular and great hike. It’s pretty easy on the legs, goes through various types off vegetation, and gets you high enough up to see the town of Kapaa and Wailua below. Also the panoramic views of of the ocean from here are epic.
I did this hike from the east side, and it was not very difficult. Getting to the trailhead is easy, and there is a parking area at the bottom. It is at the back of a small neighborhood.
Where is the trail head?
Sleeping Giant Trail from the east access point is only about 3 miles round trip. I would give it an easy difficulty level, and it can be done pretty quickly. I think I only spent about 2 hours on the hike. It can be muddy during the rains, so bring proper attire.
The Start of the Trail
Nounou Trail moves up hill quickly on a dirt trail through an overgrowth of small trees and bushes. There is a lot of volcanic rock to trip on along the way so watch your footing.
As you start to rise in the elevation and get out of the trees, the views of the sleeping giants head can be seen in the distance. Keep venturing forward and the trail starts to change.
Make sure to look off the sides throughout the hike, and not just down at the ground. The green fields near the town of Wailua in the distance next to the blue of the sky and the ocean are pretty sick.
The Town of Wailua Below
Hiking along the giant’s chest
The trail switches from some areas that are less dense in vegetation to areas where it’s more dense. I enjoyed the constant changes of the trail and how it continually looked a bit different in spots.
Once you hit this ridge area, maybe a mile up the trail you can start to dip onto the west side of the mountain and see views of other mountains and the inner parts of the island.
After a little while the trail will come back to the east side, and start a little steeper ascent to the top of the giants head. Notice the Koa trees that are growing in places. They are a gorgeous tree that grows up and out wide.
If i’m correct, the Koa tree was the wood used for early Hawaiian surf boards. It is a beautiful tree, and the wood is pretty too. They still make boards, ukuleles, and many other items with the wood.
Nearing the Top of the Giant’s Head
Keep making your way up the trail, and the dirt path starts to turn into more of a volcanic rock path. There are stairs of sorts that work their way up through the trees toward the top of the Sleeping Giant.
The views near the top were Epic!
Nounou Trail was an epic short hike. I recommend it to anyone looking for a great adventure. You can’t go wrong hiking the Sleeping Giant Trail when visiting the east side of Kauai.
This was my first time up the Sleeping Giant Hike in Kauai, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Kauai holds a special place in my heart and I hope you make it out someday to find all that I have been fortunate enough to experience.
If you want to see more adventures on Kauai, check out these other posts.
“I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”
HERE IS SOME GEAR I TOOK WITH ME ON MY HIKE
- Camera: iPhone and GoPro
- Go Pro Handle: GoPro Handler
- Backpack: Camelback
- Jacket: Columbia Waterproof Jacket
- Boots: Vasque Boots