Nounou Mountain Sleeping Giant East

Kapaa, Hawaii 96746

Nounou Mountain Sleeping Giant East

Nounou Mountain (Sleeping Giant) East Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The Sleeping Giant is the distinctive mountain behind Kapa’a and Wailua. The high (southernmost) point is his forehead; the next point to the north is his chin.

The trail climbs up to his thighs and torso, makes a sharp turn, and goes up to his chest, where you can end the hike at a picnic spot or scramble all the way up to the summit. It offers great views and a good steady workout. It’s popular with locals and tourists because it’s so convenient to the Coconut Coast."

More Nounou Mountain (Sleeping Giant) East Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

"The Nounou Mountain Trail East is one of the three trails that climbs up to the summit of Nounou Mountain, also known as Sleeping Giant. The trail follows the eastern access up a series of switchbacks through the forest. The path ends at Alii Vista Hale, a picnic shelter at the summit on the chest of the giant. Along the way are spectacular views of the Wailua River and the seacoast communities from Anahola to Lihue. From Alii Vista Hale are views to the west of the cloud-engulfed Mount Waialeale in the Makaleha Mountains, the headwaters for all seven major rivers on Kauai. The trail begins on the right side of the parking lot to the right of the rock wall. The path immediately enters the lush forest. Switchbacks allow for a gradual and easy ascent. At 0.7 miles, the path descends for a short distance, then regains the climb, passing numerous overlooks." Read more
"The Sleeping Giant is the distinctive mountain behind Kapa’a and Wailua. The high (southernmost) point is his forehead, the next point to the north is his chin. The trail climbs up to his thighs and torso, makes a sharp turn, and goes up to his chest, where you can end the hike at a picnic spot or scramble all the way up to the summit. It offers great views and a good steady workout. It’s popular with locals and tourists because it’s so convenient to the Coconut Coast. Midday is hot so it’s best in the morning and late afternoon. The trail starts to the right (east) of the parking lot. Climb up a little ridge shaded by ironwood. Before the climb gets serious, notice the small tree on the right with its succulent leaves covered in graffiti. It’s called an autograph tree because writing on its leaves is more or less permanent. Begin a set of switchbacks lined with koa haole shrubs that shade the trail, but also block the cooling trade winds." Read more

Nounou Mountain (Sleeping Giant) East Reviews

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11/13/2018
We hiked this trail with 3 children in mid-November. It was muddy on the bottom and then pretty nice and dry. The slopes are steep and in one place we had to climb the rock wall about 6-7 feet, but we all made it! Lots of berries, flowers and guavas along the trail. Amazing views on the top from the picnic table and from many stops along the way. We spent about 5 hours round trip, but we stopped a lot and tried to avoid slippery muddy areas.
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2/1/2009
This is my favorite hiking area mid island. Plan on doing the West trail also through the tall pines. A 5 star view from the top.
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3/11/2004
It was nice trail to do in the morning. A fair amount of the trail is not covered so bring a lot of water and wear your sun screen. We saw a very large snail on the trail (I'm not from Hawaii, so it was a big deal to me.) There were a couple of point where the trail was a little confusing and one place where the real trail appeared to be washed out and we had to hike a few steps back and take a revised trail that skipped the wash out section.
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1/5/2004
We did not do this hike, but based on the views on the East side of the island I would recommend doing this hike if you have time. It gives you an amazing perspective of Eastern Kauai and the steep mountains in the center of the island. There are four different approach options. Have fun!
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Nounou Mountain (Sleeping Giant) East Photos

Trail Information

Kapaa
Nearby City
3.2
Distance
900 feet
Elevation Gain
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
2-3 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources; (808) 274-3433; www.hawaiitrails.org
Local Contacts
USGS Kapa’a; Kaua’i Recreational Trail Map (Hawai’i Division of Forestry and Wildlife); Northwestern Kaua’i Recreation Map (Earthwalk Press)
Local Maps