Nounou Mountain Sleeping Giant East

Wailua, Hawaii

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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.

Nounou Mountain (Sleeping Giant) East Professional Review and Guide

"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."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Wailua
Distance: 3.6
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2 to 3 hours
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: Nounou State Forest Reserve
Local Maps: USGS Kapa'a
Driving Directions: Directions to Nounou Mountain (Sleeping Giant) East

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May 2018