Kuamo'o Trail to Sleeping Giant (Nounou) Mountain

MODERATE 29 reviews

Kuamo'o Trail to Sleeping Giant (Nounou) Mountain is a 5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kapaa, Hawaii that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,066 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

hiking

trail running

walking

forest

views

bugs

muddy

The Kuamo'o Trail is one of three trails leading to the top of Sleeping Giant on Kauai's east side. Note that this trail leads only to the junction with the northside trail. It's a fairly easy hike along a pasture, across a pretty stream on a high wooden walking bridge, then winding through overgrown jungle. The trail is well marked, but be aware of mosquitos if there has been a lot of rain. After two miles you meet the trail coming in from the north. It's another 1.5 miles to the summit from there. The only real view is when you stop about .7 miles in at a picnic shelter. It's 2.1 miles each way if you only go to the junction.

hiking
1 month ago

Muddy, mosquitoes, and no views for the first 2+ miles. Just not a lot to like for a while. Would be a very easy walk in the woods if not for the mud. As long as you keep moving at a quick pace the mosquitoes will leave you alone, but if you stop for 10-15 seconds they will be all over you.

Mud is bog like. Not too deep, but squishy. You have to go slow to keep from getting mud all over you.

Only the last 3/4 of a mile is somewhat challenging and interesting with views of the mountains, valleys, and ocean.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike with an awesome 360 degree view. Trail was a bit damp but I wouldn’t call it muddy. Take the little side trails/shortcuts if you want a little extra challenge and some climbing! Lots of people on this hike. Go early!

2 months ago

Great hike! And yes is was a bit muddy and slippery but unlike the previous review, (I hike it the same day) it was completely manageable. Quite honestly, the trail is probably always wet in certain parts. The interior was beautifully thick and lush and the bird songs were amazing. We too, saw a barefooted local who shared with us a handful of strawberry quavas she picked along hike. The approach to the summit was actually easier and footing better due to exposed solid rock. The views at the summit were breathtaking and rewarding and If you explore, you will find several keyholes in the rock. Yep, trekking poles would have been nice but light hiking shoes are all you need.

hiking
3 months ago

Very muddy and many slick roots which made for a slow hike. Note that we hiked this about five days after Kauai received 30 inches of rain in 24 hrs so everything was saturated, smelly, and swampy. Trail was a bit hard to follow at times but could have been the debris from recent storm. The first flat part through the forest is not very interesting - in fact, a bit creepy in parts where the tangled trees envelop the trail - it affords shade if there is full sun, but it was very dark. Many parts of this trail, you need to keep your eyes down as there are lots of slick roots and gripping hazards. I saw a lady walking barefoot - maybe she’s onto something. But I also saw a dude in crocs and lots of folks in sandals looking miserable. Wear boots on this one and bring your poles if you are unsteady or nervous about slick muddy trails. Plenty of mosquitos in the wooded portions. saw and heard plenty of birds, so birders may like that. The payoff was ok - nice views in all directions - but the muggy monotony of the first three quarters of the hike makes this one to miss for me.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a great morning or afternoon hike but is only part of the way up to the top of Sleeping Giant. You begin a couple miles past the Wailua Falls. Look for a pasture on your right and parked cars. There is a trailhead with a sign and the trail is well maintained. We happened on a crew cutting down branches and cleaning up the trail so that was nice.

You go over a pretty stream on a wooden walking bridge then proceed through the forest. Mostly it's overgrown jungle but there is plenty of room to walk. A bit less than a mile in you break out on a great viewpoint at a picnic shelter. Continuing on you finally get to the junction with the trail coming in from the north and you can head up the rest of the way to the summit.

hiking
5 months ago

Awesome and beautiful hike! The scenery changes and there is always something amazing to look at. Muddy at times and super steep at the end but worth the trek for the amazing view!

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike! Make sure to stay on the trail. There are a lot of side trails that can lead to some dangerous unmaintained conditions. I really loved the view! Sitting and relaxing on the giants chin is the best!

10 months ago

The first 2 miles are in a humid forest almost flat but interesting. The final climb up to the sleeping giant is a little tougher. Overall not very demanding, the hike is easy to moderate.

hiking
11 months ago

The view is worth the hike!!!! Enjoyed sitting on the top of the mountain and going through the mini cave at the top. Beautiful hike!

11 months ago

This steep trail got our hearts pumping! It was vigorous, but not challenging for us. Views were nice- but not as spectacular as others conveyed.

hiking
Thursday, July 06, 2017

The view from the top is a 5 star, this particular trail is a 3 star. There are two shorter ways to get to the top of sleeping giant, I would suggest on of those, because of how muddy this trail can get and there are no views on this trail, till you get to the top. I would take one of the other trails on the north side of sleeping giant. Once you get to the top very worth it. Nice benches and picnic area.

hiking
Sunday, June 25, 2017

Very nice and easy trail, loved the view from the top. As written before, there are indeed some mosquitos in the forest...

trail running
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

On a sunny day, this is a beautiful dog friendly hike - if you don't have a pup, you can take one of the ASPCA's dogs on a field trip here! There's a little bridge crossing at the start (with mosquitos), followed by a slight uphill through jungle to the 0.75mi pavilion, then mostly flat to the 2mi pine trees, and a steeper uphill with ocean and mountain vistas until you reach the top. Trail is pretty straight forward - as you near the top on the way up, stick to your right; on the way down through the pine trees, look for a big boulder on your right to indicate the LEFT hand turn by the 2mi sign that will point you back to where you started. Enjoy!

hiking
Sunday, May 21, 2017

I was wondering why it is rated as moderate. I thought it should be easy.... until you reach the 2 mile mark. At the 2 mile mark, take a right at the big boulder. Then it inclined and that's where it starts moderate. Fantastic views of the ocean at the top. Be sure to take the small trail to the left when you reach the chin. Cool winds will blow through the small tunnel. A very good place to rest and snack. When going back down the trail, stay left to go back the way you came. If your seeing the ocean, you went the wrong way.

trail running
Friday, February 17, 2017

Loved the trail! So beautiful!

Friday, January 13, 2017

A great trail through many woods and jungle with plenty of beautiful vistas.

hiking
Tuesday, January 03, 2017

It was worth the hike. Lots of people.

hiking
Friday, December 09, 2016

The original poster and map doesn't even do half of this trail. The total length is over 5 miles both ways and is a wonderful way to spend your last day in paradise as the flight out isn't till 10 PM...shower at the YMCA.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Friday, March 17, 2017

hiking
Tuesday, December 06, 2016

hiking
Sunday, September 18, 2016

hiking
Wednesday, December 26, 2012