Sleeping Giant Via Nounou Mountain Trail

HARD 147 reviews

Sleeping Giant Via Nounou Mountain Trail is a 3.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kapaa, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
3.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
987 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

scramble

Climb the face of the fabled sleeping giant, and prey you don't wake him! Local legend tells of a giant who feasted so much at a party in his honor that he laid down for a nap and never awoke, and when you see the mountain's resemblance to a sleeping giant from the nearby town of Kapa'a you can see why the legend persists. This is a nice little hike if you're in the area, and a great way of sampling some of Kauai's exotic plant life and bird population. Certainly it's not the greatest trail on the island (particularly when it's up against such stiff competition) but if you're planning to be spending some time around the leeward side soaking up some rays, then it's worth checking out. The trail ends at a picnic shelter on the "chest" of the Sleeping Giant in Nonou Forest Reserve, where there are vistas of the ocean coastline, as well as inland to the Wailua River and Mount Waialeale. The west side trail joins this trail near the 1.5 mile post.

Made it to the top. We started with Eight of us and the younger kids turned back at the bench. The trail gets pretty slimy and slippery and you can't prevent getting covered in mud if there's been any moisture on the ground recently. Once you get to the top it's worth it. Just under 4 miles round trip but it took a lot longer than normal due to the slippery, steep conditions. I just wish there was water to take a dip in somewhere on the trail...

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice hike. Not too muddy, but can image it could be very slick during or following rainfall.

2 months ago

Good workout
Great views
Definitely a must

hiking
2 months ago

I wanna set the record straight, as there are mixed reviews on this trail. This is a fantastic trail. I hiked his on 2/15/17, and it was 3.9 miles round trip. I am an experienced hiker, and in decent shape, and I did not have to stop going up to the top of this mountain. I would rate this as moderately strenuous. For an average hiker, stops will be made along the route to catch your breath. This hike is up a mountain; switchbacks. There are trail signs, so there is no way to get lost. Arrows guide your way. Distance is marked. There are lookouts and a few benches as well. The trial is muddy, but no more muddy than any other trail on this island. When you get to the picnic pavilion, keep going! There is a bit of rock scrambling to get to the “head/nose” of sleeping giant. It’s worth it! You can also go the top of the mountain to get the absolute best view. The head and nose are to the left, as well as a little cave, and the top of the mountain will be to the right. Then head back to the picnic area and back down to your car. The views from this trial are SO GOOD.

2 months ago

You must wear hiking shoes and have a walking stick. Leave a change of clothes and towels you don’t mind getting muddy in the car. The trail is super muddy! And when it rains it becomes a super dangerous trail. I fell 2-3 times, twisted my ankle, and had to slide down some parts of the trail on my bottom because of the rain. Ruined my sneakers and backpack. Trail is also not well marked. Made a wrong turn toward the unofficial entrance - thankfully I ran into other hikers who realized the wrong turn at a fork on the way down. This is not a moderate hike - it is difficult. Also it is 4 miles in and out.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful at the top.
The hike up there is like swimming, only wetter.
Also, 3.5 miles.

2 months ago

This was a fun, light hike. Grab a hiking stick from the bundle at the trail entrance, and go past the picnic tables at the top to get to the best views.

hiking
3 months ago

Pretty easy jaunt to the picnic tables. Did hike with two little ones and they managed fine. Little muddy but manageable. I wouldn't recommend hiking to top of sleeping giants chin with kids, it's a little difficult past the picnic tables but definitely worth the views!

3 months ago

Gorgeous views of the mountains, ocean, and surrounded by beautiful and plentiful trees. This was our first hike on our trip and it got us motivated to get up early and find more great trails. It also motivated us to find this app!

3 months ago

The hike is closer to 1.6 miles to the picnic tables. Hike had a great views of the city/ocean and other side the mountains. It was muddy.

4 months ago

Pretty decent trek, as long as you stick to the trail path. Otherwise, it can get technical if you choose to take the off beaten route. Great view of the valley and ocean. Make sure to turn left on to a small foot trail right before stepping on to the peak. The foot path will take you to a small cliff ledge, which is also known as the ‘chin’. Awesome view from there as well.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike to get a view of the valley. Met a local on the trail who showed us a couple off beaten paths which made the hike more fun and educational.

5 months ago

Rain can make it a little slick it spots, but not too difficult. Great hike with awesome views!

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Fun hike, with a few steep slopes and some rock climbing. The views are well worth it, especially when you make it past the top picnic tables to the highest point on the mountain. It can get humid and muddy at times. Avoid if it’s raining.

hiking
6 months ago

Fun hike. It rained and the trail was muddy. Requires some climbing.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike but sometimes hard to figure out where the trail is. The top is breathtaking! Steep climb.

hiking
6 months ago

Fantastic view
Shady
Great way to start your day

6 months ago

One of our favorite trials on the island!!!

hiking
7 months ago

Decent climb to the top and a just okay view. There are betting hikes on the island, but if you're on the north shore this one is close to Kapaa, and easy to find. Parking is premium, so be prepared to park roadside!

8 months ago

Whom ever said this trail was moderate is a liar! Lol this trail is very steep incline but I guess besides that, moderate. For the most part it is pretty easy to navigate since there are markers and just one way up. I loved this hike, beautiful views.

hiking
9 months ago

Great family trail, some spots that you need to climb up rocks.

hiking
9 months ago

One of the best hikes we have accomplished here on Kauai. Absolutely breathtaking. A fairly moderate hike with some uphill and a bit of rock climbing (but there were hikers in flip flops and barefoot). When you get to the small pavilion on a summit like destination, that's not the peak! Keep going! There will be a small, almost hidden trail adjacent to the bench on the overlook. Follow that to an amazing hike up,up, up! You will feel on top of Kauai!

hiking
11 months ago

Moderately demanding walk - make sure
you do go to the very top. Also look out for the cave in the giants chin with its fantastic views to the coast.

hiking
11 months ago

This is a nice hike, however I would say it is a bit more moderate. A lot of people think if others say easy they should try it. I would really research this one for beginner hikers, particularly visitors to the island as the humidity, heat and incline make it more of a moderate trail. Beautiful views tho, was worth the hike!!

hiking
Friday, April 14, 2017

Very muddy and slick in areas. Loved the trail though! Find a stick if it's muddy! Once you get to the top don't miss out on a trail that goes off to left (if looking at the top). There is a beautiful cave with great blowing winds. It was the best part for me.

hiking
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

I did this hike after tackling the Hanakpi'ai Falls hike in the morning and, despite being tired, it was totally worth it. You get some awesome views of the eastern coast of Kauai and if you venture all the way to the "head" of the giant, you can get some incredible views of the center of the island. I was lucky enough to go on a day it had been raining and was greeted with a rainbow at the summit :). For more on my adventure check out my blog post!

https://www.thehikinghi.com/single-post/2017/03/09/Sleeping-Giant-Trail-Via-Nounou-East-Trail

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Great trail. Made it all the way to the top. Well worth it. Great views not only at the top but along the way.

hiking
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Great views of the east coast of Kauai! Make sure to take a snack to enjoy at the picnic area.

hiking
Sunday, January 15, 2017

Super hike. Once you get to the picnic table/rest area, make the effort to go up to the peak. A little more technical but worth it! Spectacular views.

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