Trek over the chest of this rocky giant for views of the ocean and rivers next to the luscious terrain of eastern Kauai.
The Sleeping Giant Trailhead is a picturesque path meandering through the dense vegetation that covers the slope of Sleeping Giant mountain, officially known as Nounou. Several viewing platforms overlook the mossy rock formation and its winding river. Stop at one of the serene picnic areas between the trees to relax and appreciate the area’s natural beauty.
Follow the trail up through the gorgeous terrain to ascend almost 1,000 feet (300 meters). It is about 2 miles (3 kilometers) long and meets the mountain’s western trail near the top. Reach the summit for the spectacular vista of the Wailua River and Mount Waialeale. The peak has a sheltered picnic spot with an unforgettable view.
Capture photos of your family with a backdrop of the valley at the base of the mountain. Admire the dramatic scenery of the island of Kauai and determine your location using the ocean and landmarks in the view of the surrounding terrain.
Gaze up at birds and appreciate the lush vegetation on this path, which is lined with shrubs. The trail meanders through ironwood, silk oak and guava trees among others.
Make sure to bring sufficient water and snacks for your trip, as this natural environment has no shops or amenities. You can drink water from the streams, provided you have a purifier. Sun protection and sturdy shoes are also recommended. Be extra careful with your footing as the mud on the trail becomes slippery for some time after heavy rainfall.
Note that the mountain takes its name from its shape, which appears to show the profile of a sleeping giant. The Sleeping Giant Trailhead is one of three trails on the mountain.
The Sleeping Giant Trailhead runs along the eastern side of its namesake mountain on the eastern side of Kauai. Begin the hike beside the water pump station in the Wailua Homesteads neighborhood. Visit nearby landmarks, such as Alakukui Point, the Smith Family Garden Luau and Poliahu Park.