NOUNOU MOUNTAIN TRAIL “Sleeping Giant”: Moderate to Difficult
If you’re in Kapaa town and look West, you’ll notice the ridge line looks like a gigantic figure napping, with its head to the South and feet extending North. This is Sleeping Giant and standing atop its peak offers sweeping views of the entire Wailua Valley from Anahola to Lihue, with the big blue pacific in the background.
The switchback-style trail is steep, moderately strenuous and takes hikers through thickets of guava and ironwood. At the three-way junction near the top, take the path to the left, where after 3 or 4 minutes more should appear a picnic table. Once here, you will be on the giants chest, so drink it all in (the view, and some water) because the hard work is over. It’s not recommended to continue on (to the giants head) as the trail becomes quite dangerous.
Take Haleilio Rd. off of Kuhio Hwy (Hwy 56) for one mile until you see telephone pole 38 and the trailhead sign nearby.
Always tell someone where you are hiking (name and location of trail) and when you plan to return.
Bring water and stay hydrated. Do not drink from the waterfalls and streams. Kauai has been known to have seriously harmful bacteria in its fresh water.
Bring snacks as its always a good idea to provide your body enough calories to support the physical activity you are engages in.
Its important to know that cuts in tropical climates should be closely monitored. Do not expose open wounds or cuts to the river.
Comfortable footwear with good tread that can stay strapped to your feet is a must. Wear shoes that you don’t mind getting stained with the Kauai red dirt.
Dress in layers so you can easily remove a layer when you get hot. And add one back on when it cools of again. Because we are close to the equator the trails heat up quickly. However, conditions cool just as fast; winds picking up speed and a passing showers causes wind chill factor.