The Nounou Mountain (Sleeping Giant) Trail is a gently ascending run through forested mountains with excellent views. The trail begins with several switchbacks through a shady forest of ironwood, guava, and silk oak—to name a few. Along your path, you are treated to stunning views of Kapaa and Waipouli. You begin to gain elevation steadily past 0.75 miles. After a brief section over a lava outcropping, you’ll start switchbacking again up the mountain as you enjoy views of Kalepa Ridge, Wailua Bay, and the Hoary Head Mountains.
Just before the top, there is a three-way junction surrounded by hala trees. Take the left fork. Nearly right after, you'll find another fork; both paths lead to the picnic shelter, but the right one is easier. At this point, you can eat lunch on the giant's chest! Kick back and enjoy the views of the Wailua River down below, the eastern coast of Kauai, and the interior of the island. If you're lucky, you'll catch a glimpse of the Mt. Waialeale crater, even though most of the time it is shrouded by clouds. The giant's head is the only thing that stands between you and a 360-degree view. If you are very sure footed, you can run onward via a brief but very precarious trail onto the Sleeping Giant's face! Be careful not to slip if you try this.
Shared By: Brian Verwijst