Hiking the Sleeping Giant (Nounou Trail)

Breathtaking views from the top. 4 miles. Elevation, 1200 feet above sea level. 

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On the island of Kauai, there’s a mountain with a profile shaped like a sleeping giant. We decided to climb to the apex or “nose” of that giant.

This hike was probably one of the tougher ones I’ve undertaken. It was mostly due to the washing out of the trail in certain parts where a bit of scrambling was required. That means, a little rock climbing on our hands and feet, hehe. Good thing that I kept a set of activewear in the car for random spurts of hiking, otherwise my dresses would be ruined. The trail is a switchback about 1.75+ miles each way. It is a little steep, so I’d advise you to be in a fairly decent physical shape. Of course, we brought a few bottles of water with us to stay hydrated. It gets pretty hot in the unshaded areas. We took around 2.5 hours to get up, take in the scenery and come down.

The views are gorgeous, and there’s plenty to see along the trail.

Challenged accepted and completed!

  • Melissa

    One thing I did not know about Hawaii is how steep the hillsides are. It seems like you would really get a work out trying to climb a mountainside that vertical. http://askmelissaanything.blogspot.com/

    • Carrie Ann Luikens

      Yes there are quite a few challenging hikes in Kauai especially the Kalalau trail on the North Shore near Ke’e beach. http://kalalautrail.com/ This hike has some areas that can be dangerous particularly when it is raining, but it is an absolutely breathtaking hike with views of the ocean from a height of about 600 feet above Ke’e beach. I highly recommend it. This trail is at the beginning of the Napali coast which is a must-see. It is the most amazing coastline I have ever seen in my life. The mountains there have been featured in many movies.

      • Kalalau was on the top of our list, but it rained so much in the mornings during our stay that we decided not to risk it. I hear such wonderful things about that trail, especially the waterfall reward waiting for you at the end!

    • I definitely got a nice workout from it!

  • The view looks amazing!!


    • They are! We kept stopping to take photos, even though it the same view at different angles and elevations! lol

  • andrea garcia
  • Lovely view indeed ! and the name of it made me smile : Nounou, in French, means Nanny (and that was my nickname) :) :) :)
    I assume I have to go there then :D

    • Aw, that’s so cute and I agree! Any reason to go!

  • That looks wonderful, I love hiking and I haven’t done it in a while, I’ll try to organize one soon! xx

    • Yeah, I’m pretty new-ish to hiking, but it’s such a rush! I really want to find some nice trails back home.

  • Carrie Ann Luikens

    Cool panoramic view of the coconut coast side of Kauai. I have stayed at a resort near the beach in that area and took photos of the Sleeping Giant mountain but had not been up there. Nice to see what the landscape looks like from a higher vantage point.

    • Yeah! We kept driving by the mountain on our way to finding food, and he joked about climbing it. Googled and made it happen! lol xx

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