Hike to the nose of Sleeping Giant

Hawaii Sleeping Giant Trail

  • Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • RT Distance:

    4 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1000 Feet

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Picnic Area
Scenic

Also referred to as the Nounou trail, this trail offers sweeping views of Kapa'a and Waipouli from the East, and views of Kalepa Ridge, Wailua Bay and the Mt. Wai'ale'ale crater from the West. It's a quick out-and-back hike that isn't too strenuous and perfect for a quick day's adventure.

There are a few different approaches for this hike - you can take either the East route, West route, or the Kuamoo-Nounou route. The East route is closest to nearby towns of Kapa'a and Wailua, so for convenience I chose this route.

The trail quickly begins with several switchbacks, all of which are pretty gradual. You begin to gain elevation steadily past .75 miles. Once you reach about halfway you start to get views of nearby town of Wailua and Kapa'a along the East shore. After a brief trek over a lava outcropping you will begin again switchbacking up the mountain as you get views of Kalepa Ridge, Wailua Bay and the Hoary Head Mountains. Near the top around the two mile mark, at what is referred to as the Giant's chest, you will reach a picnic shelter and a little bench that offer more great views of the East coast and the Pacific Ocean. This is where most people typically stop with signs that indicate as such.

But slightly past that, you'll notice a faint boot path that leads up the chin and ultimately to the Giant's nose, a great spot to sit down and snack, and take in the panoramic views in all directions.

Pack List

  • Day pack
  • Hiking shoes you don't mind getting dirty
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Rain gear
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Reviews

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I have done this hike twice now and I have to admit that it is much better when the ground is dry! But I also recommend it as a sunrise hike. Christmas morning I came up the top in the dark with a flashlight (while the sun was rising) and sat on the nose of the giant to watch the sunrise. The hike is much warmer in the heat of the afternoon. Great views at the tip top.

4 months ago
4 months ago

Great views overlooking Kapaa! There are a few benches to enjoy the view along with a prayer box. Definitely worth the effort!

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

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