Outbound Collective logo

Hike to the nose of Sleeping Giant

Kapaa, Hawaii

based on 4 reviews



4 miles

Elevation Gain

1000 ft


Added by Jason Horstman

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.

Read More

Download the Outbound mobile app

Find adventures and camping on the go, share photos, use GPX tracks, and download maps for offline use.

Get the app


Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area

Hike to the nose of Sleeping Giant Reviews

Enjoyed this hike! Insane views, easy parking since it's in the middle of a neighborhood. We encountered like 2 other people! It was great!

Beer Reward Score 10/10 - incredible views of East Kauai. Giant wakes up for local IPAs. Sunburn Score 6/10 - most of the hike is covered, but some open air at the top. Dehydration Factor 5/10 - uphill gains will make you sweat. Bring some water for the mountain pooches. Seriously, there are mountain pooches. Thigh Penalty 6/10 - uphill all the way, but it’s not too far. Post-Hike Chill Street Burger for local brews and massive burgers.

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.

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

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


Kayak the Wailua and Hike to Secret (Uluwehi) Falls

Wailua Falls

Hike to Ho'opi'i Falls

Hike the Kuilau Ridge Trail

Take A Helicopter Ride Over Kauai

Swim in the Waikoko Stream & Waterfall