Sleeping Giant, also known as Nounou Mountain, is a ridge west of the towns of Wailua and Kapaʻa in the Nounou Forest Reserve on Kauai's east coast. If you observe the mountain range from the road, with a little imagination you can see the outline of a sleeping giant. According to Hawaiian legend, this giant was tricked by the villagers. When they served him large quantities of fish and poi, they hid stones in the food. After the meal, a heavy fatigue overcame him and he lay down to sleep. The sleeping giant was never to wake up from this nap.
There are several marked trails on Nounou Mountain that take you up through a shady forest of hornbeam, guava and silver oak to Sleeping Giant.
The ascent of Sleeping Giant via Nounou East Trail is a total of 5 km hiking trail. Since it's not a loop trail, that equates to only 2.5 km each way. The hike is not particularly steep! You only have to overcome 350 meters of altitude to stand on the summit. The start is in the village of Kapaa on Haleilio Road. There is also a large parking lot where you can park your car. At the top you will be rewarded with a panoramic view over Kauai.
There are practically no markings on the hike, as you can't really get lost on this path. Over a small climb you reach a picnic area where you can take a break.
After passing the picnic area, keep left and you are on the direct way to Sleeping Giant.
At the end of the hike is a rocky outcrop that offers a unique panoramic view of the island of Kauai.