About this Trail
The Nounou Mountain Trail (West) is one of the three trails that climb to the summit of Nounou Mountain (Sleeping Giant). The sleeping giant's profile is easily seen from nearly anywhere along the coast surrounding Kapa'a. This trail is a moderately steep walk through forested mountains with excellent views of the Makaleha Mountains, Mount Waialeale, Wailua River, and the Coconut Coast.
All Sleeping Giant trails are part of the Na Ala Hele trail system and wander through the Nounou Mountain Forest Reserve. The West trail begins at a public access on Highway 581 at telephone pole #11. It starts along a grassy right-of-way, and then climbs up into the forest. This trail is tucked in the forest for a majority of the hike, passing through a large grove of Norfolk Pines on their way to the top. Just as you enter the stand of Norfolks, you will come to the Kuamoo Trail on the right. Veer left and continue your ascent.
Just before the top is the junction with the East Trail on your left. The hike continues to a picnic shelter and overlook. At this point you are on the giant's chest where you can enjoy the amazing view and a picnic, but there are no facilities or water. The giant's head is the only thing obstructing a panoramic view. If you are sure-footed, you can hike onward via a brief but very precarious trail onto the sleeping giant's face. The trail is extremely narrow in parts with hundred foot drop offs at many points. Proceed with caution.
Watch a video at this addresshttp://directoryofkauai.net/blog/kauai-hike-nounou-mountain-trail-west
Directions to Trailhead
To access the West trailhead, take Highway 580 (Kuamo'o Road) from Wailua for approximately 2.5 miles, and turn right at Kamalu Road (Hwy 581). The trailhead is another 1.5 miles on the right side of the road at telephone pole #11. You can also find a few parking spots at the end of Lokelani. Travel past pole #11 and take a right on Lokelani, and follow it to the end where you will see the Na Ala Hele trail sign.
Notes on Difficulty Rating
Length: 1.5 mi.
Elevation: 800 feet