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Nounou Mountain (Sleeping Giant)
According to a Native Hawaiian legend, some villagers tricked a giant into eating an enormous amount of rocks hidden in poi and fish – this meal made him very tired, so he laid down to take a nap and never woke up – hence the name ‘Sleeping Giant’.
Nounou Mountain East Trail
You can choose between three different trails: the east, south and west trail. My friends and I decided to walk the east trail which is only 2 miles to the top. The four-mile round-trip is said to be the most beautiful of the three trails. This moderate hike with a 960-foot elevation gain leads you straight to the giant’s head and rewards you with a panoramic 360 degree view. On clear days, you can not only see the ocean, but also Wailua River and Mt. Wai’ale’ale.
During the hike, there are several viewpoints – make sure to take a few moments to enjoy the view!
Reaching the giant’s head
Some useful information
- The trail starts at a parking lot at Haleilio Road where you can also park your car. We rode a bike from Kapa’a and it took us about half an hour to get there.
- Free parking is available at the beginning of the east trail
- Wear proper shoes, if it has rained recently, the trail can be very muddy and slippery
- Bring enough water and don’t forget your sunscreen
- Don’t take too many photos, take a few moments to enjoy this incredible view!!
- Insider’s tip: Hike up there very early in the morning and you’ll be rewarded with an amazing sunrise