Some of the best hiking in the Wailua and Kapa’a area on Kauai’s eastern shore leads up to the Sleeping Giant. The Kuamoo Nounou Trail is one of three that winds up to this spot.
The Sleeping Giant got its name because this hill is said to look like a huge man laying on his back when viewing it from the ocean side.
This trail climbs up to the giant and traverses his chest from the southwest. It starts with a wide grassy pathway skirting the edge of the Wailua Homesteads neighborhood. You’ll cross a bridge over the small Opaekaa Stream and start heading up through the forest.
While it’s a moderate hike, the rocky (but easy to follow) trail does have a constant steady incline of a little over 300 feet for most of its 2-mile length. A shelter with a couple picnic tables about 3/4 mile in provides a shady spot for lunch or a quick rest. At the 2-mile marker (there are mile markers every 1/2 mile), the trail joins up with another trail that leads down a different route.
One note of caution: Mosquitos are present and definitely have a taste for humans. Take appropriate precautions.
Directions: From the Kuhio Highway (56) in Wailua, turn west on Kuamoo Road (Highway 580), which is just north of the Wailua River. Drive a couple miles until you see an open field on your right and park on the side of the road at the west end of the field. There is a small trail marker and the grassy path heads north.