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Sleeping Giant later climbed Sun, Dec 23, 2007|
Nonou later climbed Sun, Dec 23, 2007
This is a relatively tame hike on the island of Kauai that is described by every guidebook on hiking in Kauai. It has less than a thousand feet of gain over a few miles and can be done round trip in a few hours. It's worth a visit just to enjoy the views, which are remarkably outstanding for such a short mountain. The peak has three trail rising to it's summit, some 1,241ft above the town of Wailua. The easiest (and supposedly best) is the trail from the east side that starts from a parking lot on the edge of town. This was the route I took on my visit.
Some confusion arises over the name of the mountain. While the common name is Sleeping Giant, three of the guidebooks have the Hawaiian name as Nounou, while one has it as Nonou. This later is also what is listed in multiple locations by the USGS which I have adopted here as the official name, though I am still uncertain. The USGS further lists the lower north summit as Sleeping Giant and the higher south summit as Nonou, though I doubt it was intended they be two separate peaks.
Guidebooks tend to be rather conservative and warn you from attempting the higher south summit. I hiked all over both summits looking for something a little bit scary but found nothing. There is a well-beaten use trail along a thin ridge to a wonderful perch on the chin, offering the best views by far of any vantage point on the summit. There is another use trail originating from the same point off the main trail that goes a short distance lower to some small caves about 40-50ft below the chin - interesting enough to make the short diversion worthwhile.
The actual highpoint is along the main trail a bit higher than the chin on a rounded knob (the head?) that has obstructed views. If you follow a short use trail south from the summit you can find a geocache tucked under some bushes alongside the trail. This use trail doesn't appear to lead very far, however, and you must return back to the picnic area/shelter at the north summit.
For more information see these SummitPost pages: Sleeping Giant
This page last updated: Sat Oct 10 18:46:49 2009
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