Sleeping Giant
Nonou Mountain P900

Sun, Apr 23, 2006
Story Photos / Slideshow Map Profile
Sleeping Giant later climbed Sun, Dec 23, 2007
Nonou Mountain 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 latter spelling is also what is shown on the topo map though the USGS/BGN page has the former. So take your pick. 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.

Corrina comments on 02/01/07:
The correct name is Nounou.
Anonymous comments on 10/10/09:
hmm, I live on Nonou Rd. just below this mt - I think it is Nonou, Corrina...
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