Nounou Mountain (Sleeping Giant)

On Kauai’s east side between Wailua and Kapaa is the Nounou mountain range, more famously known as “Sleeping Giant.”


Looking at the ridge from afar you can make out what looks like a giant human figure lying on his back.

Local legend tells of a giant who attended a feast in his honor where the local villagers tricked him into eating such a vast amount of rocks hidden in fish and poi that he laid down for a nap and never awoke.

The trail (Nounou trail) is about a two-mile hike to the top of Sleeping Giant. We are hiking it today, Steph and Vic, Eric, David and I. The trailhead begins at Halelilo Road in Wailua.

Eric is rarin’ to go


In his hideous Einstein t-shirt.

We climb in elevation from the get-go. I keep a constant eye on my feet – to maintain a solid footing – don’t think to look above my head …


Yikes! Don’t want to upset that critter in any way.

Starting to enjoy some pretty wide vistas now


We stop to take a break.


It does feel at times that you could just fall right off the side of the mountain.


Uh, I guess you could just fall right off the side of the mountain.

Closer view of the Giant’s head now.


We’ve decided that the most protuberant point must be his chin.

We’re nearing the top now


Have reached a picnicking area. We aren’t actually on the Giant’s head yet. Hey, can you read that sign?


Nope, can’t read it. We do see a trail. Eric and David forge ahead. Okay, so we decide to follow- for maybe fifty feet – uh, when we run into another sign


Can’t read this one either – hey, wait a minute… “go beyond this sign – please’


We have to climb up to his chinny-chin-chin!


David climbs ahead of me and shows me where to step


I’m near the top now but skiddish to go any further – where David is:


‘On top of the World, Ma!”


Eric joins him. He’s identifying the landmarks below


“Let me take your picture!”



Haha. Problem of ‘eye-sore t-shirt’ solved.

We crawled through a few little tunnels on the top, nestled right in the flesh of his chinny-chin-chin.


(I had to post this just to show off David’s butt- which to be honest, got soiled in a different manner than what you might imagine.)


David had packed some beer in his pack, and ice with it, of course, to keep it cold. The ice melted and dripped over the seat of his pants and then he sat down on a dirty rock or something when he drank a beer…

Here we are inside the cave on top, Steph and Vic, David and I


And posing on the edge…


“Uh, you pose, and I’ll take the picture,” I said. (I wasn’t getting near the edge!)

Headed back down now. I watched David and Victor tackle this face before I attempted it.


One last view of the chinnny-chin-chin!


The foliage and blooms of Paradise…


And one last closeup of the giant’s head. Thank goodness rocks take eons to digest!


Driving back toward home now – long day!


We’ll know tomorrow what conquering the Giant did to us today. Let’s see:


Do you suppose that Giant is going to rear up one day – just lift his head, then his body; tear himself off the ground, raise up and come after the local villagers and gawking, bragging tourists in a mad rage?

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