Nounou East Trail is a wonderful trail that is perfect for both beginner and intermediate hikers, located on the east side of Kauai. It is only 2.6 miles, an out and back trail that has an elevation gain of about a thousand feet. You will see beautiful flowers along the way, and exceptional views as you climb up what is considered to be the fabled sleeping giant. Local legend states that a giant, long ago, feasted so much that he fell asleep and has not yet woken up. You can see characteristics of what would appear to be a sleeping giant in the distance. There are many reasons why the Nounou East Trail is one of the most popular hikes on Kauai.
Nounou East Trail
There are many exotic birds and plants in the area. It is one of the more popular trails on the leeward side of the island. Located in the Nonou Forest Reserve, you will get to see beautiful vistas and the ocean coastline as you travel seeing Mount Waialeale and the Wailua River. There are quite a few switchbacks, so be careful while you are hiking as you may become focused on the forest that has guava and ironwood. You also get to see what are called the Hoary Head Mountains, providing you with a spectacular view.
Things To Watch Out For
One thing that should be noted is that the pathway can get very narrow. There are points where you could fall over 100 feet. Proceed with caution at all times, but in these areas, caution is of utmost importance. You will also get to see glimpses of the popular Mt. Waialeale crater, as you hike up to the Sleeping Giant Face. It is a hike that will take you most of the morning, or afternoon, but it will be well worth the view and the beautiful scenery you will see along the way. Definitely consider doing the Nounou East Trail the next time you are on Kauai.