What to Expect When Hiking Sleeping Giant in Kauai, Hawaii

If coronavirus didn’t come blazing into 2020 ruining everyones travel plans for the year – and maybe longer – I would currently be writing about my trip to Sint Maarten, that I would just now be coming home from. Well, obviously I’m not reminiscing on my spent sipping Dirty Bananas in my private, Caribbean front pool.

Since I’m not getting off my Sint Maarten high and still sitting on my boyfriends coach, I can reminiscence about this time last year when I was in Kauai, Hawaii.

This was one of my favorite Hawaii trips yet, with only three planned activities – an ATV tour, a catamaran tour, and a luau obviously – we spent the rest of the week exploring, finding waterfalls, hiking, and almost getting trapped in flash floods!

One of my favorite adventures and most memorable hikes on this trip – which may be because it was our few hours of rain respite – was hiking Sleeping Giant. The mountain got its name from a legend where a giant lay to rest and has yet to be woken.

Hike up Sleeping Giant in Kauai Hawaii
  • Save

Getting to the trailhead wasn’t as easy as we believed so my dad was circling around for 30 minutes filled with his grumbling kids fighting over usual sibling things. Eventually we just parked, hiked half a mile-ish up hill, and found the actual parking lot. While my dad ran back down the mountain to retrieve the rental car and park in the designated parking, a kind stranger reminded me that I have TrailLink AND AllTrails on my phone which both have maps to all of the parking lots. Whoops 🤷🏼‍♀️

The first part of the trail (I believe we did the west trail which is less than two miles) is an uphill foot trail surrounded by trees that climb higher than the camera can see!

Once you make it past the trees you round a bend and all of a sudden you’re up in the air overlooking the land surrounding the Sleeping Giant all the way to the Pacific’s edge. The sight was honestly breathtaking. My family and I stopped at every viewing point and any place we thought we could stop because every point was worth a picture from each of us.

View from Sleeping Giant Kauai Hawaii
  • Save

Looking back on my Snapchat memories, it looks like it only took about an hour to get to the top of mountain – and that was with us sliding in the muddied ground and me having to stop and laugh every time someone in my family fell and got covered in the mud.

When we got to the top I honestly was just wishing we packed some sammies, Maui Style Chips, and sweet tea to have a picnic. The main viewing point was surprisingly flat and large enough to enjoy your day and relax. We took some Instagram worthy pics that I don’t think ever made it to Instagram then my brother and I defied our mothers wishes and continued on to the more difficult part of the trail.

  • Save

At the top of the trail there is another trail that goes off for about a quarter of a mile where the trail gets narrow until you reach a rock face. Climb up that rock face and you get a 360* view of the city. The day we went was the only day that week that didn’t start with rain so it was very crowded with people waiting to getting the perfect photo spot and not much relaxing happening.

My brother and I climbed up (my dad had to turn around) and took in the island. Took some pictures to flex on the other four members of our family.

We travelled back down the mountain -slipping and sliding – to grab some food and start our next adventure!

  • Save

Follow along on social to see where I’ll be next!



  1. July 29, 2020 / 11:47 pm

    I need to do this hike someday. I’ve heard about it for so long!

    • July 30, 2020 / 9:40 am

      It was amazing! Definitely one I’d do again. Hopefully you get to go soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Share via
Copy link