As folks will have heard or read, we've had a soggy start to 2018 on the Garden Isle, though that's what makes everything so green and lush. I've had several guests ask me whether they should hike the local Sleeping Giant (aka Nounou) with such wet conditions. There's no question wet trails increase risk for hikers, and each person must make his or her call on whether the conditions are right for themselves. Nonetheless, I opted to hike Nounou and take a few photos to share the experience with others so they may make an informed decision.
Firstly, I like to set out early in the morning. There's not much foot traffic in the wee hours and it's still cool out regardless of the time of year. I prefer heading to the east trail head due to ease of parking and access to the trail.
Early morning views don't disappoint. Even on a hazy morning, one can see over the Wailua Homesteads and over to Kapaa.
With more elevation, it feels like hiking into the clouds. Looking towards the peak, one could imaging pterodactyls flying outward like in the Jurassic Park movies filmed hear years ago.
Of course, one shouldn't ignore the mud aspect. If it's raining, your shoes will likely be stained with red dirt forever. At least parts of Nounou have brown mud to blend in.
An then, of course, there's the top. Any uphill climb is always rewarded with reaching the top - whether there's a view or not. At least on Nounou, there are a few lovely benches to rest and respect the island's nature for wearly travelers.