Sunday, September 6, 2009

Kauai - Sleeping Giant

My parents were exhausted after hiking on the Na Pali Coast and they demanded one day of relaxing on the beach. As I prefer active resting, I decided to go for a hike by myself. It was an interesting experience for me as I always go hiking with other people. In principle, there is nothing wrong with hiking alone, but if you are in remote and desolate place and twist your ankle, you have a serious problem.

I chose to hike to the top of Sleeping Giant, from where there are great views to the large part of the island. To the north, one can see the Na Pali Coast. To the east, Kapa'a and the Wailua River Valley. To the west, there are 180-degree views of Wailua and the Makaleha Mountains.

The Sleeping Giant trail is 3.5 miles (5.6km) long, during which it climbs 1200ft (400m). It takes around 1.5-2h to cover all this distance, unless you stop often to take pictures or simply enjoy the views :)

Initially the trail goes through the beautiful green forest full of ironwood, guava and swamp mahogany trees:

Views to the east (btw, on this photo you can see several localized rain patches over ocean):

Views to the south:

Mountains in the west:

Views to the north (the Na Pali Coast is hidden under clouds):

After the rain moved to the west, the outline of the Na Pali Coast became more visible:

Wailua River and our hotel to the north of it:

At the top of Sleeping Giant: