From day hikes to overnight wilderness trips, warm foothills to cold alpine peaks, from largest and finest groves of giant sequoias to the extraordinarily diverse plants and animals living in extremely varied conditions, the experiences in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks are vast. I wanted to take it all in from an extreme vantage point and Moro Rock was the ideal high point. A stone and concrete stairway led to the top of this granite dome. From the top, I enjoyed sweeping views of the hills below and the wilderness to the east.
Moro Rock rises 6,725 feet above sea level, but I only had to hike the last 300 feet of that elevation to enjoy the vast panoramic views. The trail is half a mile round trip, crossing ledges that gave me the jitters.Clearly, I don’t have a fear of heights but I had my moments while hiking to Moro Rock.
To get to the trailhead, I turned off the Generals Highway at Giant Forest Museum and headed east on Crescent Meadow Road. After 1.5 miles, I turned right and continued to the parking area beneath Moro Rock. There are only fourteen parking spaces at the trailhead so if you arrive later in the day, I’d suggest taking the free shuttle. I was awake before roosters so I didn’t need to worry about a parking space.
Panels at the trailhead explain that Moro Rock began forming 100 million years ago when molten rock rose upward and cooled into granite. The movement of Moro Rock created earthquakes that assisted in the erosion of the surrounding material to expose the rock.
The staircase is only wide enough for one hiker in several places and the railing is nonexistent in other places. As I made my way up the stairs, I held on to the rock walls and railings. I may not look nervous, but there are spots that made me take a deep breath before continuing.
I stopped for several photos along the way and, honestly, I needed to catch my breath at points. While the hike to the top is short, it’s steep.
I don’t want to make it sound too difficult, especially since I saw children make the climb with ease, but there is a nerve-wracking component to climbing to one of the highest points in a national park and exposing yourself to the possibilities.
The trailhead for the loop through Crescent Meadow is just a mile from Moro Rock and is a great trail to visit in combination with this one. You can hike to Crescent Meadow from Moro Rock on Sugar Pine Trail as well.
If Moro Rock is on your bucket list, I’d suggest staying at Wuksachi Lodge to start your Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks adventure. It’s the perfect base camp for exploring the wonders of Sequoia by day, and as evening falls, spinning Sequoia stories next to a roaring, rock-rimmed fireplace.
I expected giant trees and huge canyons in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks and I wasn’t disappointed. Moro Rock was the perfect starting point to get a bird’s eye view of this unbelievable wilderness.