On Top of the World at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park

Moro Rock, Sequoia National Park, CaliforniaFrom 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, Sequoia National Park, CaliforniaMoro 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.
Moro Rock, Sequoia National Park, California

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.
Moro Rock, Sequoia National Park, CaliforniaI 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.
Moro Rock, Sequoia National Park, CaliforniaMoro Rock, Sequoia National Park, CaliforniaMoro Rock, Sequoia National Park, California

Along the trail, and from the top of Moro Rock, I looked down to Generals Highway that weaves 3,000 feet up the side of the canyon. The 360 degree panoramic view from the top was worth the climb.
Moro Rock, Sequoia National Park, California

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.
Wuksachi Lodge, Sequoia National Park, California

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.

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14 thoughts on “On Top of the World at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park

  1. I’m so glad to read your perspective on the hikes–good time, as we will be visiting Sequoia and Kings Canyon in September. It’s been several years since we visited and I’ve been having a hard time narrowing down our plans. Your photos really inspire me. It’s an incredible place to visit!

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  2. Goooorgeous !!! Oooh how I delight there are still places like this on our Earth. Some of your images are simply a cradle of nature. I know what you mean re some hikes having a dangerous element: I felt that way in Bryce Canyon – some sections of the Angels Landing trail were paved and super wide while others was a sideways foot at a time while clinging to rock face without ropes or anything to hold on to. Quite bizarre. Well done!

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  3. Hi Lesley, loved reading your post! I visited Sequoia last August and was blown away by it! Heading back there in November as there was so much I didn’t get to see the first time round, one being Moro Rock. Love your images, they’ve made me really excited to see it! 🙂

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  4. I spent my summers there growing up, this was a regular place that my family camped at and your pictures bring back fond memories, my last trip was more than 10 years ago. We almost always stayed at Stoney Creak campground, as we prefer camping over a lodge, and I hope there are more posts coming as there is a lot to see and do there, for example the Crystal Caves are great to visit and of course the main attraction of the Giant Sequoias.

    For reference though Moro Rock is not the highest point in the National Park, we used to go backpacking and would camp at just under 10,000 feet, with mountains surrounding us. For anyone that is up for an amazing day hike, take a trip to Heather Lake, or if you want to go one step more, go to Emerald and Aster Lakes, these are easy day trips where we used to go to fish and not only are the hikes amazing, but you are not likely to run into too many other people. Maps and information can be obtained at the Lodgepole visitors center and if you do this, be sure to take the “watchtower” trail.

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  5. Pingback: On Top of the World at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park | R and B International Travel Blog

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