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Moro Rock

Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park Links:

May 30th, 1999

1.0 miles
350 vertical feet
Total Time: 1:00

Rating: 7/10

Directions: From Lodgepole in Sequoia National Park, drive south on the Generals Highway. Turn left onto Crescent Meadow Road. Take the one-way right fork toward Moro Rock.   View Driving Map

Jean and I joined the milling crowds when we drove to Moro Rock. Parking was scarce, so we parked near Hanging Rock, away from the main parking area. Still, we could see the imposing granite dome through the trees.

After a short 1/4 mile walk through the woods, we were at the main parking area, where people of all types - young and old - were gathered, either about to start the hike up, or coming down.

Some of the 400 steps up Moro Rock

The hike from the parking area consists completely of steps -- about 400 of them. The trail caresses the rock, forcing people to stop and wait for people to pass in the opposite direction. Some groups were quite large; sometimes we would stop and 15 or 20 people would walk down in the opposite direction. Some rock climbers decided to avoid the traffic by taking the hard way up. They were resting on top of the rock as we walked by.

The views are fantastic. It's the highest point for many miles to the east and west. The stairs snake their way up, so you get views on both sides. But the top gives you a 360 degree view of the area. There's a bit more room here to stand and walk around, but not much.

Great Western Divide

To the west lies the Sierra foothills and the San Joaquin valley shrouded in haze. To the west lies the Great Western Divide -- a crest of 13,000 foot peaks capped by snow. To the south lies the Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park, including such lofty peaks as Sawtooth Peak (12343 feet).

View from the top looking west

There were about 20-30 people on top while we were there. The peak was relatively clear of winds. Birds (sparrows?) zipped by the sightseers. Some idiots trying to impress their friends decided to climb over the railing and tempt fate. After enjoying the views and having enough of this, we retreated away from this mass of humanity back down the steps.

As we walked back through the parking area, I saw a boy in a wheelchair and thought how sad it was that he couldn't make it to the top. Perhaps some people were nice enough to help him up far enough so he could see some of the views. I hope so -- despite the crowds, the views are worth it.

Return to Sequoia/Kings Canyon trip report.

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