Moro Rock Trail Hike For The Brave!

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It was our first time visiting the Sequoia National Park and we did not know what to expect except for the fact that there are plenty of giant trees out there.

 

 

The Sequoia National Park entrance sign carved from a slab of Sequoia wood in 1935.

 

Sequoia National Park is our nations’ 2nd oldest national park established in the 1890 and with a land area of about 631 square miles.

It is adjacent to Kings Canyon National Park in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California.

From where we live, the park is 167 miles away and would take us about 2 hours and 45 minutes to get there.

As always I consulted good old google on what to do in Sequoia National Park and what interested me most was the hike up the Moro Rock.

 

 

The imposing Moro Rock 6,725 feet elevation.

 

 

Moro Rock is that lone and large imposing granite dome you will see as you drive the Generals Highway into the Sequoia National Park. 

 

The trail is about 0.5 miles out and back, may take up to 1-hour hike with an elevation gain of about 300 feet.

 

We parked at the Giant Forest Museum and used the free shuttle to Moro Rock which is 1.7 miles from the museum.

In the summer months, you can only drive to the Moro Rock Trail parking lot during weekdays, and not on weekends and holidays as it is busy and there are only a few parking spots.

 

So in the busy summer months, visitors can only take the shuttle. It is best to visit in February to November as the trail is close in the winter months for safety.

 

We went on a weekday but we chose to take the shuttle for our convenience.

 

 

 

 

The Moro Rock Trail is a wonder in itself as it is a 400 steps stairway to the summit made by cutting onto the rock and poured cement into it making the winding stairs following its natural crevices and ledges, starting on the east side of the rock.

 The first stairway was made of wood installed in 1917 but it deteriorated in the 1920s, this was replaced with the present stairway in 1931 by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

 

 

The trail started with concrete steps, then continued on with the cut out steps on the side of Moro Rock itself creating the snaking stairs to the summit.

 

 

The trail is easy to ascend with railings for safety.

 

 I consider myself out of shape and I do not exercise regularly ( of which I am not proud of) but I made it up to the summit in about 20 minutes with a few stops to rest.

 

It is an easy trail as long as you take your time and take multiple rests, you should make it to the summit.

And be assured that every rest you take is an opportunity to appreciate the picturesque landscape.

 

 

There are shaded resting places along the trail.

 

 

We saw people young and old and others had some mild level of mobility difficulty, hiking to the top.

 

 

Almost to the summit.

 

 

It is safe for children as well as long as they follow directions and stay within the railings! 

 

Beyond the railings is a sheer cliff with about 1000 feet vertical drop and so I cannot stress enough the importance of following the trail rules!

 

For parents with young children, be very vigilant and guide your kids safe. 

 

There are interpretative signs along the trail that point out the landmarks.

 

 

 

 

And finally at the summit!

 

 

The narrow and flat strip summit of Moro Rock.

The railings keeping everyone safe at the top. Notice the Giant Forest in the background!

The end of the Moro Rock Trail.

 

The summit is a strip of a flat surface with the safety railings.

If you are not afraid of heights, you can walk to the end of the rail and enjoy the 360-degree magnificent views of the Great Western Divide, Alta Peak, the Castle Rock Formation and the Kaweah Canyon itself.

 

 

The Canyon Wall, west of  Moro Rock.

The Three Rivers looking west from Moro Rock.

The Kaweah Canyon with a view of the Generals Highway looking west from Moro Rock.

The Great Western Divide with the High Sierra Peaks looking east from Moro Rock.

The Castle Rock Formation.

 

 

Take your time soaking in the views and savor being at the top of the world!

 

 

We were at the top of the world! Lol!

 

 

There is a constant warning throughout the trail about safety from lightning strike due to the open space exposure and high elevation, especially at the summit.

 

 

If you notice any of these conditions, make haste and return to your car immediately and leave!

  • Dark clouds nearby or overhead
  • Thunder, hail or rain
  • Hissing in the air
  • Static electricity in the hair or fingertips

 

 

And once you have enough, you can head back to the stairs going down this time.

The challenge in going down is realizing how high the elevation is and that could be intense for those who are afraid of heights.

 

 

Other hikers heading back down to the safe ground.

Where we first started.

 

 

It took us about 10 minutes going down and gave us a great sense of accomplishment being able to scale the great rock!

Our total hike time from start to finish was about 40 minutes. We did not stay long at the summit because there were plenty of hikers and it was crowded.

 

And we still managed to smile after the climb. It was not bad at all!

 

 

It would be a wonderful experience to be up at the Moro Rock summit for sunrise or sunset or on a clear and cloudless night to see the heavenly stars and galaxies.

 

…but just to experience hiking up the winding trail to the summit with nothing between you and 1000 feet drop but the railing, that to me is an adventure for the brave!

 

Go on! Make an adventure of your own and conquer the majestic Moro Rock!

 

 

If you have any questions please feel free to ask me or leave a comment or feedback at the bottom of this page.

You can also email me at lilibeth@lifeisadventures.com.

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