A few years ago my family and I drove up North to go to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. While we were in Sequoia and consulting a map of the area, we spotted Moro Rock, which is in the Giant Forest Area. Thinking that it would be pretty cool to stand on a rock a few hundred feet above the forest floor, we decided to drive over to the rock. (For those of you who don’t want to drive, a shuttle runs up the road to Moro Rock.)
The road that we took to get to the parking area below the rock is closed in the winter, so people aspiring to summit Moro Rock would have to hike 2 miles to get to the viewpoint on Moro Rock. The fact that it was summer and the road to the bottom of the rock was open agreed very well with my 11-year-old mind (and legs).
After we parked in the lot and walked up to the giant granite rock with bottles in hand, we were greeted with lots and lots of stairs. (around 400, to be specific, and no I did not count them as I hiked up) However, as I learned later, hiking up Moro Rock is not the only way to have fun. If you’re a rock climber, you’ll be pleased to know that 1000 feet of cracks, knobs and the such are available for rock climbing on the West face of the rock. (Climbing is prohibited, though, during peregrine falcon nesting season.)
We continued on our adventure and began the long climb to the viewpoint at the top. Let me tell you, those stairs seemed way over the 400 count. And even though the stairs only go on for 797 feet, going uphill makes it seems like a lot further. Anyway, when we finally got to the top and took in the view, I was struck by the amazing panorama spread out before me. I could see Mt. Whitney and a dozen other peaks, most of the park, and the Great Western Divide. The view was one of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen.
Then I set my water bottle on the ground because my hand was tired from holding it. My sister, and I’m sure she didn’t mean to, backed up and hit the bottle with her heel. It took off and rolled over the edge. With an exclamation of surprise I made a futile grab for it, but it was too late. The bottle rolled down the sloping side of the rock and stopped in a crack just a foot or so from the edge, where there was a drop of a couple hundred feet. I stared at it in dismay. Not fully understanding the dangers, I asked if I could get it. Naturally, with an “are you crazy?” look, my mom said no. Then a German guy said in his German accent, “I’ll get it!” He hooked a leg over the rail and other people, seeing what he was about to do, yelled, “NOOOOO!” The German guy stopped and came back, but clearly he would have liked to get it. Oh well, no use risking your life for a bottle, I guess.
We walked down safely and without anymore water bottle incidents, and talked about the amazing view, the hike, and the German guy. Moro Rock is definitely a must see point of interest. If you are ever in Sequoia, and want to see the area from a birds view, or as close to that as you can get, Moro Rock is your go-to location. I love the view from Moro Rock and hope that you might be able to experience it too.