Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park (Part 2 – Moro Rock and Stony Creek – June 2013)

Posted: July 1, 2013 in Camping, Family and Friends, Full Life, Hiking, Travel, Vacation
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Fishing in Stony Creek
On day three of our Sequoia and Kings Canyon trip we slept in and our plans for the day were much less ambitious than our previous day of hiking in Kings Canyon. After breakfast we packed a lunch for a quick trip to Crescent Meadow and Moro Rock. The last time I was in Crescent Meadows you could not drive up and park, it was too busy. Everyone had to take a shuttle. This time we were able to drive up and park. On the way up we saw a bear having his way with an old log. He was shredding it with very little effort.

Bear along road to Crescent Meadow Sequoia National Park

Sugar Pine Trail Sign to Moro RockWe missed the turn-off to park at Moro Rock but saw a sign for the Sugar Pine Trail near the Crescent Meadow parking lot, so we decided to take this short 1.5 mile hike. After the 9.2 mile Mist Falls trail the day before this would be pretty easy. The trail was less traveled than most, and slightly overgrown. There were a lot of fire damaged trees on the trail, but it was a fun way to get to Moro Rock. Once we got to the base of Moro Rock we had a snack, then climbed the 350 stairs to the top. The stairs and flat sections of the trail to the top of Moro Rock are often on the edge of the rock. Great views, but watch your step! Here are a few pictures of our climb and descent.

The path is narrow for much of the way to the top. This is one of the narrowest parts.

Narrow Stairs Moro Rock

Here is me and Sean on the same stairs.

Me and Sean on steep stairs of Moro Rock

Big smiles, but it is… a long way down!

Moro Rock - a long way down

Jenny stayed on the same stairs to get this picture of me and Sean further down.

Descending Moro Rock

A little further down the path you can see the view of the valley and mountains behind us. The peak of the mountain across the valley was in the clouds.

Me and Jenny on Moro Rock

Sean wondered aloud how long this tree had been leaning against the rock… it looks like it has been there a long time.

Large dead tree resting against Moro Rock

We rode the shuttle back up to Crescent Meadow for lunch. We took a group picture at the Crescent Meadow sign

All of us at Crescent Meadow

and then hiked to the Fallen Giant for lunch sitting by its roots.

Sean getting comfortable on the fallen giant in Crescent Meadows for a quick lunch

Finishing our walk across Crescent Meadow on the fallen giant after lunch

Then we headed back to camp for homemade spaghetti and some family time around the camp fire.

On day four we spent the day fishing and swimming at Stony Creek, just a short hike from our campsite.

The trail across the first meadow, which stony creek meanders through, was very green and there were more blooms than I remember from the same time 2 years before.

Start of the trail to Stony Creek

The rest of the trail was pretty much the way I remembered it and the creek is beautiful but a little unnerving with the steep granite slopes on both sides.

Stony Creek

It was a hot day, well over 80 degrees, so the first thing we did was hit the water. I knew from my previous visit that we would be sliding over the smaller of the two falls into very “refreshing” mountain stream water (read that as really, really cold!). A couple of years ago I had been a little reluctant as diving, jumping, or sliding in to dark pools of water is not really my thing. But this time I was eager. There was less water, it was a very warm day, and the 7-year-old did it first!

After the first time I started a little higher up, to get a better slide.

Preparing to slide over the falls

and a couple of seconds later over the edge I went! Only about a 6 foot drop from the bottom, but including the slide it’s about 12 feet.

On the way over the falls and into the pool

Here’s another angle showing my brother-in-law getting ready to slide down the falls.

Randy sliding down the falls

We had a great time at Stony Creek Campgrounds exploring Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park.

Read about the first part of this trip here: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park (Part 1 – Kings River, Cedar Grove, and Mist Falls Trail – June 2013)

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Comments
  1. Absolutely beautiful!!

  2. enjoybliss says:

    Fun! And that is an impressive bear! Wow!

  3. Patel says:

    Hi I was wondering if you could tell me the name of the trail that gets to that slide, it looks amazing!

    • eric.rial says:

      Patel, As far as I know it is not a named trail and there are no signs. There are two ways to find it. There is a trail betwen the Stoney Creek Campgrounds and the Stoney Creek Campgrounds store/gas station. There is a branch in the trail. Coming from the store if you go left you go to the campground, if you go right you go in the direction of these falls. However, the trail is not maintained. It is easy to get lost, and the approach can be hazardous, so this is definitely at your own risk. There are signs posted stating that experienced naturalists have died in these pools.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Eric

    • eric.rial says:

      Patel,

      Although I can’t give you a name of the trail, the location of the pool below the falls is: 36.656821,-118.846157. If you put that into Google Maps you can see where it is.

      Eric

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