Sequoia National Forest: Those are Some Big Ass Trees!
WHEN DID I GO: August 20, 2017
WHY DID I GO: USA Road Trip - checking out Cali before heading home to Seattle!
HOW LONG WAS I THERE: 3-4 hours
WHERE DID I STAY: Visalia KOA
General Sherman & The Big Ass Trees! Okay, I will just say it. Sequoias are cool! I honestly don't know if I've ever experienced something like that before. To be surrounded by all these absolute immense trees. You're literally in a forest of giants. They utterly dwarf you! And it was pretty incredible!
Moro Rock.I didn't know Moro Rock was a thing, but after wandering around through the Sequoia Groves and seeing General Sherman and the McKinley tree, I was looking for something else to do. So, I hopped on a bus and just started listening to people's conversations and what they were doing - creepy right? Haha. But it actually worked out really well, because I ended up hearing about the this great viewpoint that was a short, intense hike! The bus even brought you right to the beginning of the trail head. It was perfect! I hoipped on the next bus and before I new it, I was trudging up the 350-step, quarter-mile, 300-ft incline. It was like a mini Angel's Landing. With an absolutely amazing view at the top. Check out some photos here and some of the hike details here.
The bus system. What I've learned on this national park road trip has been that some National Parks have phenomenal bus systems and some have less-phenomenal bus systems. It kind of depends on the park and how integral a good transportation system is to getting around the park. Those the bus system here definitely isn't required, it was VERY helpful! Especially to get to more remote places like Moro Rock! If I wasn't by myself, I probably would've just hiked it. But given that the weather was turning and I was hiking by myself, I opted to use the bus system and it was super easy to use and the bus drivers were very accommodating and informative!
Parking & Crowds. Maybe it's because Sequoia is a smaller park than Yosemite, but it was absolutely packed at this park. It didn't matter where I went seemingly, there were hoards of people. You just kind of had to go into the day with an attitude of patience, or you'd get pissed off at the crowds. This was especially the case when I was first arriving and trying to find a place to park. It didn't matter where I went or how far I drove into the park, there was no parking and I was beginning to think that I would just have to turn around and leave! Eventually, I followed the signs to the Wolverton Shuttle parking lot and I was able to find parking there with very convenient shuttles to the remainder of the park, including General Sherman, the Giants Forest, and Moro Rock. But parking was definitely a hassle.
They're just trees. Okay, some people might not like that this was a bummer. But, after you've spent some amount of time actually looking at General Sherman and getting your first glimpse at the immensity of the Sequoia trees, ultimately, things really start to look the same. It's kind of like, "Oh look, another big tree! Oh look another big tree!" And it gets, admittedly, a little boring after a while, which is why doing things like Moro Rock is really fun to mix up the day.
It would've been fun to back country hike. If I wasn't by myself and wasn't only spending an afternoon here, I would've loved to back country hike! The country is beautiful and to be able to hike and really get out into the country is something that I wish I had been able to do!