Middle Fork Trail
Three miles out on the Middle Fork Trail in Sequoia National Park is the Panther Creek crossing, where soon after the waterway drops precipitously to the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River. There is flowing water in this creek (July 2014) that is low enough to create several refreshing wading pools. It is advised that hikers get an early start and carry water as temperatures can rise quickly on this low-elevation, foothills trail. The Middle Fork Trail continues beyond Panther Creek to Redwood Meadow (15 miles from the trailhead), a backpacking destination, and from here several trails lead in various directions that will take backcountry travelers to a multitude of beautiful places, including Bearpaw High Sierra Camp on the High Sierra Trail about 1,500 feet above.
The view of Castle Rocks from the Middle Fork Trail reveals that this may have been the vantage point from where the promontory received its name as the resemblance to a medieval castle is striking.
Moro Rock is one of the most often-visited attractions in Sequoia National Park. The huge granite dome is visible from as far away as the Central Valley floor on a clear day. And it is a part of the beloved viewscape that is seen from Three Rivers. This is the image most people think of when Moro Rock is mentioned. Sequoia National Park visitors may also envision standing in the parking lot at the base of Moro Rock looking up at the staircase that leads to the top of the dome.
But due to the vast network of trails throughout Sequoia, there are 360-degree views of the monolith. These photos depict how Moro Rock looks from the Middle Fork Trail, which is accessed from the Buckeye Flat road, accessed from the Generals Highway at Hospital Rock.
Moro Rock facts:
Elevation: 6,725 feet above sea level (2,048 meters)
Year stairs were first built: 1917 (wooden)
Year current stairs were built: 1931 (concrete)
Number of steps: 400
Length in miles: .25
Vertical ascent: 300 feet
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places: 1978 (stairway)