Trip date: May 2021
Day 3. Sacramento to Sequoia - 252 miles
It took me just over 5 hours to drive from Sacramento to the Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park. Most of the drive was very boring; it was dry, dusty, and hot in central California and not a lot to look at. I took CA99 S to CA180 E and was sure to gas up in Dunlap, as there are no gas stations inside the park. That ended up not being entirely true as there is one station on Generals Highway that technically sits outside the park boundaries, but best to go in with a full tank.
My National Park pass allowed me free entry; even if you have a reservation at one of the lodges or campgrounds inside the park you will still be charged an entry fee if you don't have the pass. It was an easy but slow drive through the park to the lodge; it's a twisty road and you also need to be very aware of wildlife. It's also incredibly beautiful with huge groves of sequoias and pines everywhere.
At the Wuksachi I checked in at the main lodge and then drove off to find my building. All rooms are located about 200 feet away and there are parking lots for each building. Spring is bear season in Sequoia and it is no joke! The front desk told me that EVERYTHING needed to be removed from my car- hand lotion, worn masks, cans of Lacroix, grocery bags, etc. Bears can smell possible food sources from over one mile away and have no problem breaking into car trunks to get at it. Luckily there were luggage carts to help, even if I had to push it up a gravel trail to the front doors of my building!
In the morning I had a quick breakfast and coffee outside on the lodge's deck. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and I had a couple of hikes planned and was super excited to get started.
My first stop was Moro Rock, a large granite dome and a very popular hike. Normally you need to park pretty far from the trailhead and take a shuttle because the parking lot gets so crowded, but the shuttle wasn't running yet and I got very lucky with a parking lot right up front.
There are 350 steps that go directly up ½ mile to the top. It's not difficult but it is steep, the steps are very narrow, and it's at an elevation of 6725 feet. The views of the Great Western Divide from the top are absolutely amazing! Also I am supposedly the 4th generation of my family to have hiked up it, my great grandmother being the first to do it when she was 74!