There’s no shame in being second-best. Without question, the best overlook in Sequoia National Park is at Moro Rock. But the second-best overlook is nearby. Hanging Rock Trail is a very short walk up to a spectacular viewpoint of the lower portion of Sequoia National Park. Hanging Rock also has a great view of Moro Rock. And, unlike its more popular neighbor, you might have this viewpoint all to yourself.
To access Moro Rock, Hanging Rock, Crescent Meadow, and the Tunnel Log, turn off Generals Highway at the Giant Forest Museum. The side road to all of these attractions begins next to the museum. Follow this road to the end for Crescent Meadow, or take the turnoff onto the loop for Moro Rock and Hanging Rock.
After tackling Moro Rock, I was still in the mood to hike. I saw the trailhead for Hanging Rock on my way to Moro Rock, and noticed that the hike was just one-tenth of a mile, so I decided it was the perfect place to go.
The hike up the hill to Hanging Rock takes almost no time at all. When you get to the top, you’ll see this huge boulder perched on the edge of the cliff, propped up by a much smaller rock.
On the other side of that rock, the Kaweah River Valley stretches out in front of you. Look closer…
… and you’ll see the southern end of the Generals Highway, California 198, as it twists around dozens of curves towards the park’s southern exit. Here, you see the most recognizable of those curves, Amphitheater Point. Later, when you drive down this road, you’ll probably stop here and look back at Hanging Rock.
Who am I kidding? You’ll actually be looking at Moro Rock — that spectacular bald peak with the incredible trail cut into the side of the mountain. It’s a remarkable sight.
From Hanging Rock Trail, you’re almost close enough to see the people atop Moro Rock. During my hike, there were dozens of people over there on Moro Rock, but I was the only one enjoying Hanging Rock Trail. So, I kicked back for a few minutes and enjoyed the peace and quiet.
I thought for a while about staying here, or going back over to Moro Rock, for the sunset. But, I was staying outside of Kings Canyon, and it would have been a very long drive through the park to the north entrance after dark. So, I decided to leave this great spot, and drive north, giving myself enough time for a great sunset hike at Buena Vista Peak Trail.
Here’s a look at the drive south on Generals Highway to the Giant Forest Museum…
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… and through the Tunnel Log to Crescent Meadow and Moro Rock:
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The Bottom Line
Hanging Rock Trail is a great short hike up to a fantastic viewpoint. It requires almost no effort to reach this great spot, and because it receives less attention than its neighbor, you probably won’t find a crowd here.