Sequoia National Forest & Dome Rock
Many people are familiar with the great Half Dome of Yosemite. It's an often visited landmark. It seems that another Dome Rock is a somewhat well kept secret. Sequoia has it's own large granite face, which shines from a distance, and is able to be hiked upon quite easily.
We were lucky to be offered a place to stay, deep within the forest of Sequoia National Forest. A somewhat secluded cabin in the woods was a perfect retreat for a long weekend. We enjoyed a couple of cozy nights by the fire and some hiking and exploring during the day. (To add to the family fun, our cat even joined us on this trip!)
Back to the Dome! This large rock is quite easily accessible. A short dirt road takes you just briefly off of the main road, and then a short hike will get you to the top. The views of the Sequoia Forest in every direction are quite beautiful. You will get a glimpse of The Needles in the distance, as well. While there are steep areas, the majority of the rock is easily explored.
Roundtrip, the total amount of the hike up and down is about a half a mile. More of a walk, than a hike - but the views at the top are incredible. This granite monolith is a 400 foot high, 800 foot across, protruding giant, situated in the middle of a sea of big green conifer trees. We reached Dome Rock driving through Porterville, which is about 63 miles out. If you are at Quaking Aspen campground, it is about 4 miles south to reach to road for Dome Rock. From the 190, you'll turn onto Forest Road 21S70. This will take you right to the parking area. Take the short trail up the big hill, which you won't miss.
We continued south from the Dome and enjoyed several stops along the way. The forest seems to become thicker and more magical the further you drive along 190. We reached the "Trail of 100 Giants Area", but didn't park and join the very crowded area. Instead, we found a nearby dirt road and headed deep into the forest by ourselves. We stayed on the road, following Leave No Trace principles. It was so secluded that we could just stop and get out to take photos. Back out on the 190, we headed back to our cabin and found glimpses of the Dome and Needles peeping through every now and then.
Sequoia National Park is definitely on our list to visit soon, but Sequoia National Forest (just to the south) is definitely worth the trip. For solitude seekers, this forest provided a quiet and less crowded forest adventure.
all photos taken by Andrea and Kim
Cameras: Nikon D750, Canon AE-1
Film: Kodak Ektar