Beetle Rock looks down on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains from Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park and delivers tremendous views with little effort. While it doesn’t really qualify as a hike, (although those determined to hike to this granite dome can do so) the rock is definitely worth checking out.
On the south side of the Giant Forest Museum parking lot, a short paved road leads up to the Beetle Rock Center, a facility for educational groups that are studying the park. If the road is open, it is possible to drive right up to Beetle Rock. If not, it is only a short walk up to this large granite slope with impressive views to the south and west.
Much like nearby Sunset Rock, Beetle Rock is a great place to watch the sunset. Speaking of names, if you would like to impress people with your knowledge of park trivia, slip into conversation that Beetle Rock was named for the Trachykele Opulenta Beetle that was discovered here in 1905.
Those eager to hike may reach Beetle Rock as part of a half mile loop. Take the Sunset Rock Trail down to Little Deer Creek. Turn left and take the path that follows alongside the creek, before curving to the left and up to Beetle Rock.
To get to Beetle Rock: From the Generals Highway, enter the parking lot across from the Giant Forest Museum and take the marked road south of the lot.
Beetle Rock address: Generals Highway (California 198), Sequoia National Park, CA 93262
Beetle Rock coordinates: 36.5647, -118.77425 (36° 33′ 52.9″N 118° 46′ 27.3″W)
You may also view a regional map of surrounding Sierra Nevada trails and campgrounds.
This 2-mile hike visits a large granite dome with great views to the west, possibly the best place to end your day in the Giant Forest.
|Big Trees Trail
This 1.4-mile stroll explores giant sequoias around Round Meadow on a paved nature trail that is easy, educational, and beautiful.
|General Sherman Tree
This one-mile hike visits the world's biggest tree, a 275-foot tall Giant Sequoia that is 36.5 feet across at the base.
This easy paved two mile loop visits the fourth and fifth tallest Sequoias in the world (among others).
|Hanging Rock Trail
This short 0.35-mile hike passes views of Moro Rock en route to a balancing boulder on a canyon rim at the edge of the Giant Forest.
This 0.6 mile hike sports panoramic views and should be considered a mandatory hike for first time visitors to Sequoia National Park.
This level 1.6-mile loop visits a Sequoia you can stand inside (Chimney Tree) and another that someone used to live in (Tharp's Log).
|Sugar Pine Trail and Bobcat Point Trail Loop
This short but diverse 1.5-mile loop peaks at Bobcat Point, which presents a fierce perspective of Moro Rock and a massive canyon.
This 4.2-mile hike reaches the base of the tallest waterfall in Sequoia National Park.
This 8-mile hike takes a flower-lined path up a mountain canyon to a powerful waterfall.
This short stroll leaves Buckeye Flat Campground to visit the perfect swimming hole for a hot summer day in the Sierra.
This 6-mile hike follows the Middle Fork Trail to a 100 foot waterfall that drops into the Middle Fork of Kaweah River.
|More trails in the Sierra Nevada Mountains
Explore other destinations in Sequoia National Park and the rest of the range.
|Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Campgrounds
There are 14 campgrounds with over 1,000 total sites spread throughout the park to facilitate your visit.