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Soldiers Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.0 (1)

Built by the US Army, Soldiers Trail winds through the Giant Forest beneath Giant Sequoias before emerging at Moro Rock.


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Map Key

1.6

Miles

2.5

KM

Point to Point

6,805' 2,074 m

High

6,484' 1,976 m

Low

312' 95 m

Up

391' 119 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

20%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Historical Significance · Wildflowers

Winter can bring snow to the Giant Forest, so the road to Moro Rock may be closed in the winter. Check the park website for up to date information in the winter regarding road conditions.

Need to Know

The only services along this trail are at the Museum and Park Store at the beginning of the hike. There are restrooms (pit toilets) at Moro Rock, but otherwise there are no other services along this hike.

Description

Looks like this description needs some love. If you know it, please adopt this trail! The Soldiers Trail was originally built by the US Army when they patrolled and protected the park between the years of 1891-1913.

This trail starts on the Alta Trail, just past the junction of the Old Bear Hill Road Trail. The trail climbs steeply up the hillside for roughly one-third of a mile before coming to the top of the hill. As it climbs, the singletrack dirt trail passes some mature Giant Sequoia trees, giving you an idea for how massive these trees truly are. Wildflowers can be seen in the late spring and early summer as warmer weather comes to this elevation.

The further into the forest you go, the noise and crowds around the Giant Forest Museum and Park Store start to fade. Once the trail peaks, it descends steeply at first down the back side fo the hill. Almost everywhere you look, you'll see Sequoia trees in various states. There are ones that have fallen, ones that have been damaged by fire and storms, and large clumps of trees growing high into the air. Around seven-tenths of a mile, the trail flattens out some as you approach Crescent Meadow Road and the Tunnel Log, a fallen tree that has a hole carved in it so that cars can drive through.

This is a popular area for tourists, so be on the lookout for cars as you cross the road. After traveling a short distance, the noise from the tunnel log will fade and you can enjoy a peaceful hike. Despite being in a popular area, you may encounter only a handful of individuals on this trail. The trail crosses the road again and begins a short climb uphill to the Roosevelt Tree, named after Theodore Roosevelt.

From here, the trail drops down to the Moro Rock parking lot, where you can decide how you want to continue your adventure. You can climb to the top of Moro Rock, which is highly recommended, and then make your way back to the museum by taking either the Moro Rock Trail, Bear Hill Trail, or retracing your steps on the Soldiers Trail.

Shared By:

David Hitchcock

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#12851

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  4.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#1,380

in California

#12,851

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Photos

A damaged giant sequoia standing defiantly against mother nature.
Aug 29, 2020 near Three R…, CA
Everywhere you look, there are Giant Sequoias. Here, a large group sits just off the trail.  Did these all start growing at the same time?  Did their seeds all come from the same tiny sequoia cone?
Aug 29, 2020 near Three R…, CA
The trail crosses the road by a Giant Sequoia Tree, allowing you to get up close to one of these giants without even leaving the trail.
Aug 29, 2020 near Three R…, CA
The Old Bear Hill Road Trail is a wide trail that climbs through the Giant Forest before descending back toward the road and museum.
Aug 22, 2020 near Three R…, CA
Giant Sequoias provide shade during the hike at all hours of the day, making this a great hike even in the heat of the day.
Aug 29, 2020 near Three R…, CA
Tunnel Log, Sequoia National Park.
Jan 23, 2018 near Three R…, CA

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Aug 9, 2020
David Hitchcock
Mar 3, 2020
Lee Sybert
1.3mi — 12h 18m