Dome Rock is one of the most iconic locations and hikes within Sequoia National Forest in California. This easily accessible drive-up viewpoint offers some of the best sights of the surrounding mountains, valley, and expansive forest as far as visitors can see.
In this post we cover all you need to know for visiting Dome Rock including how to get there, where to park and what to expect.
Tip: After visiting Dome Rock we like to head 20 minutes south and hike the Trail Of 100 Giants that are located in the same region of Sequoia National Forest. Both trails are very easy and can be done on the same day or trip.
Dome Rock Location
Dome Rock viewpoint is located in Sequoia National Forest just a short drive off Highway M-90. For visitors, there is a designated parking lot and a short trail that leads to the top of the Dome Rock.
To get to the Dome Rock parking lot take a turn off Highway M-90 onto Forest Route 21S70. This sandy forest road is flat, well taken care of, and accessible for most cars.
There are multiple overflow parking lots along Route 21S70 but you can drive all the way up to the Dome Rock trailhead and park there for closest access. From the designated parking lot it’s just a short walk to the Dome Rock viewpoint.
If you want to extend your hike, you can park in the forest off Highway M-90 and hike an extra half mile each way. We did that by accident after seeing a “Dome Rock” sign that led us into the wrong turn.
Note: If you’re coming from the south and see a “Dome Rock” sign, keep going and turn right at the next road. We saw a lot of people making the same mistake and parking at the wrong location just like us. This might be an overflow parking lot or where people park if the main road is closed.
Forest Route 21S70 is the correct turn and from there you can drive all the way to Dome Rock Trailhead. But this turn didn’t have any signs and only had a small arrow pointing towards the road.
Thankfully after parking at the random spot we found a small trail that connected with Forest Route 21S70 and from there we followed the road to the Dome Rock. It was a pretty nice day so we didn’t mind the extra walk.
Dome Rock Google Map Location: Forest Route 21S70, Sequoia National Forest, California
About Dome Rock
Dome Rock is essentially a giant slab of exposed grey granite rock that’s smooth and round-shaped. As you drive along Highway M-90 you can spot Dome Rock and see the round shape of it from the distance.
Dome Rock is a highly popular stop for people visiting Sequoia National Forest because it’s an easily accessible drive-up viewpoint. Plus it’s free!
After parking in the designated lot, you will see a gate to prevent cars from going further. Just walk past the gate and follow a small path that leads to the top of the Dome Rock.
Dome Rock is located over 7000 feet in elevation so while the hike there is very short, it can be a bit challenging due to the high altitude and loose rocks.
For visiting Dome Rock I recommend wearing hiking shoes with a good grip. Once you reach the top of the rock you have to be very careful because the rock slopes down on all sides with steep drop-offs around it.
This can be dangerous because there are no guard rails anywhere. For me, it felt very intimidating and a bit scary especially since I’m not a fan of heights.
Dome Rock is dog friendly so pets are very welcome but we recommend to keep your pet on a leash and to keep a safe distance from the edges.
While Dome Rock itself is unique in its shape, once you’re up close you can’t see the rock shape. Instead, everyone comes here for the views.
From the top of the Dome Rock visitors can see nearby mountain ranges and the valley in the distance surrounded by the lush Sequoia National Forest.
The setting here is so peaceful and makes you feel so small compared to the expansive landscape in front of you.
Dome Rock is also a great place to come enjoy a relaxing break or lunch.
If you come in the afternoon note that there is very little shade and it gets pretty hot up at the top. Some trees were growing out of random rock crevices that we used to take cover from the mid-day sun.
Tip: Dome Rock viewpoint is best during sunset or even at night for stargazing into the open space.
Dome Rock directly overlooks Sequoia National Forest in the distance. From the top of Dome Rock, you can also have a clear view of The Needles mountain peak to your left.
While most of Sequoia National Forest doesn’t have any cell service, we were able to get some cell service a the top of Dome Rock (probably due to lack of obstructing trees).
Looking for other great trails to hike in Sequoia National Forest? Here are some of our favorites: