It's difficult to overstate the importance of montane meadows. These high-elevation ecosystems support a tremendous variety of plant and animal life and function as wetlands that stabilize and purify seasonal water flows. To look upon a montane meadow is to see a critical natural process at work. Thankfully, Crescent Meadow, one of the Sequoia National Park's healthiest examples of a montane meadow, is easily visible on your tour of Giant Forest, and it is an excellent stop when paired with a visit to the granite dome viewpoint known as Moro Rock.
Surrounded by giant sequoias and filled with burgeoning flowers, lush grasses, and ferns in the summer, it's easy to see why John Muir called Crescent Meadow the "Gem of the Sierra." A beautiful 1.5-mile trail encircles the boot-shaped portion of the meadow, and this is a great walk for families looking to extend their exploration of the Giant Forest. Crescent Creek enters the meadow at the south end, and a trail also leads to Log Meadow, which sits just east of Crescent Meadow. The hike to Tharp's Log, the former abode of Hale Tharp, is only a mile from the meadow as well. Crescent Meadow is also the western end of the High Sierra Trail that runs for nearly 60 miles east to Mount Whitney.
Note that it is especially important to stay on established paths in such a fragile environment. Wetlands are very easily damaged by heavy traffic. Fallen logs can make excellent viewpoints if you want to get out into the meadow a bit. Also, while the Giant Forest can be beautiful in the off season, the road to Crescent Meadow is often closed in winter.