Nested in the north side edge of Sequoia National Park, this trail provides much needed solitude while still giving you the chance to walk among the giants. Unlike other more popular destinations within the national park, this area sees far fewer visitors yet still rewards with beautiful hiking.
From Generals Highway, drive about 2 miles on the rough forest road 14S75 to get to the trailhead. And at the end of it, you will see a big parking lot and a sign with the trail map.
There are two main loops when you start from this trailhead: the Hart Tree Loop and Sugar Bowl Loop. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, you can make a very big loop that will cover both of them. Sugar Bowl Trail is slightly shorter but steeper, while Hart Tree trail is about 7 miles and slightly less steep.
The Hart Tree Trail starts with a decent drop to the canyon, and soon you will see the junction where you will return at the end of the hike. Keep left and you will cross a fern-lined Redwood Creek. The trail will then take you through Hart Meadow, where a hollowed giant sequoia lays in the middle of the trail. Walk inside it to get a good sense of how big the tree is.
After walking for 3.2 miles you will see a sign where you can find the largest tree in the grove, the Hart Tree. Make sure to spend a little bit of time to admire the size of this tree before continuing toward a small waterfall. Soon after the trail descends to Redwood Canyon. This junction can get a little confusing: One of trails leads to Big Spring, which is another 3 miles south, while the other one will take you to Sugar Bowl Loop. To get back to the trailhead, keep right up the canyon, and the trail will lead you back to the parking area.
Most of the trail will be shaded, but there are few water sources along the trail, so make sure to bring enough water with you. In the summer, the canyon can get pretty hot. Mosquitoes will also come out during certain months of the year depending on winter conditions.