The largest living thing on earth, this giant sequoia is so enormous that it is almost a challenge to perceive. Consider the branches: the largest branch on this tree has a diameter of 6.8 feet, which is larger than many mature conifers. This fact may not be evident at first because of perspective and distance, however. General Sherman's lowest branch sits at a lofty 130 feet, so things like branch diameters can be hard to estimate. Likewise, the magnitude of the base defies estimation. The facts may tell you that the tree's circumference at the ground is 102 feet, but your mind will simply register that it is gargantuan. General Sherman isn't the oldest; it is estimated to be around 2,000 years old, which maybe isn't much to Methuselah, a 5,000-year-old bristlecone pine. And at nearly 275 feet tall, General Sherman would still be looking up at the 379-foot coast redwood known as Hyperion. Yet there is no tree on earth that can match General Sherman's volume of 52,500 cubic feet.
Stop in and appreciate one of earth's wonders, and you won't regret it. This excellent visitor area has plenty of information about the tree, the species, and the surrounding habitat to help you put the experience in context. A network of paved trails including designated ADA-accessible trails leads to the tree, and you'll be able to link up with several other nearby trails in the park. Because of the easy access, this area becomes quite crowded in peak seasons. You'll find plenty of parking here, but visit early in the day or in the winter to avoid some of the big crowds.