Hike-in Required
ADA accessible
Guided tours
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains is the sole habitat for the native Sequoiadendron giganteum, or giant sequoia. These enormous trees may not be the world's oldest (bristlecone pines are) or the world's tallest (a coast redwood holds that distinction), but they are among the world's largest trees by volume. General Sherman holds the superlative distinction at the moment, but this tree is not alone: this grove of giant sequoias contains five of the planet's most voluminous trees. A number of walks leading through the Giant Forest will tour these trees, but the Congress Trail that begins at the General Sherman Tree gives you a chance to see many of the largest specimens, including the President Tree, which recently surpassed General Grant Tree as the world's second largest tree by volume. Of course, reading about it is one thing; actually standing beside one of these beautiful trees is both humbling and awe-inspiring.

The Giant Forest Museum is a great place to start your tour of the forest. There are miles of hiking trails to choose from, so ranger input and a little research can help you narrow down the choices. Many paths are wide, level, and built to accommodate visitors of all ages and ranges of mobility. After visiting the Giant Forest's core near the General Sherman Tree, consider exploring the periphery on hikes around Crescent Meadow, which is also one of the trailheads for the High Sierra Trail. Summer crowds are naturally an issue in an area such as this, so if you are looking for a little quiet time in the Giant Forest, early morning visits are best. Or better yet, try to attend the area in the off season. The trails are open for snowshoeing in the winter, and a dusting of snow lends an almost sacred look to these giants. Plenty of animals aside from humans enjoy this forest, so keep your eyes open for black bears, as well.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass


Some of the world's largest trees. Accessible year round.


Summertime crowds.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed


Old-growth forest
ADA accessible



We hike from General Sherman to the Crescent Meadow, by way of the Trail of the Sequoias and it was beautiful. We only saw on person on the May day we were out there, and it was the trail manager making notes of the sections that needed some attention.

We visited other parts of the Giant Forest, and I can honestly say there aren't any "ugly" parts. It's all beautiful.
Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.