★★★★

The Giant Forest Area


Sequoia National Park
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The Giant Forest Museum

The Giant Forest is the centerpiece of Sequoia National Park. Home to the world’s biggest tree (by volume) it’s the best sequoia grove, by far, for hiking. It has the most singletrack trails of any sequoia grove, it has one of the best collections of really big trees, and it hasn’t been logged. The forest is very open but still has, in many places, an attractively lush groundcover, and it has some especially scenic meadows to add variety.

Next to the Giant Forest are the Lodgepole and Wolverton trailheads, which are the starting point for three excellent high-country day hikes: the easy Tokopah Falls Trail, the challenging Lakes Trail, and the very challenging Alta Peak Trail. If you have enough time I think a great itinerary would be one sequoia hike and one high country hike. However, keep in mind that ascending is noticably more difficult than at sea level.

Sequoia hikes

★★★★

Wolverton Cutoff

Length 9.6 miles · Climbing 1380 feet

A great introduction to Sequoia National park, this superb hike combines the alpine views of the High Sierra Trail with a pass through the best part of the Giant Forest.

★★★★

Round Meadow

Length 1.9 miles · Climbing 150 feet

A scenic route that passes through some of the park’s most scenic sequoia stands while also avoiding the worst of the crowds.

★★★★

Muir Grove

Length 4.2 miles · Climbing 530 feet

A short trail from Dorst Campground leads to the superb Muir Grove. The trail ends at the edge of the grove, but there’s about a half-mile of unofficial trails within the grove.

★★★★

Congress Trail

Length 2.9 miles · Climbing 470 feet

A popular trail with the most impressive trees of any sequoia hike. It starts at the General Sherman Tree, the largest in the world, and leads to a collection of large sequoias a mile away.

★★★

Sevenmile Loop

Length 14.9 miles · Climbing 2580 feet

A longer version of the Wolverton Cutoff loop, this loop climbs into the high country before returning to the Giant Forest.

★★★

Moro Rock and Crescent Meadow

Length 7.3 miles · Climbing 1360 feet

A fun route that connects two of the park’s best-known attractions and also includes plenty of sequoias.

Bear’s Bathtub Trail, Giant Forest


 

© 2011, 2012, 2018 David Baselt