General Sherman Tree Trail

Difficulty
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Very Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
0.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
1.9 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
60 m
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Directions to Trailhead
General Sherman Tree Trail

Indulge yourself in the beauty and grandeur of the world’s largest one-stem tree along the General Sherman Tree Trail. This well-revered route in the Sequoia National Park boasts the opportunity to get up close and personal with the giant sequoia that so famously adorns the forest.

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Route Description for General Sherman Tree Trail

Beckoning the exploration of visitors from around the globe, the General Sherman Tree Trail is a well-loved hike. Year-round, this route sees plenty of traffic, so come prepared to share the trail. Those seeking a more tranquil experience are encouraged to head out in the early mornings or late afternoons to avoid the rush. Offering the opportunity for adventure all year, the main parking area off Wolverton Road closes after significant snowfall, and the accessible parking area on the Generals Highway becomes available for all—otherwise, the Generals Highway car park is reserved as an accessible lot. Note entrance to the park costs $35USD per vehicle or $20USD per person for pedestrians or cyclists.

Escape into the wilderness and explore the Sierra Nevada along the General Sherman Tree Trail. This short and scenic trail to the impressive sequoia can be explored by hikers of all skill levels and ages year-round. Meander through the lush Californian forestlands, which exhibit a variety of flora and fauna to appreciate. With several benches along the path, hikers can stop and take a break, enjoying the scenery along the way. Before you head out, make sure your camera is charged so you can take the Instagram-worthy photo standing in front of the behemoth of a tree.

Embark on your adventure along the General Sherman Tree Trail from the trailhead off Wolverton Road. Setting out from here, the wide, forested path tracks southwest. Wandering through the corridor of mixed conifers, including smaller sequoias, you will eventually confront an intersection. Here, veer left, gradually descending further into the woodlands. Soon after departing the crossroad, you will reach an overlook of the General Sherman Tree. Marvel in the distant views of the tree and take the time to read the interpretive sign here.

When you are set, continue hiking along this path, turning right at the next junction. This segment of the trek will undoubtedly be the busiest as you wander to the General Sherman Tree. Appreciate the grandeur of this enormous sequoia and take a photo in front of the beast, then loop around its base to get the full effect. Follow the General Sherman Tree Trail around the loop, and once you complete the circuit, reconnect with the access path. From here, you can take a quick detour to another interpretive sign on your right or simply retrace your footing back to the trailhead.

Trail Highlights

General Sherman Tree

This impressive coniferous tree is, by volume, the largest known living, single-stem tree on earth. Beckoning the exploration of global visitors, the enormous tree is estimated to be between 2,200 to 2,700 years of age. Among the oldest, tallest, and widest conifers in the world, the tree stands 84 m tall with a base circumference of 31 m. Fun fact—the tree is estimated to weigh around 6,167 tons— no doubt it would make a sound, even if no one is around! Trust us, a trip to this natural anomaly is well worth the detour!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is there a fence around the General Sherman Tree?

There is a fence around the General Sherman Tree to safeguard the fragile ground around the base of the tree. Unfortunately, this means visitors can no longer stand right next to the enormous tree.

What is the General Sherman Tree?

The General Sherman Tree is a giant sequoia that is the largest known single stem tree on earth.

What is the largest tree in the Sequoia National Park?

The General Sherman Tree is the largest tree in the Sequoia National Park.

How long is the General Sherman Tree Trail?

The General Sherman Tree Trail is a 1.9 km lollipop hike in the Sequoia National Park.

Insider Hints for General Sherman Tree Trail

  • Head out in the early morning for a more tranquil experience
  • After snowfall, the main parking area off the Wolverton Road closes and the accessible parking area on the Generals Highway becomes available to all
  • Stay off the cross-country ski tracks in the winter months
  • Charge your camera and take a photo in front of the gigantic sequoia

Getting to the General Sherman Tree Trail Trailhead

The General Sherman Tree Trail is accessed via the trailhead and parking lot off Wolverton Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    Year-round

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Good

  • Crowd Levels

    Extreme

  • Route Type

    Lollipop

General Sherman Tree Trail Elevation Graph

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