Giant Forest Loop Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
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.
3-4.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
11.3 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.
388 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead
Giant Forest Loop Trail

The Giant Forest Loop Trail boasts an unrivaled experience, guiding explorers amongst some of the world’s oldest and grandest giant sequoias on the planet! This enchanting adventure will shrink you down to the size of an ant as you wander the path amongst the monstrous old-growth sequoias—hikers of all ages and skill levels can participate.

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Route Description for Giant Forest Loop Trail

The Giant Forest Loop Trail is a magical trail that loops through the Giant Forest Grove, offering the opportunity to get up close and personal with the behemoth trees. Unfortunately, you will be hard-pressed to find this route without several explorers, so arrive prepared to share the trail. Those seeking a more secluded experience are encouraged to head out in the early morning to avoid the afternoon rush, or even better, in the off-season.

When visiting during the off-season, expect seasonal road closures. After a snowfall, the main parking area off Wolverton Road closes, and the accessible parking area on the Generals Highway becomes available to all, though you may still need chained tires or four-wheel drive to navigate the route. Note entrance to the park costs $35USD per vehicle or $20USD per person for pedestrians or cyclists.

The Giant Forest Loop Trail is an amazing adventure that exhibits the diversity and grandeur of the area’s native flora and fauna—notably the old-growth giant sequoias. Wander through the Giant Forest Grove, reveling in the scenes of the world’s largest tree and the world’s oldest tree! Explore the collection of giant sequoias and take the quintessential photos next to the monstrous trees.

Accessible and easy-going, this route is manageable by hikers of all skill levels and ages. In the summer months, the area is abundant with lush undergrowth that blooms with purple lupines and moss-ringed trees. The winter boasts a more tranquil experience, though equally as enchanting. We love this route, and we know you will too.

Your adventure along the Giant Forest Loop Hike from the General Sherman Trailhead. Setting out from here, you will be guided southward along the General Sherman Trail. Follow this route through the intersection and past the overlook of the looming tree. Eventually, you will reach an intersection with the Congress Trail, veer left here, and the path will guide you over Sherman Creek. Continue south, and you will ultimately reach The President Tree. Admire the grandeur of the world’s oldest known sequoia.

From here, merge onto the Trail of the Sequoias, traveling past The Senate and into a more secluded area of the grove. Eventually, the path will guide you over Crescent Creek, where you will also notice a meadow. At the following junction, keep right, and you will be diverted onto the Tharp’s Log Trail. This path travels past Tharp’s Log and the Chimney Tree—a hollowed-out sequoia that offers the perfect setting for a photo.

After passing the Chimney Tree, you will turn right onto the Washington Tree Trail, which will redirect you north past The Three Amigos and into Circle Meadow. Here you will encounter an intersection; take the middle route to the Black Arch Tree and the Cattle Cabin. At the path’s end, you will reconnect with the Congress Trail, passing the McKinley Tree and Sherman Creek.

When you eventually encounter another junction, keep left onto the Sherman Tree Trail. Here you will likely be in the company of plenty of visitors reveling in the scene of the world’s largest sequoia. Appreciate the grandeur of the gigantic tree, then follow the Sherman Tree Trail all the way back to the trailhead, marking the end of your adventure.


Trail Highlights

The President Tree

The President Tree is a giant sequoia located in the Giant Forest Grove of the Sequoia National Park. The tree stands 75 m with a 8 m diameter at the base. Named after President Harding, this tree is the 3rd largest in the world and the oldest known living sequoia at about 3,200 years old.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the Giant Forest open?

The Giant Forest is open year-round, though the access roads are subject to seasonal closure.

How long is the Giant Forest Loop Trail?

The Giant Forest Loop Trail is a 11.3 km hike in the Sequoia National Park.

Insider Hints for Giant Forest Loop Trail

  • Head out in the morning or late evening for a more secluded experience
  • Unfortunately, your pups will have to sit this walkout
  • Charge your camera, the scenery is unrivaled
  • After snowfall, the main parking area off the Wolverton Road closes and the accessible parking area on the Generals Highway becomes available to all
  • Strap on a pair of snowshoes or cross country skis in the winter months

Getting to the Giant Forest Loop Trail Trailhead

The Giant Forest Loop Trail departs from the Sherman Tree Trailhead off Wolverton Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    Year-round

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Good

  • Crowd Levels

    Extreme

  • Route Type

    Lollipop

Giant Forest Loop Trail Elevation Graph

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