Hike the Congress Trail

Rate this Adventure Yosemite General Sherman Trailhead

Added by

Start with the largest tree in the world and then meander past the third and fourth largest sequoias. It's an incredible feeling walking among these giants.

While the General Sherman Tree is the main attraction in this area, the Congress Trail allows you to get away from the majority of the crowd and explore the giant sequoias at your leisure. The vast majority of visitors only walk to and from the General Sherman Tree.

The trail starts out from the General Sherman parking lot which fills up early.  You'll make your way about 0.4 miles down the trail where you'll see a sign to your left for the Congress Trail.  From here, you'll begin a gradual paved loop that will pass by several sequoias.  The first confusing part is right after you pass the Alta Trail marker.  Just make sure to take the paved path to your left as this will bring you to the President's Tree (3rd largest tree). The President's Tree is similar to the General Sherman Tree without the crowds.

Continuing onward you'll pass two clusters of sequoias that make for a great photo stop.  The first is the Senate and the second is the House.  From here you'll slowly finish the bottom of the loop and begin making your way back towards the General Sherman area. You'll pass fallen sequoias and walk through a tree tunnel before reaching the General Sherman Tree and the walk back to the parking lot.

There are several extensions to this trail including the 6 mile Trail of the Sequoias loop.  If you have time, they're definitely worth exploring. 

Pack List

  • Water
  • Camera
  • Snacks
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Photography, Hiking

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Loop

Distance:

3.1 Miles

Elev. Gain:

500 Feet

Features:

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Romantic
Scenic

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Will Cebron

Venice, CA is home but I'm usually on the go. @wcebron

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to Balsam Forebay

Yosemite / Balsam Meadows Sno-Park

Access to the forebay starts at the trail head from the parking lot 6,700 ft up, also from the parking lot there is access to two different sets of boulder patches separate from the ones encountered .

Zack Valle
8 Saves

Camp at Buckeye Flat in Sequoia National Park

Yosemite / Buckeye Flat Campground

Entering Sequoia National Park at the Ash Mountain Entrance near the small city of Three Rivers, follow Highway 198 (Generals Highway) through the park until you see a sign for Buckeye Flat Campgroun.

Nick Garcia
10 Saves

Snowshoe to Cooney Lake

Yosemite / Virginia Lake Trailhead

When it's winter time, one of the best things you can do is experience the snow in the Eastern Sierra! If you've ever been hiking and/or backpacking in the Sierra, you know it's one of the most beaut.

Stephanie Baker
1 Saves