Hike the Congress Trail

General Sherman Trailhead

Distance

3.1 Miles

Elevation Gain

500 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Loop

Added by

Will Cebron

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Romantic
Scenic

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. 

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $100/night

Starry Night

Squaw Valley, California

From $170/night

Big Trees Lodge

Fish Camp, California

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Beautiful

I took my kids and we had a fun time. I wouldn't consider it an easy hike because of the high elevation. We went mid July and there were quite a bit of tourist.

Distance

3.1 Miles

Elevation Gain

500 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Loop

Added by

Will Cebron

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Hike to Emerald Lake, Sequoia National Park

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