Hike the Congress Trail

3.1 miles 500 ft gain  - Loop Trail

Added by Will Cebron

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. 

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Tags

Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Romantic
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

So Green!!

Coming from Arizona, I can’t begin to tell you how enthralled I was with everything about this trail! My husband and I stopped at General Sherman, but then happily kept on, and I’m so glad we did! I think the most magical part is how the moss and greenery muffle your footsteps. We could have spent all day here, but unfortunately had only a couple hours. Hoping to come back soon!

Big trees

Easy but crowded hike. A surreal experience.

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.

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