Man looking up at a giant redwood in Sequoia National Park.

©Tomasz Zajda/EyeEm/Getty Images

Giant Forest

Sequoia National Park

This 3-sq-mile grove protects the park’s most gargantuan tree specimens. Among them is the world’s biggest, the General Sherman tree, rocketing 275ft into the sky. Pay your respects via a short descent from the Wolverton Rd parking lot, or join the Congress Trail, a paved 2-mile pathway that takes in General Sherman, the Washington Tree (the world’s second-biggest sequoia) and the see-through Telescope Tree. The 5-mile Trail of the Sequoias helps you lose the crowds.

The top destination in the park, Giant Forest was named by John Muir in 1875. At one point over 300 buildings, including campgrounds and a lodge, encroached upon the sequoias' delicate root systems. In 1997, recognizing this adverse impact, the park began to remove structures and resite parking lots. It also introduced a convenient, free seasonal visitor shuttle, significantly cutting traffic congestion and reducing the potential harm to these majestic trees.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Sequoia National Park attractions

1. General Sherman Tree

0.19 MILES

By volume the largest living tree on earth, the massive General Sherman Tree rockets into the sky and waaay out of the camera frame. Pay your respects to…

2. Sequoia National Forest


Bordering long stretches of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, this national forest area, named after the enormous Sequoia trees it contains, was…

3. Wolverton Meadow

0.94 MILES

On the northern side of the Giant Forest, Wolverton Meadow is at an elevation of 7250ft. It has picnic tables, hiking trailheads and a winter snow-play…

4. Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

1.52 MILES

Joined by a high-altitude roadway bisecting a national forest and contiguous with a number of wilderness areas, these two parks combined offer vast…

5. Giant Forest Museum

2.04 MILES

For a primer on the intriguing ecology and history of giant sequoias, this pint-sized modern museum will entertain both kids and adults. Hands-on exhibits…

6. Crescent Meadow

2.28 MILES

Said to have been described by John Muir as the ‘gem of the Sierra,’ this lush meadow is buffered by a forest of firs and giant sequoias. High grass and…

7. Eagle View

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Jaw-dropping spectacular view of the Sierra Mountains. It's reasonably easily accessible via a 1-mile walk along the High Sierra Trail from Crescent…

8. Tunnel Log


Visitors can drive through a 2000-year-old tree, which fell naturally in 1937. It once stood 275ft high with a base measuring 21ft in diameter. Regular…