January 4, 2017 at 4:09 am #2747Team YOLO !Keymaster
Take in the beauty and grandeur of the world’s largest trees during a day hike in the Giant Forest, which is home to 8,400 Giant Sequoias.
I highly suggest visiting General Sherman just as the park opens, so you can avoid the hordes of photo-obsessed tourists and quietly marvel at the awesome breadth of the largest tree in all the land.
A short distance from General Sherman is the trailhead for the Congress Loop, an easy, 2 mile (3.2 km) paved trail that will take you through the heart of the Giant Forest and past dozens of Giant Sequoias…
Including impressive stands of younger sequoias politically christened The Senate and The House; as well as The President, a 3,200-year-old tree that is the oldest and third largest sequoia on Earth, with a base diameter of 27 feet (8 m) and a base circumference of 93 feet (28 km).
Another highlight is the fallen sequoias you will pass along the way, via which you can get a horizontal perspective on just how tall and massive these trees are when at full mast.
How to Go…
From the Sherman Tree parking lot and shuttle stop (Green route), the 0.4 mile (0.6 km) paved trail to the General descends 212 feet (65 km) in elevation, which is fine on the way down to the base of the tree, but a definite workout on the way back up.
Luckily, there are benches along the trail via which you can (and should) stop to catch your breath and to hydrate.
There is also handicap accessible parking near the base of General Sherman where you can drop off and pick up passengers; or park if you have a government-issued disability placard or have obtained a temporary permit at one of the park’s visitors centers.
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