It is difficult to comprehend the immense size, age and stature of the General Grant Tree, but it is easy to let your mind and spirit rise as its trunk carries your gaze toward the skies.
Visiting the Grant Tree
The General Grant Tree is in Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park. A 1/3-mile (05. km) paved loop trail leads to the tree, and includes other named trees and features, including the Gamlin Cabin, the Fallen Monarch, and the Centennial Stump. Other trails in the area offer opportunities to see sequoias, meadows, and wilderness views.
The Nation's Christmas Tree
This tree has inspired thousands of people including R.J. Senior and the late Charles E. Lee of Sanger, California. In 1924, R.J. Senior visited what was then General Grant National Park, and found himself standing by the Grant Tree with a little girl. As they admired the huge tree, the girl exclaimed, "what a wonderful Christmas tree it would be!"
A Living Shrine
President Eisenhower declared the General Grant Tree to be a National Shrine in 1956. It was dedicated "in memory of the men and women of the Armed Forces who have served and fought and died to keep this Nation free..." It is the only example of a living shrine in the United States. During the dedication ceremony, Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz mentioned its "equal stature with that other great shrine in Arlington Cemetery -- the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier."
The Grant Grove area features outstanding examples of giant sequoias. The Sunset and Dead Giant loops explore the outer edges of the grove, along with meadows and a small waterfall. Nearby national forests offer more chances to explore. To the south, Redwood Mountain Grove in Redwood Canyon offers longer trails for dayhikers or backpackers through the largest unlogged sequoia grove in the world.
In Sequoia National Park, more sequoia groves await. Wander through the Giant Forest along the Big Trees Trail and Congress Trail, and visit the world's largest sequoia, the General Sherman Tree.
Last updated: November 16, 2023