TRIP IDEA

Experience the Giant Forest

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

The paved Sherman Tree Trail surrounded by giant sequoias. Photo by Alison Taggart-Barone.
Duration Multiple Days
Topic(s) Geology, Scenic Views, Wilderness, Coniferous Forests, River and Riparian, Rock Landscapes and Features, Waterfalls, Forests and Woodlands, Mountains, Trails, Caves, Caverns and Karst, Meadows, Animals, Wetlands
Activities Hiking, Backcountry Hiking, Scenic Driving, Caving, Front-Country Hiking, Museum Exhibits, Wildlife Watching
Type Active, Relaxed, Inspirational, Outdoors, Group Friendly
Parks Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Along the Generals Highway
  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

    Learn about Giant Sequoias

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Museum Exhibits
    • Pets: No
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day
    Giant Forest Museum

    Before you investigate the area, stop here at the Giant Forest Museum to learn about giant sequoias and area history.

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  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

    Watch Park Wildlife

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Wildlife Watching
    • Pets: No
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk
    Marmot. Photo by Donald Quintana

    Park wildlife are often seen along the Big Trees Trail, an easy and accessible path that starts at Giant Forest Museum and takes you around a meadow lined with mature sequoias.

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  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

    See the General Sherman Tree

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Front-Country Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk
    The General Sherman Tree. NPS Photo

    The General Sherman Tree is a must-see while visiting the Giant Forest. It is the largest tree in the world.

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  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

    Hike Among the Giants

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Front-Country Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day
    A hiker travels along a park trail. Image by Tuan Nguyen.

    There is no better way to explore the Giant Forest than by going out on the trails. Try a stroll on the Congress Trail, a 2-mile (3.2-km) loop that starts from the General Sherman Tree and takes you into the heart of a sequoia grove.

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Along the Moro Rock / Crescent Meadow Road
  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

    Climb Moro Rock

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Moro Rock
    • Duration: 30–120 Minutes
    • Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
    People stand along the narrow ridge of Moro Rock, surrounded by railing. Photo Paul Johnson

    A stone and concrete stairway leads to the top of Moro Rock, a granite dome that towers over the Generals Highway. From the top, enjoy sweeping views of the hills below and the wilderness to the east.

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  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

    Drive Through Tunnel Log

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Scenic Driving
    • Pets: Yes with Restrictions
    • Duration: 5–10 Minutes
    • Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk
    A truck drives through Tunnel Log, while a group of people pose for a photo above.

    Since 1935, people have been driving through Tunnel Log. You too can join in on the novelty of driving through a fallen Sequoia.

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  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

    Hike Around Crescent Meadow

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Front-Country Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
    Crescent Meadow by Alison Taggart-Barone

    The Crescent Meadow Trail is an ideal place for photography and a relaxing walk. Follow the flat, 1.5-mile (2.4-km) loop trail around Crescent Meadow, where bright green vegetation contrasts with the red bark of giant sequoias.

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If You Have More Time
  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

    Discover Tokopah Valley and Falls

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Backcountry Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn
    A person sits on rounded rocks at the base of Tokopah Falls.

    The Tokopah Falls Trail is great place to see the “classic” Sierra Nevada landscape. Sheer granite cliffs, a dense conifer forest, and a rushing river create a peaceful mountain scene.

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  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

    Enjoy a 360-Degree View at Little Baldy Dome

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Generals Highway, Sequoia National Park
    • Duration: 2–3 Hours
    • Season: Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk

    Hike on a lesser-known trail in Sequoia National Park. The Little Baldy trail takes you through a mixed-conifer forest to the top of a granite dome. Once there, you can take in a 360-degree panoramic view.

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  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

    Explore Crystal Cave

    • Activity Fee: Yes
    • Reservations: Yes
    • Activity: Caving
    • Pets: No
    • Season: Summer
    • Time of Day: Day
    A paved trail passes through Crystal Cave. Photo by Alison Taggart-Barone

    A tour through Crystal Cave will give you an inside look at the complex world that lies beneath our feet. Spend time with a guide and learn about the unique geologic features and animal creatures found within the cave.

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Last updated: October 5, 2020