This great loop hike through the heart of the aptly named Giant Forest visits some of the world’s largest trees and traverses amazing groves of these stately giants.
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- Distance: 3.0 miles (loop) to Sherman Tree/Congress Trail Loop
7.6 miles (loop) to Giant Forest Loop
- Elevation: 7,090-ft. at Trailhead
7,090-ft. at Sherman Tree/Congress Trail Loop
7,365-ft. at Giant Forest Loop
- Elevation Gain: 230-ft. to Sherman Tree/Congress Trail Loop
620-ft. to Giant Forest Loop
- Difficulty: easy-moderate
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Lodgepole / California's Southwestern Sierra
Why Hike Giant Forest Loop
Covering over 1,880-acres the aptly named Giant Forest contains some of the planet’s largest trees. John Muir first coined the name of this forested plateau, declaring that he had found the “best of all sequoia groves on the divide between the Marble Fork and Middle Forks of the Kaweah River.” Today few would argue with his assessment.
Within Giant Forest are five of the most massive trees in the world. The largest tree, the General Sherman, attracts tourists from around the world who marvel at the sheer size of this magnificent specimen.
While over 40 miles of hiking trails crisscross the grove, few tourists venture much beyond the vicinity of the Sherman Tree. Hikers willing to put in the time and energy to walking into the heart of the forest will quickly leave the crowds behind and experience this amazing place in relative peace.
This hike, which follows easy to moderate grades, combines section of four separate trails to create a wonderful loop through the Giant Forest, passing many of the renowned giant sequoias and some of the finest giant sequoias stands in the forest. Beyond the big trees scenic delights include three lovely meadows, Tharp’s Log and a chance to see wildlife, including Black Bears.
California's Southwestern Sierra
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