Giant Forest
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A forest with ancient sequoia trees.
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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,724 reviews
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Mark951
Riverside, CA224 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We have been going to Sequoia/ Kings Canyon for many years. The crowds have been becoming worse every year. There is no attempt to control how many people come into the park. As a result on a recent trip we were unable to view the beautiful trees that we have seen in the past. There were cars parked in the traffic lanes in the area of Giant Forest causing cars to drive down the middle of generals Hwy. No rangers were ever seen. Even though there was little snow the parking lot for the General Sherman was not available.
Written 18 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Swelll
Melbourne, Australia104 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
Every corner you walk around there is another enormous Sequoia tree...as big as the next...but you still feel obliged to go 'Wow'
Lots of various hikes from fully accessible to moderate. Easy to spend 4-5 hours walking and seeing Deer, Marmots, etc etc. Great day !!!
Written 1 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grover R
Pensacola, FL21,818 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
Yes there are other groves of Sequoias, but this is biggest grove with the biggest and tallest Sequoias anywhere. From the minute you crest the top of the mountain up hill section to the General Sherman tree, you will drive a couple of miles through the most amazing forest anywhere. There are several trails here like Big Trees Trail and Congress Trail and even the trail to the General Sherman tree, the biggest tree in the world. However, just the drive alone is magical. This is why it is my wife's favorite National Park. There simply nowhere where you can have this time of prehistoric experience, walking among massive trees that are 2,500 year old. I will say that while the recent forest fires have not impacted the sequoias they have altered the forest compared to what I saw 10 years ago. So many of the pines and firs are gone. Still it is the sequoias make this an incredible MUST SEE.
Written 3 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

koabug
Honolulu, HI1,575 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
A very easy loop trail around Round Meadow. Parts of the trail are made up of asphalt, boardwalks, and compacted soil. Parking is just up the road. When we were there (June 15) the museum wasn't open. You can do the trail in 20 minutes.
Written 3 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anthony S
Roanoke, VA606 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Family
Spent a unforgettable day in the Giant Forest with the amazing trees and beautiful meadows. Museum was closed, but still hiked around 7-8 miles, including the Congress Trail, ShermanTree, Crescent-Log Meadow, Tharps Log, and parts of the Alta Trail, Huckleberry Meadow, and Hazelwood Nature Trail. Returned the next day for a short walk to Beetle Rock and around Round Meadow. All easy trails with much of it doable even for folks with physical limitations. This Forest is like nothing you will ever see anywhere else. Should be on everyone’s bucket list!
Written 16 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brad
Hong Kong, China173,724 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Couples
The Giant Forest situated in middle of Sequoia National Park where the elevation (1800 feet above sea level) and climate make perfect conditions for the giant sequoia trees. There are over 8,000 sequoias which grow here, dominating the landscape with their incredible height and volume.

You enter the Giant Forest along the General's Highway and will see sequoias along both sides of the road throughout. There are areas to park near the Giant Forest Museum, a good place to visit if you want to learn more about these giant trees and the conditions which have allowed them to thrive in this area. Some are over 2000 years old and of incredible size.

From the museum, there are good hikes such as the Big Tree Loop trail and Crescent Meadow Drive (closed during winter) which can be hiked if you want to see the Tunnel Log, Auto Log and Moro Rock.

Further north you'll find the famous General Sherman Tree, the largest in the world by volume. There are hiking trails in the grove such as the Congress trail which pass by other famous sequoias within the grove like the Presidents Tree, McKinley Tree and clusters of sequoias like The House and Senate groups. Seeing hundreds of sequoias together along the Congress Trail is really something special. Spending time here has a way of reminding of how small we are in this world.

Note - There is a small car park just in front of the General Sherman Trail. Otherwise, during warmer months, due to high visitor numbers, you may need to park elsewhere and take the free park shuttle service here. See the NPS website for free shuttle information.

In the end, this is one of the truly unique forests in the world. We really enjoyed our time in the Giant Forest and spending time amidst her resident giants. Been away only a couple weeks and are greatly looking forward to a return visit someday.
Written 11 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ruth M
Avon, CT1,012 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Family
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park is known as a The Land of Giants for good reason. These two national parks are the second old in the national park system and lie side by side in the southern Sierra Nevada. After a hardy lunch at Salty’s BBQ (see review below), we entered Sequoia via CA 198. We had planned our trip to this park in the afternoon because we wanted to enjoy the breathtaking views of the trees, mountains and valleys at sunset during our drive to Fresno. I highly recommend this.
During our visit we visited Giant Forest and did the Big Trees Trail. This is a handicap friendly level 2/3 mile paved loop with trailside exhibits about sequoias. You can start your walk at the Giant Forest Museum (parking at the trail is only for cars with disability plates). I must admit, that I had my husband drop me and the 4 kids off and go park the car. We even saw a prairie dog family that lived inside one of the downed sequoia trees.
General Sherman Tree
Two separate trails lead to the world’s largest tree:
- Main trail is a ½ mile trail down to the tree with some stairs and the walk back is uphill. There is wheelchair accessible trail from the Generals Hwy to the Sherman Tree. Park at this entrance is only for calls with disability plates.
- Congress trail is a fairly level 2 mile loop which leads to the heart of the Giant Forest Sequoia grove. The grail begins at the Sherman Tree.
As we were traveling with 4 young children who’d spent all day flying and traveling, my sweet husband tended top drop off us closer to the trails and then go park the car and walk back. This strategy allowed us to make the most of our time at the national park, while minimizing melt downs.
Pro tips:
- There is no gasoline available in the park, so plan accordingly.
- We had planned to spend the night in a hotel in Fresno, as we were hitting Yosemite the next day, but if you plan on staying in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National park do plan way in advance for summer month trips as lodging books up quickly. The parks are huge and staying off property during multiple day trips, will lead to extra driving.
- Motorbikes, mountain bikes and pets are not permitted on any park trail.
- Park road are steep, narrow and winding. Make sure to downshift even when driving an automatic car in order to prevent car damage. If you or your kids get motion sick, do take motion sickness medication. You’ll thank me later.
- Wear sunblock and insect repellent. Tics can carry lyme disease and prevention is key to enjoying these national parks.
- National parks are the natural habitat of wild animals such as bears, rattlesnakes, deer, cougars and others. Please educate yourselves and your children on safety and respect prior to exploring.
Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
- Crystal Cave – cool cavern which is open in summer only. Tickets are not available for perchance at the cave and must be bought at Lodge Pole and Foothills Visitor Center
- Lodging options: Wuksachi Lodge – Sequoia National Park. Grant Grove Cabins & John Muir Lodge, Cedar Grove Lodge in the Kings Canyon, Montecito Sequoia Lodge, Stony Creek Resort, Big Meadows Cabin. There is also a private resort within the park called Silver City Mountain Resort.
- Free ranger walks and talks: free programs are offered daily in the Foothills, Giant Forest, Lodgepole, Grant Grove, Mineral King and Cedar Grove locations.
- Free Junior Ranger Program: pick up a free booklet at any of the park visitor centers, complete the activities and ear a junior ranger badge.
- Horseback tours are available at: Grant Grove Stables, Cedar Grove Park Station and Horse Corral.
Written 13 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Arawatbuwan
Los Angeles, CA139 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Family
The giant forest with the giant sequioa trees is a sight to behold. You will feel that you are just a minute part of the Earth because of the enormity of these trees! Amazing to see them and be among their midst. It is also great to know Interesting facts about them too.

Visited this area for spring break, April 6-7, 2015. It was foggy and cold. Bring winter jackets,gloves and head bonnet to protect you from the cold. There was no rain but 10% chance of snow during that day. Fortunately, it did not snow. The cave was closed because it opens on May 9 so if you want to explore the cave, don't come in April.

We climbed the Moro Rock Canyon but because of the fog, we did not see what they describe as a spectacular view. It is quite a trek and not for elderly people.

Bring your own food, there is no place to buy food there. Make sure you have enough gas also because there is no gasoline station inside the park.

Entrance fee is $20 per car but if you are with a senior citizen, you will only pay $10. If you only have a day to visit the park, it will still be sufficient to explore it for a day.

Stayed at Comfort Inn a few miles from the park.

Despite the cold, we had a great time visiting the Sequioa National Park.
Written 12 April 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nibbly_Pig
London, UK23 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Couples
We're Brits and we found the Sequoia National Park website extremely unhelpful so hopefully this review will be useful! If you want a few days of big trees then the Sequoia bit of the park is plenty. You won't make it to the King's Canyon or the other bits unless you’ve got more time - the distances are too great and the routes too inaccessible because of the altitude. Once you've picked that bit of the park, the route in and also out is from the village of Three Rivers. There are lots of motels here but they are a good 90 minutes' drive from the park proper. Inside the park you can either camp (we didn't) or stay at Wuksachi Lodge, which has a restaurant. Booking directly was much more expensive than using Expedia in our experience. The lodge is 7000 feet up and surrounded by beautiful forest. It takes a good hour to reach it by car from the entrance to the park because the road is so steep. It costs 20 dollars to enter the park or else you can get an annual pass covering all the national parks for 80 dollars. I thoroughly recommend Wuksachi Lodge. It is a great base to explore the various walking trails round about and the staff will give you maps for trails of different lengths and difficulties. You will need a car to get to many of these interesting sites, but you're only looking at a ten minute drive each time. Slightly further down the mountain is a shop for the campers stocking many more gifts and lots of food items. The Sherman tree is also nearby. The car parks at each of these sorts of sites have basic toilets (bring your own hand sanitiser!) and bear lockers for food. There’s no cafe in the park though which is surely something the National Trust would remedy in no time! We went in late April 2014 and we really couldn’t tell from online information what type of weather to expect. For most of the winter everything is covered in snow and you need chains on your car but apparently this year wasn’t very bad for snow so there was only the odd patch of densely packed snow under the trees here and there. The roads were completely clear. The temperature was near freezing in the early morning but there was blazing sunshine by the afternoon, probably up to about 20 C. We were expecting to need cold weather coats and shoes but we didn’t at all. We may have just got lucky though.
Written 22 May 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Melissa R
Bakersfield, CA22 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2017 • Couples
First of all, I'd like to let people know things that no one else wrote about. Once you pay your fee ($30 per car), there is a 17 mile almost the whole way there all winding road ( at 25mph) to where most activities are. So if you are prone to motion sickness do yourself a favor and prepare for this. There was about a 10 minute wait to even get to the entrance. Also, there is currently construction on the main road and in one area a one lane road where we waited 8 minutes for a light to change. Once we arrived to the area of general Sherman tree parking area there was no parking spots, so we were forced to create our own. Also, I checked ahead of time online to see if dogs are allowed, we got to the hiking trail only to find out pets are NOT allowed on ANY trails. Lovely, this would have been a great fact to know PRIOR to spending 4 hours getting there. The trail was well kept and the tree was nice to see. Be prepared to add about an hour to your journey due to lines, construction and winding roads.
Written 13 August 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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GIANT FOREST (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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