Giant Forest Loop Trail

Kaweah, California 93237

Giant Forest Loop Trail

Giant Forest Loop Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"With meadows, Indian grinding holes, tree houses, and some of the largest trees on earth to look at, an entire day is needed to walk the 9.5-mile-long Giant Forest Loop. You may even wish to plan a little extra time for side trips, intentional or otherwise. The best way to negotiate the maze of trails in this area is to buy the Giant Forest map issued by the Sequoia Natural History Association and sold at all park visitor centers."

More Giant Forest Loop Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: Your Complete Hiking Guide (Wilderness Press)
Mike White
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"This trip uses the extensive network of trails crisscrossing the Giant Forest plateau to create a loop showcasing the best the area has to offer. Along the way, you’ll see plenty of the iconic giant sequoias, a pair of picturesque meadows, and grand views of Moro Rock, Castle Rocks, the Great Western Divide, and Middle Fork Kaweah River from Eagle View. A portion of the loop leads travelers on a serene journey through a seldom-seen section of the Giant Forest, passing numerous magnificent examples of the Big Trees. While most of the loop follows gently graded trail, a 1-mile climb up the little-used Wolverton Cutoff Trail is steep and can be scorching during hot afternoons. Water is scarce along this route, especially late in the season; stash an extra bottle or two in your pack."
"With near-constant views over the spectacular Kaweah Canyon, the High Sierra Trail leads from the Giant Forest to Bearpaw Meadow, a superb base camp for exploring the beautiful backcountry below the Great Western Divide."

Giant Forest Loop Trail Trip Reports

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Amazing. You hike through big ancient trees and there’s paved walkways which makes it a very easy stroll. Beautiful trees and meadow.
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A great hike! Definitely a must do for a day hike in Sequoia. We only spent one day in Sequoia and couldn't have asked for a better hike. The loop leads through huge forests, wide meadows, up and down only a few rolling hills and offers great variety and easy terrain. The trails were all signed very well and easy to follow. We saw several deer and one sociable black bear! He just went about his business while we watched and photographed. A great hike...great for a full day hike.
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We did much of the trail as described (May 17, 2008), following the directions in Mike White's Sequoia-Kings Canyon hiking book. Spectacular views of the snow-covered high Sierras, beautiful trail, a few wildflowers, lots of boulders, many giant trees -- for us, a hike of 7 hours in all, including plenty of time to gawk, take pictures and eat lunch. Starting from the Cascade Meadow trailhead, we went to Tharp's Log, then looped back to the High Sierra Trail, followed that to the Wolverton Cutoff, where we went left toward the Trail of the Sequoias ... in the first 5 hours 15 minutes of hiking, we encountered only two other hikers. Once we got to the paved Trail of the Sequoias, we detoured to the General Sherman Tree (it's close to a parking lot, so lots of people and cameras), then returning via Alta Trail (mostly) to the Cascade Meadow trailhead (in the Trails of the Sequoias area, map signs mark the trails).
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This trip is incredibly beautiful. You start out in dense forests and start working your way up into the smaller pines that hold onto crevices in the rocks. The trail climbs at a moderate pace. You pass numerous opportunities to see eagle's eye view of the Sierras. As you leave the forest you can see scorpions basking in the sun on the trail. I love this trip. It is a great introduction if you are continuing on the HST to Mt Whitney. I highly recommend this trip. Happy hiking! :)


Giant Forest Loop Trail Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
960 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
6 hours
May through mid-October
6,800 feet
Trailhead Elevation
7,300 feet
Top Elevation
Sequoia National Park
Local Contacts
USGS Giant Forest and Lodgepole
Local Maps

Trail Log