Congress Trail

Sequoia National Park, California 93262

Elevation Gain1,103ft
Trailhead Elevation6,902ft
Elevation Min/Max6828/7054ft
Elevation Start/End6902/6902ft

Congress Trail

Congress Trail is a hiking trail in Tulare County, California. It is within Sequoia National Park. It is 1.9 miles long and begins at 6,902 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,103 feet. The Tough Twins tree, the Sherman Tree View viewpoint, and the General Sherman Tree attraction are near the trailhead. There are also restrooms and a bench. The House and The Senate woods, the Chief Sequoyah and The President trees, and the General Sherman Tree Disabled Parking can be seen along the trail. There is also drinking water along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Alta Trail and Sherman Tree Trail.

Congress Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Predictably, the most popular trail in the Giant Forest takes visitors to the biggest giant sequoia in the world, the General Sherman Tree, as well as many of the other most notable Big Trees in the grove, including the fourth, fifth, and twenty-ninth largest. On this loop you will also see two of the most notable stands of sequoias, the Senate and House Groups. Connecting trails offer the possibility of numerous side trips to even more prominent Big Trees. Don’t expect to experience these monarchs in reverent solitude; the trail’s popularity will dictate otherwise, although the number of tourists drops dramatically the farther hikers travel from the parking area."

"Not surprisingly, the largest tree in the world is an attraction guaranteed to lure throngs of tourists, both domestic and international, throughout the course of a Sierra summer. With the General Sherman Tree as the first stop, this 3-plus-mile, paved loop also visits the third, fourth, and 26th largest giant sequoias, and two of the most impressive clusters of the big trees, the Senate and House groups.

Short side trips offer even more possibilities for viewing other notable Giant Forest landmarks. While you shouldn’t expect to stand alone in reverent solitude before these awe-inspiring monarchs of the forest, the numbers of tourists drops dramatically the farther you travel away from the General Sherman Tree."

"This paved interpretive trail takes you to the General Sherman Tree, the largest living thing on earth, as well as many other impressive “giants.” The trail leads downhill through the forest, crossing a horse trail from Wolverton Corrals. You will pass young sequoia on the way to the signed Congress Trail, named for some of the noteworthy trees along the trail.

After the downhill stretch you arrive at the Leaning Tree and follow the trail over a small bridge on Sherman Creek, to the left. The trail begins a gradual climb. The route travels through the big trees, past many numbered stops described in the interpretive pamphlet. Pass the cutoff trail at 0.7 mile and continue to the Alta Trail at 1.0 mile."

"The Congress Trail is a premier hiking path through the heart of a sequoia grove in the Alta Plateau section of Giant Forest. It is a paved, handicapped accessible path beginning at the General Sherman Tree, the largest living organism on earth. The trail passes some of the finest stands of sequoias, including The President, General Lee, McKinley, Chief Sequoyah, and the House and Senate Groups."

"The highlight of this trail is the enormous General Sherman Tree, the world’s largest living organism by volume. It stands nearly 275 feet tall, and is over a hundred feet in circumference at its base. The tree itself, named for General William Tecumseh Sherman, is estimated to be over two thousand years old. A protective fence has been erected around the towering sentinel to protect its fragile root system."

"This paved interpretive trail takes you to the General Sherman Tree, the largest living thing on Earth, along with many other impressive “giants.” The trail leads downhill through the forest, crossing a horse trail from Wolverton Corrals. You will pass yo"

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Trail Information

Sequoia National Park
Nearby City
Sequoia National Park
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
Sequoia National Park
Local Contacts
USGS’s Giant Forest and Lodgepole
Local Maps