FATMAP by Strava

Congress Grove

Hike past the largest tree in the world!

Hiking Easy

Distance
4.8 km
Ascent
188 m
Descent
188 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
2.1 km
High Point
2.2 km
Gradient
Congress Grove Map

"The Congress Trail is a popular paved loop that starts at the General Sherman Tree, the largest in the world, and goes about a mile south to an impressive collection of immense sequoias, a few of which look just as big as the Sherman Tree, and some unusual clusters of sequoia," according to RedwoodHikes.com. This trail is easily the best place to enjoy spectacular groves of sequoias in Sequoia National Park, and as such, it is exceedingly popular.

Description

Despite the warning signs at the top of the stairs leading down to the grove, this is an easy hike that just about everyone can handle. While yes, you'll have to climb a few stairs on your way back up, that's the one and only challenge on this hike. The rest of the time, you'll just be wandering down well-maintained paved trails, staring up into space and gawking at these towering giants. Actually, perhaps avoiding the other tourists doing the same is the greatest challenge of this hike.

While the entire Congress Grove (split into the House and the Senate) is spectacular, the towering General Sherman Tree is the focal point of, arguably, the entire national park. "The General Sherman Tree is the world's largest tree, measured by volume," according to the NPS. "It stands 275 feet (83 m) tall, and is over 36 feet (11 m) in diameter at the base. Sequoia trunks remain wide high up. Sixty feet above the base, the Sherman Tree is 17.5 feet (5.3 m) in diameter."

It's difficult to grasp just how massive this towering behemoth actually is! Take some time to stare into space and just pondering your insignificance in relation to this 2,200-year-old tree. And if you must, take a selfie with it.

If you've quickly covered the Congress Trail and are looking for a little more hiking, consider extending your hike with the Giant Forest Loop.

Difficulty

Easy

Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

between April and November

Features

  • Picturesque
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area