1 - 2
FATMAP difficulty grade
"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](http://www.redwoodhikes.com/SequoiaNP/Congress.html).
This trail is easily the best place to enjoy spectacular groves of sequoias in Sequoia National Park, and as such, it is exceedingly popular. 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](https://www.nps.gov/seki/learn/nature/sherman.htm).
"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](https://fatmap.com/routeid/2697705/giant-forest-loop).