Congress Trail Loop Sequoia National Park California

Sequoia National Park is a wonderful place to scroll through groves of giant Sequoias. If a visit to General Sherman Trail (the world’s largest) leaves you eager for more, take a stroll around Congress Loop and enjoy a bit more privacy among the massive trees. Congress Trail heads away from General Sherman to visits several other named trees. In addition to the House Cluster and Senate Cluster, the trail passes the President Tree (the fourth largest giant sequoia), and the Lincoln Tree (the fifth largest).

Congress Loop is two miles long with 230 feet of elevation change, and can be reached from several short trails. Explored in conjunction with the hike to General Sherman Tree, the hike to and around Congress Loop is 3 miles round trip with 250 feet of elevation change.

Congress Loop
Sequoias along Congress Loop

Start out along this easy paved trail through the giant grove at the heart of Sequoia National Park. The largest trees along the trail are named after important US historical figures. While none of them holds the distinction of being the world’s largest, they are all in their own way incredible and it is possible to look at each with a sense of renewed awe.

The Giant Forest is home of a great network of trails, so seeing even more Sequoias is easy. To visit the world’s second largest tree, the Washington Tree, hike an additional 0.9 miles down Huckleberry Meadow Trail. Another option is to hike Circle Meadow Trail to Crescent Meadow and Tharp’s Log. Crescent Meadow Loop is one of the most enjoyable hikes in the Giant Forest and can be visited separately from Crescent Meadow Trailhead. Ask a ranger at the Giant Forest Museum what they think the best trail is during the time of your visit.

Congress Loop
A slice of a Sequoia across from the General Sherman Tree

To get to the trailhead: From the Giant Forest Museum, head north on the Generals Highway. After two miles you will pass the handicapped parking for the General Sherman Tree. One mile farther, turn right (east) on Wolverton Road. Make the next right toward the Sherman Tree Trail. The road ends at the parking lot.

Trailhead address: Wolverton Road, Sequoia National Park, CA 93262
Trailhead coordinates: 36.5848, -118.74984 (36° 35′ 05.3″N 118° 44′ 59.04″W)

Elevation Profile
Click or hover over any spot on this elevation profile to see the distance from the start and elevation above sea level at that location, which will be highlighted on the map.
Trail Map

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Or view a regional map of surrounding Sierra Nevada trails and campgrounds.

Photos

Giant Sequoia Congress TreesGiant Sequoia Congress TreesGiant Sequoia Congress TreesGiant Sequoia Congress TreesGiant Sequoia Congress TreesGiant Sequoia Congress TreesGiant Sequoia Congress TreesGiant Sequoia Congress Trees

These photos were taken in April of 2009. Click to enlarge.
Nearby Trails
hiking trails sequoia General Sherman Tree
This one-mile hike visits the world's biggest tree, a 275-foot tall Giant Sequoia that is 36.5 feet across at the base.
hiking trails sequoia Crescent Meadow
This level 1.6-mile loop visits a Sequoia you can stand inside (Chimney Tree) and another that someone used to live in (Tharp's Log).
Sugar Pine Trail and Bobcat Point Loop sequoia Sugar Pine Trail and Bobcat Point Trail Loop
This short but diverse 1.5-mile loop peaks at Bobcat Point, which presents a fierce perspective of Moro Rock and a massive canyon.
Hanging Rock trail Sequoia National Park Hanging Rock Trail
This short 0.35-mile hike passes views of Moro Rock en route to a balancing boulder on a canyon rim at the edge of the Giant Forest.
hiking trails sequoia Moro Rock
This 0.6 mile hike sports panoramic views and should be considered a mandatory hike for first time visitors to Sequoia National Park.
Big Trees Trail sequoia Big Trees Trail
This 1.4-mile stroll explores giant sequoias around Round Meadow on a paved nature trail that is easy, educational, and beautiful.
hiking trails sequoia Sunset Rock
This 2-mile hike visits a large granite dome with great views to the west, possibly the best place to end your day in the Giant Forest.
hiking trails sequoia Beetle Rock
This short walk from the Giant Forest Museum to Beetle Rock visits a granite dome with great views and stunning sunsets.
hiking trails sequoia Tokopah Falls
This 4.2-mile hike reaches the base of the tallest waterfall in Sequoia National Park.
hiking trails sequoia Marble Falls
This 8-mile hike takes a flower-lined path up a mountain canyon to a powerful waterfall.
hiking trails sequoia Paradise Creek
This short stroll leaves Buckeye Flats Campground to visit the perfect swimming hole for a hot summer day in the Sierra.
hiking trails sequoia Panther Creek
This 6-mile hike follows the Middle Fork Trail to a 100 foot waterfall that drops into the Middle Fork of Kaweah River.
hiking trails sequoia More trails in the Sierra Nevada Mountains
Explore other destinations in Sequoia National Park and the rest of the range.
Similar Trail
Mariposa Grove Giant Sequoias Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park
This 1.6-mile hike (or longer) visits the biggest trees in Yosemite.
hiking trails sequoia Trail of 100 Giants in Giant Sequoia National Monument
This paved 0.5 to 1.3-mile loop visits a grove of giant sequoias alongside Western Divide Highway.
Grant Tree Trail Kings Canyon National Park General Grant Tree Trail in Kings Canyon National Park
This 0-8 mile loop in the Grant Grove passes through a Fallen Monarch to reach the General Grant Tree, one of the world's largest sequoias.
Camping
Sequoia Campgrounds Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Campgrounds
There are 14 campgrounds with over 1,000 total sites spread throughout the park to facilitate your visit.
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Tagged with · Giant Forest · National Parks · Sequoia Groves
Distance: 2 miles · Elevation change: 230 feet

2 Comments on Congress Loop in Sequoia National Park

  1. Catherine Kerwick says:

    I have a slight walking disability. I would like to get to the President tree. I’m not sure I can walk the 2 miles even with a cane. Can I use a bicycle? Where would I rent one. I am flying into Fresno.

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