Sequoia Nat'l Park
Giant Forest
Giant Forest Museum - Before going to look at the big trees, find out about the life cycle of a sequoia. Watch a short movie of seedlings sprouting up after a fire, look at tree rings with a magnifying glass, play seedling "roulette," and compare the giant sequoia to the Statue of Liberty (which looks shrimpy by comparison).
In front of the museum is the Sentinel Tree, 257 ft. high. The height of the tree is marked in sections on the sidewalk. Kids can walk the height of the tree, for a real sense for just how high the tree really is.
Big Trees Trail - Cross over the highway to pick up the Big Trees Trail, a 1.2 mile paved loop trail around Round Meadow (good if you have a child in a stroller). It's a short trail, but full of giant sequoias around the edges of the meadow. In summer, the meadow is filled with wildflowers.
General Sherman Tree - The General Sherman Tree is the "world's largest tree" - it's not the tallest, but it has the most wood of any tree. The diameter of the 2,000 year old tree is 103 ft around at the bottom, 275 ft high, and it's estimated to weight more than 1,300 tons!
Sherman Tree Trail - It's a short 1/2 mile hike to see the General Sherman Tree. Park at the Sherman Tree parking lot off Wolverton Rd. or use the shuttle. The paved trail winds down through groves of sequoias. Stop at the overlook for an appreciation for the height of the General Sherman Tree below and walk through a cross section of a redwood along the way.

At the Sherman Tree, walk all the way around the tree - it's just plain big.  Close by, check out the twin and triplet trees, and redwood benches are perfect for a quick picnic.

Continue on trail west, where kids can walk through the tunnel tree, lying flat on the ground (a tunnel has been cut out in the middle of the tree). Check out the gnarled roots at one end; as big as sequoias are, their roots are very shallow for their size, and usually die by just falling over.
Congress Trail - There are more big trees to see. From the General Sherman Tree, pick up the Congress Trail, a 2 mile loop trail with more magnificent sequoias, especially the President Tree and House and Senate Groups.
Crescent Meadow & Tharp's log house -
This is one of our favorite hikes in Sequoia, a loop trail to Tharp's log cabin and back along Crescent Meadow.  From the Crescent Meadow parking lot, take the Crescent Meadow, then Log Meadow Trail. It's about .8 mile to the log cabin, then return on the trail that goes by Chimney Trees and down the west side of Crescent Meadow, filled with wildflowers in summer and named "gem of the Sierra" by John Muir.
Every summer from 1861 - 1890, Hale Tharp brought his cattle to graze in the meadow, and lived in this rustic cabin he built inside a fallen sequoia, hollowed out and blackened by fire! Step into the log to see his stone fireplace, bed, hand-hewn wooden tables and bench.
Tip: Because there's rather a maze of trails in this area, have a good trail map of Giant Forest Sequoia Grove before starting on this hike.
Wolverton Meadows BBQ's - June to August, every night around 6pm is an all you can eat barbeque with ribs, chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, cornbread, salads, desserts. This is a long-standing tradition, popular with families. Buy your tickets in advance for the BBQ at Lodgepole Market or Wuksachi Lodge, or pay cash when you show up.

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