A Short list of the best Day hike experiences in the Giant forest & Lodgepole region of Sequoia National Park
General Sherman Tree
The Main Parking and Trailhead are just off Wolverton Road, which leaves the Generals Highway just north of the Sherman Tree area (between Lodgepole and the Sherman Tree). From this parking area, the 1/2-mile (.72 km) trail descends and includes some stairs. Rest on the benches along the trail; don’t overexert yourself at this elevation (7000’/175m) if you are not accustomed to it. For accessible parking and an accessible trail, stop at the small parking area along the Generals Highway two miles (3.2 km) north of the Giant Forest Museum. When the free park shuttles are running (late May to early September and, some years, Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Years), you can park at the main lot, walk down to the tree, then continue towards the Generals Highway to catch a shuttle back to the main parking.
The Big Trees Trail
This 0.75 mile (1 km) trail circles Round Meadow. Colorful trailside panels describe sequoia ecology. Start at Giant Forest Museum and follow the paved, accessible trail from there. Parking for people with disability placards is available at the trailhead. Allow 1 hour round trip.
To reach the top of this granite dome, follow a stairway that climbs 300 feet (0.09 km) to the summit. A spectacular view of the Great Western Divide and the western half of the park. The parking area is two miles (3.2 km) from the Generals Highway. In summer, free park shuttles lead to the parking area from Giant Forest Museum. Don’t climb if ice or snow are present on the stairs; it is very dangerous.
The trail to Tokopah Falls starts just beyond the Marble Fork Bridge in Lodgepole Campground. It is an easy 1.7 mile (2.7 km) one-way walk along the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River to the impressive granite cliffs and cascading waterfall of Tokopah Canyon. Tokopah Falls is 1,200 feet (365.8 meters) high, and is most impressive in early summer, but be careful around the water!
These trails offer a quieter experience.
A short walk along a wheelchair-accessible trail
from the Giant Forest Museum parking area. Take
in spectacular views with ample space.
This 3.4 mile out-and-back trail has 700 feet
(200 m) of elevation gain and offers one of the best
views in the park. The trailhead is 1.5 miles (2.4 km)
south of Dorst Campground. Parking is limited, so
get there early or later in the day.
Start this trail from the Wolverton parking lot. Under 6 miles round trip, this trail follows the Lakes
Trail before veering off to Panther Gap. Ascend
1000 feet (300 m) to the gap and amazing views.
This level 1.4-mile round-trip trail starts at Giant
Forest Museum’s parking area. It ends on top of a
granite dome with sweeping views of the foothills.
Long Meadow Loop
This 2-mile loop circles beautiful Long Meadow.
Enjoy wildflowers and the occasional animal feeding in the meadow. Begin at Wolverton Picnic Area.
A 5-mile out-and-back starts at Lodgepole
Campground. Park your vehicle in the large parking
lot and cross the bridge. Hike along the Twin Lakes
Trail on your way to this secluded meadow.
Bear Hill Trail
Start at Giant Forest Museum and walk toward the
Big Trees Trail. The Bear Hill Trail junction will
be on the right. Check maps at the museum’s Trail
Center kiosk for more information.