Congress Trail is a 3 mile loop trail located near Sequoia National Park, CA and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and snowshoeing and is accessible from June until October.
This popular trail begins at the General Sherman Tree and takes you into the heart of the Giant Forest. It is also a pleasant snow-shoe in the winter months.
This trail was difficult for me to rate. On the one hand, we saw many beautiful land marks. On the other hand, it was very crowded- much more crowded than I prefer. It was rather like seeing Old Faithful in Yellowstone. I'm glad we did it, but I am not keen to go do the trail again. Hence, I gave it a 3.
We did the trail in November. It begins in the parking lot for the General Sherman Tree. The trails begin together and then diverge before the tree. We actually did the .4 miles to see the General Sherman Tree first and then went on the Congress trail. Doing this you see the Twin Trees, the General Sherman Tree, the leaning tree, the President, the Chief Sequoyah, the collection of trees known as the Senate, the collection known as the House of Representatives, and the McKinley Tree. At the beginning there is also a cutaway section of a Sequoia for illustration.
The trail is entirely paved, relatively flat, and one of the best marked we have seen. It was more of a stroll than a trail in truth. The hardest part is climbing the stairs back up the hill from the General Sherman Tree, but they have installed benches to rest every .1 mile or so. Oh and they have a full bathroom at the start along with a water refill station. The only animal we saw was a deer on the road out.
Good easy fun hike. Good for all skill levels
Very easy hike with kids. We had our youngest in a stroller and were able to easily complete the entire loop. It can be on the cool side even in June so prepare accordingly.
Hiked all the way to Circle Meadow. Nice easy hike, minimal incline here and there. Giant sequoias are amazing. Paved sections are also a nice addition.
Very easy trail, suitable for kids.
Sequias - majestatic. Hike itself easy and not challenging, a simple "walk in the park" type.
We started from the Sherman Tree Trail and completed the loop around Congress Trail. We went when the trail was covered in snow, but it was still easy to follow. This was my first time in SNP and it was a great introduction to the sequoia trees. We had the trail to ourselves since we went during a weekday in the middle of December.
Visited December 2016
Super easy paved trail through groves of huge trees. Go as early as possible, trail gets super packed. Can be a little tricky in winter, but we did it in boots and gaiters with no real problems.
Monster trees! Pretty busy, but then these massive sequoias are the reason people come to the park. Don't expect solitude though.
This hike is near the famous General Sherman tree. I'd recommend the congress trail because you dodge the crowds at the General Sherman, however you loop and can see the tree on the way back to the parking lot. The congress trail really takes you past a lot of great sequoias so for the relatively short time it takes, it's worth it.
I've gone every year since childhood and plan on bringing my own kids someday. This is a MUST SEE!!!
My first time to Sequoia National Park. We had the park all to itself in the morning, so I guess winter is the off season. The General Sherman Tree is at the trailhead to the Congress Trail. It's the largest known living organism - pretty cool, right?
This is a good easy, mostly flat hike for those who want to venture a bit further into the Giant Forest from the Gen. Sherman Tree. It's paved so it's doable for even the most beginner-level hikers (including kids).
Be careful of bears. We hiked it in early evening and spotted a mother and her cubs nearby. We ended up reversing our direction in the loop a couple times to avoid a closer encounter.
We began our hike at the main Sherman Tree parking lot. I found it useful to reference a map of the Giant Forest that I bought at the Lodgepole Village market. The map identifies the upcoming trees along the trail. The trail had more up and down that I expected, but still easy. In total, we we walked 2.7 miles. Instead of walking all the way back up the hill, we caught the free shuttle at the Sherman Tree back up to the main Sherman Tree Parking lot.