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itinerary help

Merritt Island...
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itinerary help

I have been doing some research about a side trip to sequoia national park when I visit Las vegas in the beginning of September.

I did some searching and I found a good route via I-15s to CA 58w toward bakersfield then taking 198E toward Visalia/sequoia national park. Then I continue on generals highway.

As me and my wife will only have a day to explore the area, I read on the forums that it is probably best to explore the Giant forest, and congress trail and general sherman.

As I am on generals highway, will I eventually reach the entrance to the park? Is the entrance/visitors center the giant forest museum?

Do I continue driving past the entrance and where do I park my car so that I can hike the congress trail? Is there any map of the trail online?

Thanks for the help!

So Cal
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1. Re: itinerary help

Let's see:

"...will I eventually reach the entrance to the park?" Yes. The south entrance is on the 198 as you head up the mountain.

"Is the entrance/visitors center the giant forest museum?" Different things. There is a Visitor Center near the south entrance, the Giant Forest Museum is about 30-45min past that, and there's another Visitor Center about 30min further on, at Lodgepole.

"Do I continue driving past the entrance and where do I park my car so that I can hike the congress trail?" Absolutely! Park at either the Giant Forest Museum or the General Shermal tree. If this visit is before Sept 9, a free shuttle will be running in the area. You can walk the trails as long as you want, then head for a shuttle stop and take that back to your car. This does require some planning, though - there are only a handful of shuttle stops.

"Is there any map of the trail online?" I've never found a trail map online. The Visitor Center does sell some pretty good ones, for about $3. Someone else might have a link, though.

Take a look at http://www.nps.gov/seki/index.htm for more park info.

Sequoia National...
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2. Re: itinerary help

Highway 198 will take you all the way to the park entrance, and as soon as you pass through the entrance Highway 198 becomes Generals Highway. The Ash Mountain Visitor Center is located just inside the 198 entrance. Generals Highway then continues all the way through the park, and eventually exits out the north end of the park where it becomes Highway 180. That's the only main road through the park and almost everything you want to see stems directly off of it.

As you drive through the park on Generals Highway you will pass through Giant Forest, which is where the Giant Forest Museum, General Sherman Tree, and the Congress Trail are located. To reach General Sherman you will need to take Wolverton Road. It will be a right hand turn about 5 minutes north of the museum, just after you pass the handicap accessible parking for the Sherman Tree. You will hike a short but steep 1/4 mile trail from the upper Sherman Tree parking area down to the base of the tree, which is where the Congress Trail begins.

I would also suggest visiting the Moro Rock and Crescent Meadow area, which are right next to each other and can be reached via a short road that begins next to the Giant Forest Museum. Allow yourself about 20-30 minutes to climb to the top of Moro Rock and back, and a good 2-3 hours to hike the Crescent Meadow loop where you can also see Tharp's Log; a cabin built in a fallen giant sequoia tree by the first non-Native American settler in the park, Hale Tharp. You will also pass (or drive through) Tunnel Log on your way to Crescent Meadow from Moro Rock.

Hope this helps!

Merritt Island...
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3. Re: itinerary help

So the general parking for the congress trail/general sherman in on the wolverton road after I have passed the handicap parking next to the tree? Does the congress trail start from general sherman? Is the congress trail a loop, or does one have to turn around at the end of the trail and walk back to get to the general parking lot?

So Cal
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4. Re: itinerary help

It isn't named as a loop, but it does connect up with other trails. You could follow one of them back, or you could aim for the shuttle stop. *I really do recommend the trail map. I think you can order it from the park website if you want to pre-plan.

ETA: Walking back might be your only option from the end of the Congress trail. I don't remember where the terminus is, and I've lent out my map!

Edited: 12:01 am, July 11, 2012
Monterey, California
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5. Re: itinerary help

americansouthwest.net/california/sequoia/gia…

Here's the Giant Forest Map.

Sequoia National...
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6. Re: itinerary help

As you travel north on Generals Highway after passing the Giant Forest Museum, in about 5 minutes you will see a handicap parking area for the Sherman Tree. Continue past that for just a little bit (I don't even think it's half a mile) and you will see a sign for Wolverton Road. Turn right there, and you will see the upper Sherman Tree parking in less than a minute.

Here is another map for your reference: nps.gov/common/…

7. Re: itinerary help

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