Generals Highway, 16 miles north of the Ash Mountain Entrance
Sequoia National Park, CA
Open daily year round
Giant Forest Museum in Sequoia National Park is an excellent entry point to learning about the giant sequoia trees and surrounding ecosystem.
Once you've driven up the mountain and into Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, you can't help but notice a change of scenery. You are now surrounded by towering trees. These aren't just any trees, however. They happen to be the giants--the biggest trees in the world!
If you aren't wowed by their size and height, you're definitely due for a stop at the Giant Forest Museum inside this national park in California. The free admission museum staffed by knowledgeable park employees answers most big tree questions through displays. But if you still need answers, maybe one of the staff members can help you out.
Giant Forest Museum Attractions
Learn what makes this an ideal place for sequoias to grow. Learn about the role fire plays in sequoia tree development. Hands-on exhibits
Ranger assistance -- ask about trails, viewpoints, and the must-see spots in the Giant Forest
Weddings, by permit
Trail maps, recommended for all but the shortest hikes
From there explore by foot, free shuttle bus, or car the Giant Forest network of hiking trails in this grove ranging from 1-2 hour hikes to half-day or longer. Sequoia Shuttle stop is located at the Giant Forest Museum. The museum is surrounded by a series of easy trails by which to explore the sequoias. Sequoia Shuttles (free within the park) run from late May until early September.
About the Giant Forest: The large sequoia grove on a plateau between the Marble and Middle Forks of the Kaweah River is the largest of the unlogged giant sequoia groves. It contains more exceptionally large sequoias than any other grove and hosts the largest living sequoia, the General Sherman Tree.
In addition to displays in a building designed to feel like you're still in the forest, you can shop at the Sequoia Parks Conservancy park store. It includes souvenir and educational items such as books, cards, maps, bear-canister rentals, gifts and reasonably priced knick-knacks to remind you of your visit. Wilderness permits are issued in winter.
All visitor centers and museums have paved, flat paths leading from parking areas to outdoor information, restrooms, and water bottle filling stations. When visitor centers are open, they provide access to trip planning information, exhibits, and bookstores.