The Giant Forest area of Sequoia National Park is 20 miles from Three Rivers, takes only about an hour’s travel time, and is consistently 20 degrees or more cooler. It’s definitely the place to spend a hot, sweltering summer day. The highway from Three Rivers is open year-round, except for those rare occasions in the wintertime when a storm causes snow to accumulate faster than the snowplows can remove it.
Most everyone will stop to see the General Sherman Tree, the largest tree on the planet, but there are dozens of other awe-inspiring giant sequoias to visit in this vicinity as well as several lush, green, wildflower-filled meadows; fern-lined trails; wildlife, including bears with cubs, deer, and a plethora of hardworking squirrels and chipmunks; birds, often unseen but always filling the forest with beautiful music; tunnels through logs and trees; and three historic cabins. And if the visitor's timing is impeccable, they just might hit the forest at peak bloom of dogwood, lupine, or another colorful wildflower, making the already spectacular scenery absolutely unforgettable. A variety of trails can be accessed from various points along the Generals Highway that allow one immediate access into the ancient grove with rarely another person to be found.