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USA General Grant Tree

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The General Grant Tree is the centrepiece of the General Grant Grove (as one might expect) in Kings Canyon National Park. The General Grant Grove covers about 90 acres (36 ha) and contains many dozens of mature giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum, the largest tree species on earth by volume) and many more “juveniles.” The General Grant Tree is the second largest giant sequoia by volume, after the General Sherman Tree in adjoining Sequoia National Park.

There is a short loop trail around the General Grant Tree and a wood rail fence at a modest distance surrounding the tree to protect it from people, so you can’t get right up to the tree without being a scofflaw. This spot is at the fence on the west side of the General Grant Tree and is probably the closest legal spot to the tree. The identification sign here is inside the fence, unlike the General Sherman Tree’s sign outside its protective fence. The elevation of this spot is approximately 6,300 ft (1,920 m), so expect snow in the winter.

President Coolidge designated the General Grant Tree as the Nation’s Christmas Tree in 1926. The City of Sanger Chamber of Commerce sponsors an annual Christmas “Trek to the Tree” on the second Sunday of December.

Photography Tips

Since the General Grant Tree is 268 ft (82 m) tall, no matter where you stand it will subtend a large angle. So, a wide angle, super wide angle, or even a fisheye lens (as I used here) is required to get the entire tree into one frame, the choice depending on how far from the tree you are. A camera with a panorama feature or stitching several photos together into a vertical panorama is another option.

In a forest on a bright day, the scene can be overly contrasty. In these situations, I sometimes use in-camera HDR imaging. Here I did not.

Travel Information

The General Grant Grove and the General Grant Tree are very easy to get to. The General Grant Tree is about 0.7 mi (1.1 km) northwest of the Grant Grove Visitor Center and parking is available less than 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from the General Grant Tree itself. The grove’s main loop trail to the General Grant Tree is paved and wheelchair accessible. The total length of the loop is less than 0.5 mi (0.8 km) and the elevation gain is about 50 ft (15 m). The grove also includes some dirt trails that visit outlying areas. While at the grove, also check out the Fallen Monarch (a downed tree that you walk through) and the old Gamlin Cabin.

For more information about the General Grant Tree:

For more information about General Grant Grove and the short stroll to the General Grant Tree. (this site has an excellent trail description and excellent photographs)

For more information about Giant Sequoia trees and Giant Sequoia Groves.
Spot Type Outdoor
Crowd Factor A decent amount of people
Best Timing Daytime
Sunrise & Sunset 05:45 - 20:17 | current local time: 20:02
Photo Themes Giant Sequoia

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Thank you Fred Lusk for creating this photo spot in USA and Mia Pflieger for improving it with additional photos or content.
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