If it’s hard to wrap your mind around the numbers, picture this: If the General Grant Tree were transplanted to the middle of a freeway, its immense girth would block more than three lanes of traffic.

A paved .3-mile/.5-km trail loops around the tree and visits neighboring giants, including the Fallen Monarch, a hollow, downed sequoia. Giant Forest, named by famed naturalist John Muir in 1875, has the most impressive collection of giant sequoias of anywhere in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

On the road to Crescent Meadow is another popular photo op: Tunnel Log, a fallen sequoia hollowed out so that cars could drive through.

Behind Crystal Cave’s spider-web-like gate lies Sequoia National Park’s secret underground world, a landscape of glittering mineralogical features.

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Probably not enough to adequately express your reaction when you see this monster of all monsters, the world’s largest living tree.

Other trees are taller or wider, but none has the combined weight and width of this leviathan.

Ask for directions to and lovely Crescent Meadow, where you’ll find Tharp’s Log, the summer abode of rancher Hale Tharp.

Believed to be first white man to enter Giant Forest, Tharp built his home inside a hollowed, fire-scarred sequoia log and lived in it for many summers.

Thanks to the General Sherman Tree, the world’s largest living thing, and its gargantuan neighbors, gawking at the big trees is the most popular activity here.

Many visitors get their first glimpse of the parks at this signature grove.

Several hiking trails begin near Grant Grove, including the short walk to Panoramic Point, which overlooks a maze of canyons and saw-toothed Sierra peaks (especially awesome at sunrise).