General Grant - World's 3rd Largest Tree
Height: 268.10+ ft (81.72+ m) Elevation: 6,350 ft (1,935 m) GPS Latitude: 36.74823
Volume: 47,930 ft3 (1,357 m3) Creek: Big Tree Creek GPS Longitude: -118.97117
Width: 29.02 ft (8.85 m) Grove: General Grant Grove Discovery Date: 1862
Age: 1,670 y Park: Kings Canyon NP Discovered By: Joseph Hardin Thomas

Notes: General Grant, named to honor Ulysses S. Grant, Commanding General of the United States Army and 18th President of the United States, is the world's 3rd largest tree, the widest and 3rd largest giant redwood, and the largest tree in Kings Canyon National Park. Volume estimate includes main trunk only (excludes reiterated stems and branches).

Once considered the world's largest tree, General Grant was identified as 2nd largest in 1931 when a team of engineers, led by J. W. Jourdan of the San Joaquin Light and Power Corporation, measured the four then-largest-known redwoods (Boole, Hart, General Grant, and General Sherman) and determined that General Sherman was the true size champion. President has since surpassed General Grant in volume (the volume estimate for President includes reiterated stems and branches).

The naming of General Grant remains controversial. Lumberman Joseph Hardin Thomas discovered the tree in 1862 and claimed to have named it to honor then-General Grant. However, most park historians credit the naming to pioneer Lucretia P. Baker of Porterville who camped near the tree with her family on August 20, 1867. Although President Grant's letter to Mrs. Baker, thanking her for the honor, suggests Baker named the tree, lumberman Hudson D. Barton's assertion that the tree was already named General Grant, when measured in 1866, supports Hardin's claim.

At noon on Christmas Day in 1925, R. J. Senior and Charles E. Lee, President and Secretary, respectively, of the Sanger District Chamber of Commerce, held the first yuletide service beneath the tree. On April 28, 1926, President Calvin Coolidge, at Lee's urging, designated General Grant the Nation's Christmas Tree. Every year thereafter, at 2:30 pm on the second Sunday in December, the Sanger District Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the National Park Service, has sponsored the Trek to the Nation's Christmas Tree, a holiday celebration in which people gather to sing, pray, and pay tribute to this wonder of nature.

On March 29, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation which declared the tree a national shrine (the only living thing so designated) to honor members of the Armed Forces who fought and died to preserve American heritage and freedom. On Veterans Day, November 11, 1956, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, representing President Eisenhower, formally dedicated General Grant as a national shrine during a ceremony beside the tree.

General Grant should not be confused with another General Grant tree which grows in Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park.

The I Can Fly Videos film The Giants includes aerial footage of General Grant.

Nearby famous redwoods include Boole Fallen Monarch Hart Ishi Giant Robert E. Lee Roosevelt

Drive: General Grant is 204 mi (328 km) southeast of San Francisco near Fresno.

Northbound: From U.S. Interstate 5 North, transfer to California State Route 99 North toward Bakersfield. Drive north 97 mi (156 km) on California State Route 99 and transfer to California State Route 198 East toward Visalia. Drive east 86 mi (138 m) on California State Route 198 and turn right onto California State Route 180 East toward General Grant Grove. Drive north 1.6 mi (2.6 km) on California State Route 180 and turn left onto an unnamed road 0.2 mi (0.3 km) past the Kings Canyon Visitor Center and General Grant Grove Cabins.

Southbound: From U.S. Interstate 5 South in Sacramento, transfer to U.S. Highway 50 East toward South Lake Tahoe. Drive east 1.7 mi (2.7 km) on U.S. Highway 50 and transfer to California State Highway 99 South. Near Fresno, transfer to California State Route 180 East. Drive east 58 mi (93 km) on California State Route 180 toward General Grant Grove. Turn left onto an unnamed road 0.2 mi (0.3 km) past the Kings Canyon Visitor Center and General Grant Grove Cabins.

Drive west 0.8 mi (1.2 km) on the unnamed road to the General Grant Tree parking lot.

Hike: At the northern edge of the parking lot, turn right/northeast at the trailhead and hike past Robert E. Lee and Fallen Monarch toward General Grant. Go straight at the first (unmarked) trail intersection. Turn left at the next (unmarked) fork in the trail (the trail to your right dead-ends eventually). When you reach yet another fork in the trail with a sign suggesting you turn right to see the General Grant burn scar, turn left instead and continue a few feet to General Grant.

Rating: Easy One-Way Distance: 0.2 mi (0.3 km) Ascent: 75 ft (23 m)
Time: 5 min Off-Trail: 0 ft (0 m) Descent: 0 ft (0 m)
General Grant Tree Hike Map

View General Grant Tree location in Google Maps

Panoramas: Click panoramas to take a virtual tour of General Grant Tree

Photos: Pictures of General Grant Tree taken from different sides

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