Washington - Former World's 2nd Largest Tree
Height: 115.00+ ft (35.05+ m) Elevation: 6,840 ft (2,085 m) GPS Latitude: 36.56819
Volume: Creek: Little Deer Creek GPS Longitude: -118.76071
Width: 27.92 ft (8.51 m) Grove: Giant Forest Discovery Date: 1905
Age: 2,900 y Park: Sequoia NP Discovered By:

Notes: Once considered the world's 2nd largest tree, Washington was named to honor George Washington, the 1st President of the United States. In 1999, Washington was 253.61 ft (77.30 m) tall and 27.92 ft (8.51 m) wide and, including reiterated stems and branches, contained 53,210 ft3 (1,507 m3) of wood. The crown had 46 reiterated trunks, nearly 1.5 billion leaves, and over 86 thousand cones. The main trunk contained a hollow pit, accessible via an opening located 190 ft (58 m) above ground, approximately 6-9 ft (2-3 m) wide and 115 ft (35 m) deep. Excluding this 4,704 ft3 (133 m3) hollow chamber, Washington was actually the world's 5th largest tree.

In October 2003, Washington lost more than 25 ft (8 m) in height after a lightning-induced fire burned within the crown for several days. In January 2005, weakened by fire and overburdened with snow, the crown collapsed. Although Washington lost almost half of its trunk, including the hollow pit, and nearly all of its branches, the tree survived. It remains viable but is no longer extraordinarily large.

MacGillivray Freeman's Adventures in Wild California, during a segment about giant redwoods (from 15:05 to 21:40), documents a 1999 climb of Washington which included a descent into the hollow pit.

Washington should not be confused with Booker T. Washington tree which grows nearby in Giant Forest or with another Washington tree which grows in Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park.

Drive: Washington is 219 mi (352 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 58 mi (93 km) on California State Route 198 (Generals Highway) and turn left into the Pinewood Picnic Area parking lot.

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 56 mi (90 km) on California State Route 180, and turn right onto California State Route 198 West. Drive south 28 mi (45 km) on California State Route 198 (Generals Highway) and turn right into the Pinewood Picnic Area parking lot.

Hike: From the parking lot, walk south across California State Route 198 (Generals Highway) to an unpaved road marked Authorized Vehicles Only.. Hike south/uphill 0.2 mi (0.3 km) on the unpaved road to the junction with Rimrock Trail. Turn left and hike east 0.7 mi (1.1 km) on Rimrock Trail to Lincoln near the junction with Alta Trail. Turn right at the trail junction and hike southwest 0.3 mi (0.5 km) on Alta Trail, past the junction to Bears Bathtub, to the junction with Washington Tree Trail. Turn left and hike southeast 0.1 mi (0.2 km) on Washington Tree Trail to the junction with an unnamed spur trail. Turn right and hike west 0.1 mi (0.2 km) on the unnamed spur trail to Washington.

Rating: Easy One-Way Distance: 1.3 mi (2.0 km) Ascent: 647 ft (197 m)
Time: 40 min Off-Trail: 0 ft (0 m Descent: 391 ft (119 m)
Washington Tree Hike Map

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Panorama: Click panorama to take a virtual tour of Washington Tree

Washington Tree

Photos: Pictures of Washington Tree taken from different sides

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