|Calaveras Big Trees State Park became a State Park in 1931 to preserve the North Grove of giant sequoias. This grove includes the "Discovery Tree", the first Sierra redwood noted by Augustus T. Dowd in 1852.This mid-Sierra Nevada area has been a major tourist attraction ever since, and is considered the longest continuously operated tourist facility in California. Over the years, other parcels of mixed conifer forests have been added to the park.Located at the mid-elevation level of the western Sierra Nevada, Calaveras Big Trees State Park is a prime example of a mixed conifer forest in the yellow pine belt. Giant sequoias dominate ponderosa pines, sugar pines, incense cedars and white fir. The Pacific dogwood displays white blossoms in the spring, and wildflowers along the Looking south from the North Grove Lava Bluffs Trail include leopard lily, Hartweg's iris, crimson columbine, monkey-flowers, harvest brodiaea, wild hyacinth and lupine.The park has some great campgrounds and picnic areas, as well as an opportunity for trout fishing and a dip in the Stanislaus River. Most visitors, however, come to see the big trees, particularly those found in North Grove. A gentle one mile trail meanders through the grove, leading to such grand sequoia specimens as Abraham Lincoln, Siamese Twins, Empire State, and Father of the Forest.Much, much less visited is the park's more remote South Grove, which offers a chance for solitude among the giants. The grove is protected in a "Natural Preserve," the highest category of environmental protection offered by the state park system.Interpretive pamphlets for both South Grove and North Grove trails are available for a small donation at their respective trailheads or at the park's museum and visitor center.Wildlife Opportunities for wildlife observation are abundant in the park. Bird species include pileated woodpeckers, northern flickers, Steller's jays, dark-eyed juncos and American robins. Deer, raccoons, foxes, porcupines, chipmunks, chickarees, flying squirrels and gray squirrels are among the native animals. Black bears, bobcats and coyotes are occasionally seen.The Stanislaus River and Beaver Creek offer good fishing, particularly for rainbow trout. A valid California fishing license is required.|
|Facilities: Calaveras Big Trees State Park houses two main campgrounds with a total of 129 campsites, six picnic areas, and hundreds of miles of established trails. A visitor center is located near the park's entrance.|
Best Time To Visit: Calaveras Big Trees State Park is open year round; however, the roadway beyond the North Grove that leads to the Stanislaus River and South Grove is closed from approximately mid-November to mid-April.Campsites must be paid for in advance. To hold a campsite, it must be reserved or occupied. Checkout time is 12:00 noon. Camping limit in any one campground is 30 days per calendar year.
Fees: At most California State Parks, day use fees are charged for parking only. There is no charge to walk or bike into these parks. Most historical parks and museums charge a Day Use Fee per person.
Accessibility: Accessible picnic sites are now available with nearby accessible parking and restroom at the picnic area.Trails The Three Senses Trail is accessible for 0.13 miles in a forest setting and includes rest stops, guide ropes and interpretive panels in English and Braille. The trailhead and two accessible parking spaces are located in North Grove parking lot. There is an accessible restroom in North Grove Campground or off North Grove lot near warming hut. The North Grove Trail is currently barrier-free, and the intent is to eventually make it accessible.Exhibits/Programs A small visitor center includes an audio-visual room and some exhibits. The AV room has movable seats and can be arranged to accommodate wheelchairs. Most of the exhibits are at least generally accessible, but assistance may be required at the entry ramp or threshold. Three spaces are designated accessible. The route of travel from the parking area to the entry ramp is generally accessible.Other Information A restroom off the North Grove Parking Lot near the warming hut has been modified to permit front and side transfers and is generally accessible. Two adjacent parking spaces are designated accessible, but the asphalt path of travel has some rough areas.
Rules: Disturbance or destruction of natural scenery, plants and animals resources is strictly forbidden. Loaded firearms and hunting are not permitted. Park quite hours are between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. All vehicle travel must be confined to designated roads or areas. Please clean up after yourself so that others may enjoy the beauty of these parks.Fires are permitted only in facilities provided for this purpose. Gathering of down wood is prohibited. Portable stoves may be used in designated areas. All fireworks are prohibited.Animals may not be turned loose in park units. All animals, other than grazing animals, must be under immediate physical control. Dogs must be on a tended leash no more than 6 feet or confined in an enclosed vehicle, tent or pen. Dogs, other than those that assist the permanently disabled, are prohibited on trails, beaches, and wherever posted.
Directions: Calaveras Big Trees State Park is located northeast of Stockton, four miles northeast of Arnold on Highway 4.
Map: Click here for a map to Calaveras Big Trees State Park
Reservations: Calaveras Big Trees State Park accepts reservations at its two family campgrounds (North Grove and Oak Hollow).
Reserve your campsite at Calaveras Big Trees State Park
|Calaveras Big Trees State Park|
|Columbia, California 95310-9400|
|General: (209) 536-5930|