Calaveras Big Trees State Park, California

4.7
#79 of 528 in Nature in California
Calaveras Big Trees State Park is a state park of California, United States, preserving two groves of giant sequoia trees. It is located 4 miles (6.4 km) northeast of Arnold, California in the middle elevations of the Sierra Nevada. It has been a major tourist attraction since 1852, when the existence of the trees was first widely reported, and is considered the longest continuously operated tourist facility in California.HistoryParcels of land that would later become the state park and nearby national park were optioned by lumberman Robert P. Whiteside in January, 1900, with the intention of logging. A protracted battle to preserve the trees was launched by Laura Lyon White and the California Club. Despite legislation in 1900 and 1909 authorizing the federal government to purchase the property, Whiteside refused to sell the land at the offered price, preferring its higher valuation as parkland. It was not until 1931 that Whiteside's family began to divest the property, beginning with the North Grove.The area was declared a state park in 1931 and now encompasses 6498acre in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties.Over the years other parcels of mixed conifer forests, including the much larger South Calaveras Grove of Giant Sequoias, have been added to the park to bring the total area to over 6400acre. The North Grove contains about 100 mature giant sequoias; the South Grove, about 1,000. According to Naturalist John Muir the forest protected by the park is: "A flowering glade in the very heart of the woods, forming a fine center for the student, and a delicious resting place for the weary."
A visit to Calaveras Big Trees State Park represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Arnold day trip planning app to plot your vacation.
Source
Create an itinerary including Calaveras Big Trees State Park

(Arnold is the nearest city to Calaveras Big Trees State Park)

map
Calaveras Big Trees State Park Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
413 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We took the easy 1.6 mile walk on the North Grove - Big Tree Trail, behind the Visitor Center. Pay the 50 cents for the trail map that has 26 stops to describe the trees and surrounding area. You will...  more »
  • I almost hate to write a review so the place stays the gem that it is. Only a few visitors when we toured the park. It is absolutely incredible here. It's a little off the beaten path so there is not ...  more »
  • This is excellent place for adults and kids.The north trail is worth walking with kids takes about 2 hours if you read every thing about trees. you see 3500 year old trees, man made disasters .Carry s...  more »
Google
  • A really nice place to visit, not very crowded and affords cool hikes of all difficulty levels. It's definitely family friendly, and has a gift shop where you can buy souvenir type items and literature. There's also a water bottle refill station ūüôā There are lots of different types of tree species but mostly Sequoias..it looked like the area got snow every now and then when major storms hit and drop at this lower elevation.
  • It's a Beautiful place to visit, the views are amazing, and I always enjoy being with my family amongst all the Natural Beauty. The Trees are Giant and breathtaking. In the winter they even give out free hot chocolate. Love Love Love this place...
  • Certainly an amazing place to visit. The only reason I did not score it 5 stars is due to the abundant use of promotional photos that still use the Pioneer Tree (tree you can walk through) with out expressly communicating that the tree has been down for a year and you can no longer see it in its former state. Many other great things to see here, but the disappointment for myself and the non-english speaking visitors trying to locate the tree pictured in the trail maps was obvious. I could easily see the beauty everywhere you walk, but when trying to explain where the tree was to others, you could tell they felt tricked into visiting the park for something that was not there.
  • Amazing place with a great selection of sequoia trees. This is a¬†state park¬†of¬†California and preserves two groves of¬†giant sequoia¬†trees. It is located 4 miles northeast of¬†Arnold, California¬†in the middle elevations of the¬†Sierra Nevada. You can find the popular North Grove and the park also now includes the South Grove, with a 5-mile hiking trip into a grove of giant sequoias in their natural setting.
  • Pictures don't do big trees justice. Incredible stories to go along with amazing trees. Might be a bit of a drive to get to this gem and secret but the reward is tremendous. Towering trees abound as you meander around on a self guided tour. Believe park guided tours were available but we were fine doing the reading and narrating ourselves. Must see if you are this way!
Places to stay near Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Plan your trip to California

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans to Calaveras Big Trees State Park by other users

2 days in Arnold BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, outdoors, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Yosemite National Park BY A USER FROM IRELAND September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Yosemite National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 42 days in Yosemite National Park BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 20 days in South Lake Tahoe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Angels Camp BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 21 days in Yosemite National Park BY A USER FROM IRELAND June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in South Lake Tahoe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in San Francisco, Columbia & Napa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 32 days in California, Incline Village & Stateline BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, outdoors, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Tahoe City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, wildlife, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: June, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 32 days in Yosemite National Park BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, outdoors, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans