Calaveras Big Trees State Park, California

4.8
#74 of 623 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."
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Calaveras Big Trees State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
436 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • This park is awesome! The North Grove Trail is very relaxing and scenic with groomed walkways. It can get fairly busy in the summer time. The South Grove Trail is more of a hiking trail with outstandi...  more »
  • We hiked the North Grove Trail through the majestic giants of both Redwoods and Sequoia trees. It was about a 1.67 mile hike but mostly flat and lots of shade provided by the trees. It was lovely. At ...  more »
  • We didn’t have much time but still wanted to see the trees. We only had about an hour of sun light which was enough to see the north grove. Wish we could’ve seen the south. Others told us that it’s bi...  more »
Google
  • It was amazing to see such beautiful big sequoia trees. The cost was $10.00 and there is a gift shop and a small area with stuffed animals. It's probably best to wear comfortable closed shoes. The one mile trail is a dirt trail so you could get very dirty. You can only walk on the one mail trail, but you can drive if you want to visit the camp area or other parts of the park. We took so many pictures the trees are just beautiful!! We also walked inside a few trees, the kids loved that. We got to see deer and beautiful colorful birds.
  • The two Giant Sequoia groves are awe inspiring. The self-guided tour through the Northern Grove is thoughtful and interesting. The Southern grove is a great hike. We had fun playing in Beaver Creek and splashing around in the icy cold Stanislaus River. Theirs a beautiful scenic overlook in the park too. We liked it so much we went three days in a row!
  • It's so beautiful here. We stayed at the campground in March for a long weekend. We have a travel trailer but most of the other campers were in tents. The campground is very quiet during the day as most people are out hiking. We enjoyed the 2 mile trail that starts near the visitors center. We're also really enjoyed the visitor center and the store. We had great weather our whole stay. They have lots of hiking trails to choose from and something for everyone to see.
  • I love this park. take a fishing rod, if you want, there's big brown's and rainbows in that Stanislaus River that goes right through it. Great hiking, picnicking, walking and trees that are BIG, just like the name implies. The river is swift and cold. Beware of trying to swim in it.
  • My daughter wanted to go to Yosemite National Park but that was 3 hours from our current location. I was recommended Calaveras Big Trees State Park. We decided to give it a try and was not disappointed. The park is quite spacious with lots of walkable Trails. Unlike other state parks, you can deviate from the trails a little to get a close-up of the sequoias. You are overcome be a sense of tranquility to be surrounded by all those ancient majestic giants and to stand next to one of these behemoths is sublime and humbling. At Muir Woods, you have to remain on the trails and can't really get a closer look at their trees. But here, you can walk around freely, camp, or have a BBQ picnic. Great for naturalist and families.
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Plans to Calaveras Big Trees State Park by other users

2 days in Placerville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 1 day in Calaveras County BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, teens, popular sights PREFERENCES: August, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 2 days in Arnold BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 3 days in Yosemite National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 6 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, outdoors, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, teens, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 2 days in Arnold BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, outdoors, historic sites, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in Yosemite National Park BY A USER FROM IRELAND September, popular sights PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in Yosemite National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, fast-paced, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights 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 sights PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 2 days in Angels Camp BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 21 days in Yosemite National Park BY A USER FROM IRELAND June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
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