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Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Contact Information

(209) 795-2334

Max. Trailer Lengths

Trailer: 30 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: 30 Feet

Park Hours

Day Use: Sunrise to Sunset
Camping: All Hours, March through November

Driving Directions to Calaveras Big Trees SP

The park is northeast of Stockton, four miles northeast of Arnold on Highway 4.
From SF Bay Area:
Take I-580 eastbound over Altamont Pass to I-205 toward Manteca, to US 99 North. Take the exit for State Hwy 4 Eastbound (Angel's Camp) to the Park Entrance. Hwy 4 makes a jog to the right in Angel's Camp along State Hwy 49, then jogs left just before leaving town. Calaveras Big Trees is about 35 minutes driving from Angel's Camp.
From Southern California:
Take either I-5 or US 99 North. From I-5 you can cross to the other side of Stockton on State Hwy 4 to 99/4 South a few miles, then follow Hwy 4 towards and beyond Farmington to the Park. Hwy 4 makes a jog right in Angel's Camp, then jogs left just before leaving town. Calaveras Big Trees is about 35 minutes driving time from Angel's Camp.
From Sacramento:
Take US 99 South to Stockton, turning off onto State Hwy 4 towards and beyond Farmington to the Park (through Angel's Camp). Driving time to the Park from Stockton is approx. 1 hour and 30 minutes. An alternate route is to take State Hwy 16 southeast to State Hwy 49 South through the goldrush towns to Angel's Camp, making a left turn on the far side of town on State Hwy 4 to the Park. Driving time from Angel's Camp is approximately 35 minutes.
From Nevada:
Take US 395 to State Hwy 89 West to the terminus of State Hwy 4, up over Ebbett's Pass to the Park. The road is closed in Winter. It's very scenic, but so steep and tortuous that trailers and large motorhomes are ill-advised to use it.

View on Map

Camping and Lodging

Online reservations are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Reservations can be made 7 months in advance on the first day of the month beginning at 8:00 a.m. PST via the website, by mail, or by calling the toll free telephone number at 1-800-444-7275. Due to seasonal volume, access to the ReserveAmerica website and the telephone line may at times be limited.

Online Reservations

Brochures and Campground Maps


Winter Camping at Calaveras Big Trees

 

 

 

This winter Calaveras Big Trees State Park is offering winter time camping in the North Grove campground.  Campsites 1 through 11 are subject to reservation which can be made by contacting Reserve America at 1-800-444-7275.  Campsites 12 through 25 are available on a first come, first served basis and are not subject to reservations.

At this time all camping is dry camping and the RV dump station is closed, too.  Restroom 2, near campsite 10, is open and hot coin operated showers are available.  Firewood can be purchased in the park or in the town of Arnold, CA.  Occasionally the park gets snow so be prepared to shovel snow from around your vehicle and within your campsite.

All other campsites within the park are closed and will reopen in May, 2017.  For reservations this summer please call Reserve America at 1-800-444-7275.  Reservations can be made seven months in advance.

Come Enjoy Our Cabins

Calaveras Big Trees Cabins
Calaveras Big Trees is excited to offer 4 rental cabins to those interested in spending the night but not wanting to camp outdoors. These furnished post-war cabins are located within the park and only a short walk from the North Grove Trail. They offer two bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, and a private bathroom. Settle in to a warm comfortable cabin, watch the snow falling, step outside to observe the beautiful stars in the night sky, sit around the fire ring to tell campfire stories, or watch the wildlife. Unlimited possibilities await you. Start building memories when you make your reservation.


(Click for availability)

Guided and Self Guided Tours of the Redwoods

School Tours Information

TOURS at Calaveras Big Trees   –   PLEASE READ AS OUR PROCEDURE HAS BEEN CHANGED as of 10/15/2016  

 

***    We now have an online registration system for school tours.  Please click the link to book a Guided or Self-Guided tour of the North Grove Redwood Loop. https://bookeo.com/cbtschooltours

We are currently offering tours for up to 40 students at a time.  There are two guided tour time on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday starting in April, May and June.  Our tours will start at 9:30 and 11:30.  If you have a larger group please call the park and book both tour times.  We will work with you to the best of our ability to make the timing work for your students.  If your students need to arrive at the same time due to transportation we will have guided activities for your students until your tour begins at 11:30.

Send email communications to ­CBTSPtours@parks.ca.gov or call 209-795-7980

 

  • Group Tours Information & Registration   Group Tours Information                                                          
  • College Level (see Group Tours)       

 

 

 

  •  Student's Self-Guided Tour              Student's Self-Guided Tour                                                                                                                                                    

Calaveras Big Trees Winter Activites

Winter Park Activities

The Warming Hut – Open weekends and holidays from Thanksgiving through late March  12 pm—4 pm

Snowshoe Tours – Offered on Saturdays and some holidays at 1 pm.  Bring your own showshoes or borrow a pair of ours. Meet at Warming Hut.

On Your Own – Snow play is allowed in the North Grove area.  Build a snow person, ride a sled, or simply marvel at the beauty.  Bring your own cross-country skis or snowshoes and travel the North Grove trail or the 3.5 mile loop out the park road and back through the campground.

CALL 209-795-1196 FOR MORE INFORMATION.

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Park Happenings

Saturdays –    1    pm—North Grove Guided Walk 

Visitor Center

Daily  10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Parkway

OPEN

Camping –  

North Grove Campground –  Limited sites on reservation.  

Oak Hollow Campground  – CLOSED FOR THE SEASON

Rental Cabins are available.  Click Here for more information

The Dump Station – CLOSED FOR THE SEASON

 

 

 Park Map Park Map

Camp Ground Map Camp Ground Map

North Grove Trail Brochure

South Grove Trail Brochure

Park Rules

Bringing your dogs to the park

Visitor Center Exhibit Scavenger Hunt

 

 

Facilities - Activities

In addition to the popular North Grove, the Park features the South Grove, a five mile hiking trip through a spectacular grove of giant sequoias in their natural setting.

Other attractions in the Park include the Stanislaus River, Beaver Creek, the Lava Bluff Trail and Bradley Trail.

The Park also houses two main campgrounds with a total of 129 campsites, six picnic areas and several miles of established trails.

During the Summer enjoy evening ranger talks, numerous interpretive programs, environmental educational programs, junior ranger programs, hiking, mountain biking, bird watching and activities for school children.

Dogs: Dogs are welcome in the park on leash in developed areas like picnic sites, campgrounds, paved roads and fire roads (dirt). Dogs are not allowed on the designated trails, nor in the woods in general.  We have several miles of fire roads for you and your dog to enjoy; however, you will not be able to see any of the giant sequoias from these roads.

Service dogs are permitted everywhere throughout the park.  Comfort dogs do not qualify as service dogs and are therefore restricted to the campground, paved roads and the fire roads.

Guided Hikes in the North Grove

On Saturdays at 1:00pm we offer a guided hike through the North Grove area of the park.  Come enjoy the beauty and grandeur of the park while learning about why this place is so special.  The hike is approximately 1.5 hours long and is open to all family members (except dogs). 

In the event we have enough snow in the park the hike will be a snowshoe hike.  Some snowshoes are available for use on a first come, first served basis.  Snowshoes are available for rent in the town of Arnold located three miles west on Highway 4.

The cost of the hike is free with paid admission to the park; meet at the Visitor Center and wear appropriate footwear.  For more information, please call the Visitor Center at (209) 795-3840 or (209) 795-7980.

North Grove Restoration Project

You may see smoke in the park! We are working to preserve the forest through prescribed burns and pile burning.

 

Big Tree Creek Watershed Forest Restoration Project:

The Central Valley District resource crew has been busy at Calaveras Big Trees State Park with the Big Tree Creek Watershed Forest Restoration Project.  This 240 acre project, which began in July 2016, has been made possible by a grant from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy’s  Proposition 1 funding and encompasses the upper watershed of the beloved North Grove, home of a spectacular stand of old growth giant sequoia. The restoration work consists of reducing understory fuels, increasing tree spacing, and creating a heterogeneous forest that will be resilient to catastrophic wildfire, insect invasions, and protect a critical watershed that provides water to the giant sequoias and communities in Calaveras County. 


A Brief History of Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Calaveras became a State Park in 1931 to preserve the North Grove of giant sequoias. This grove includes the "Discovery Tree", also known as the "Big Stump", the first Sierra redwood noted by Augustus T. Dowd in 1852. This 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.  This amazing park has a huge varitey of habitats and recreational opportunites to explore.


Location/Directions

The park is northeast of Stockton, four miles northeast of Arnold on Highway 4.
Latitude/Longitude: 38.2719 / -120.2867.  Please note that many car navigation systems and handheld Global Positioning Devices (GPS) are unable to locate the park.

From SF Bay Area
Take I-580 eastbound over Altamont Pass to I-205 toward Manteca, to US 99 North. Take the exit for State Hwy 4 Eastbound (Angel's Camp) to the Park Entrance. Calaveras Big Trees is about 35 minutes driving from Angel's Camp.

From Southern California
Take either I-5 or US 99 North. From I-5 you can cross to the other side of Stockton on State Hwy 4 to 99/4 South a few miles, then follow Hwy 4 towards and beyond Farmington to the Park. Calaveras Big Trees is about 35 minutes driving time from Angel's Camp.

From Sacramento
Take U.S. 99 South to Stockton.  Turn East on State Hwy 4.  Driving time to the park from here is approx 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Pass through Farmington and Copperopolis to the Park.  An alternate route from Sacramento is to take State Hwy 16 to State Hwy 49 South through Jackson, San Andreas, and Angels Camp. 

From Nevada
Take US 395 to State Hwy 89 West to the terminus of State Hwy 4, up over Ebbett's Pass to the Park. The road is closed in Winter. It's very scenic, but so steep and tortuous that trailers and large motorhomes are ill-advised to use it.

Seasons/Climate/Recommended clothing


Summer
Typically, highs in the 80's and lows in the 50's, rare afternoon thundershowers.
Winter
Variable snow conditions (Chains recommended for any vehicles) sometimes suitable for cross-country skiing. Typically, highs in the 30's and 40's, lows in the 20's or even 'teens. Occasionally, highs in the 50's or 60's.

Winter Closure- Weather Permitting
The Walter Smith Parkway beyond the North Grove which leads to the Stanislaus River and South Grove is closed from mid November to late April.
The Oak Hollow campground is closed from early October until mid May. The North Grove campground is closed from the end of November until early March.

Spring and Fall
Rain or snow showers likely, though drier in the Fall.

Events and Programs at Calaveras Big Trees

Upcoming Events

7TH ANNUAL WINTER WONDERLAND CARNIVALcarriage

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 28, 2016  11 AM – 4 PM

Ticket price includes carriage ride and entrance into Jack Knight Hall where you will enjoy hot cocoa, hot apple cider and cookies, hot dogs & chili & many more surprises!

Tickets $15.00 adults & $10.00 children under 12  (Includes entrance into park if tickets purchased online)

This event sells out every year.   Buy your tickets early

(If Space available Tickets at the door $20 adults & $15 children 12 and under Plus $10 Park entrance fee)

Please call 209-795-1196 for more information visit bigtrees.org


Available Activities and Facilities at Calaveras Big Trees State Park

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES
Environmental Campsites
Family Campsites
Group Campsites
Lodging
RV Access
TRAIL USE
Bike Trails
Hiking Trails
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Fishing
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Beach Area
Swimming
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Museums
Family Programs
Geocaching
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Restrooms / Showers
Restrooms
Outdoor Showers
Drinking Water Available