Calaveras Big Trees State Park

UPDATE (May 30, 2020) - As California State Parks begins working with locals on a phased and regionally-driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved, it is important for visitors to continue to practice physical distancing and avoid congregating with people outside their immediate household. Everyone has the responsibility to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Here are some guidelines for people visiting Calaveras Big Trees State Park:

What is open now?
The following are open at the park:
  • The park is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Limited day-use parking.
  • North Grove Trail/Fire Road.
  • North Grove Trail one-way only.

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?

At this park:
  • Parkway to South Grove.

Statewide:
  • Campgrounds.
  • High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
  • Special events and public gatherings continue to be canceled until further notice.
 
Are there any new visitor guidelines?

Yes, please see below:
  • Stay Local: Stay close to home. Walk or bike into the park. Parking is very limited. Do not take road trips to parks and beaches or to neighboring states.
  • Stay Active: Keep walking, jogging, hiking and biking. Watch for one-way trails.
  • Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors will be asked to leave if there are too many people at the park, beach or on trails to allow for the required physical distance.
  • Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash.
  • Stay Covered: If your county health orders require it, please be sure to wear face coverings when you cannot maintain a safe 6-foot distance from others.

Thank you for your patience and continued support of California State Parks as we work to limit your risk for exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors. For more information, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve

Phone Number

(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.

Camping and Lodging

Visitors will be able to reserve campsites and lodging six months in advance from the current date. Bookings may extend from the arrival date to the desired departure date – based on availability and the park’s maximum stay rules.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

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

Camper Alert regarding the cabins and group campground at Calaveras Big Trees. All campers with reservations between May 2020 – December 2020, please note that there will be construction in the cabin area throughout this time period. It will be noisy, dusty, and one-lane traffic may create time delays.

Calaveras Big Trees Trail

Welcome to Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Established in 1931, Calaveras Big Trees State Park preserves two groves of giant sequoias - the world's largest trees - in the North and South Groves. The park is a mixed-conifer forest (a variety of trees living together). In addition to the giant trees, you will find the Stanislaus River, Beaver Creek, ancient volcanic formations, and natural meadows. Trails throughout the park allow you to discover the natural beauty that has awed visitors to the area since 1852.

 

 

Visitor Center

Calaveras Big Trees Visitor CenterHours-  10 AM-4 PM

Come see our beautiful Visitor Center at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. The Visitor Center houses our park gift shop! There is also has a wonderful museum where you can see wildlife in the park come to life. A theater plays two short videos on loop that are educational and enjoyable for all ages. If you are looking for a place to rest after your hike, there is a great lounge area as well. 

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.

 

School Programs

 Guided School Tours

These tours are for K-12th grade school students in the California School System.

Tours are available during the months of March (3/15-3/31), April, May, September and October. Call 209-795-7980 for exceptions.

Tours are $60 per time slot.  If over 60 students, schools must reserve two time slots for their group.  Reservations must be made 30 days in advance. (Groups arriving without reservations will pay full bus or car fare.)

  • Pre-reserved entry - Bus parking is free and up to 5 chaperone vehicles. Other vehicles must pay. If no buses, groups have up to 10 free vehicles.
  • Guided tours are only offered on Wednesday - Friday only.
  • Groups can download a Teacher's Guide at www.parks.ca.gov/calaverasbigtrees.

 

SELF-GUIDED TOUR

 Tours are for K-12th grade classes in the California School System.

 FREE with 30 day-reservations. (Groups arriving without reservations will pay full bus fare ($100) or car fare ($10 per car))

  • Pre-reserved entry - Bus parking is free and up to 5 chaperone vehicles. Other vehicles must pay. If no buses, groups have up to 10 free vehicles.
  • Self - Guided tours are only offered on Monday & Tuesday only.
  • Groups can download a Self-guided Booklet for Teachers to use on the trail at www.parks.ca.gov/calaverasbigtrees.
  • If you need alternative dates or times than what is listed for self-guided trips, please call (209) 795-7980.

Reservations for either program can be made by visiting our non-profit partners Calaveras Big Trees Association website at: https://bigtrees.org/education/k-12-school-tours/

 

Virtual Field Trips

Educators, take your students on a virtual journey through the ancient grove of Giant Sequoia in Calaveras Big Trees State Park! Free virtual field trips are offered for K-12 students and registration is a click away!

 The general giant sequoia program:

Take a journey through the ancient grove of Giant Sequoia in Calaveras Big Trees State Park! The Giant Sequoia grows only in California in numerous, isolated groves on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains. As one of the oldest and biggest trees on earth, there is no doubt their fascinating story of survival will delight and inspire students of all ages.

 A read along redwood program:

Join Interpretive Ranger Jenny for a fun read aloud session of one of our favorite books, "The Sequoia Lives On.” After the book, we'll take a fun, interactive adventure through the big tree forest and your students will get to see the book come to life through the beauty of Skype in the Classroom. Together we'll learn about the ecology of the forest and the importance of conservation.

http://www.ports.parks.ca.gov/

As one of the oldest and biggest trees on earth, there is no doubt their fascinating story of survival will delight and inspire students of all ages. Ranger Jenny will be your guide as your class learns about the history of these magnificent trees through the lens of conservation, as well as their relationship to the mixed conifer forest they live in, ultimately discovering what makes these incredible trees such a BIG deal!

Come Enjoy Our Cabins

Calaveras Big Trees Cabin

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 (no linens), 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)

Volunteer at Calaveras Big Trees

Calaveras Big Trees State Park is home to two magnificent groves of Giant Sequoias—the world’s largest living trees. Some grow to over 300 feet tall with diameters of over 25 feet. This 6,000 acre park also hosts spectacular stands of mixed-conifer forest, the Stanislaus River, Beaver Creek, and beautiful displays of spring dogwood blooms and fall colors. It is a wonderful place to visit, and a fantastic place to volunteer!

Docents play a vital role in protecting the park’s resources. Through their annual 10,000 hours of service, volunteers tremendously increase the ability of park staff to provide a high-quality park experience to our over 200,000 visitors.

Docents come from diverse backgrounds, with individual preferences, talents and interests. Some enjoy working behind the scenes, while others prefer meeting the public when hiking trails or interacting with adults, school groups, and families. However, they all share a love of the park, and have many rewarding experiences while donating their time.

There are many benefits to those who choose to volunteer, such as free training, use of the park, passes to other California State Parks, and – best of all – camaraderie, friendships, and satisfaction. Whatever your interests, there are rich opportunities for volunteer service at Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

We hope you’ll join us:

Trail Patrol   ·  Visitor Center    ·  Interpretation
Resource Work    ·  Children’s Programs   ·  Guided Tours

and more!

For more information please contact us at (209) 795-7980.