Day Use: Sunrise to Sunset
Camping: All Hours, March through November
Calaveras Big Trees State Park
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.
Visitor Center - Activities
Visitor Center Hours-
June through August Sunday- Thursday 10AM-5PM
Friday & Saturday 10AM-6PM
Come see our beautiful Visitor Center at Calaveras Big Trees. The Visitor Center houses our park gift shop! The Visitor Center also has a wonderful museum where you can really 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. Come by and say hello when you visit Calaveras Big Trees State Park.
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.
Current Programs and Activities 2019
Summer Programs Starting June 15th to August 18th
- Junior Rangers- For kids ages 7-12. Programs meet at 10AM daily behind the Ranger Station.
- Junior Cubs- for kids ages 3-6. Programs meet daily at 10AM daily behind the Ranger Station.
- Creek Critters- for the whole family! Programs meet at 1PM, Saturdays & Tuesdays at Beaver Creek.
- Campfire- for the whole family! Evening programs Friday, Saturday and some Sundays. Search & Rescue present on Monday evenings.
- Crafts- for the whole family! Craft activities are offered Sunday afternoons, from 1-3PM in the educational classroom. All supplies are provided.
- Astronomy Nights- for the whole family! Nighttime programs offered a few times a month. Programs meet at the Scenic Overlook. Call 209-795-3840 for dates and details.
- Guided Hikes of the North Grove- for the whole family! Offered daily at 11:30AM and 1:00PM. Tours meet between the Visitor Center and the Warming hut at the end of the parking lot.
For more information or detail please call 209-795-7980 or 209-795-3840.
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!
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 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)
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.
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.
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.