Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Update (May 1, 2021): With the Regional Stay at Home Order lifted, State Parks is reopening campground sites for existing reservation holders. The department will be using a phased approach to reopen other campground sites for new reservations, starting January 28. The public is advised that not all campground sites are open to the public due to the pandemic, wildfire impacts and other issues. Additionally, group campsites remain closed. Day use outdoor areas of park units currently open to the public remain open.

As State Parks increases access to the State Park System, it is critical that Californians continue to recreate responsibly in the outdoors as the pandemic is far from over.

Please take the time to read the information contained on this webpage to find out what is open and closed, and the COVID-19 guidelines for this park unit.  

What is open now?
  • North Grove Day-Use areas and trails.
  • South Grove Day-Use areas and trails.
  • Gift shop and museum with limited capacity. Face coverings required in all indoor areas.
  • Group camps.

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
At this park:
  • Guided tours and special events.
  • Limitations based on current CDPH guidance for the county.
Statewide:
  • Some park units and campground sites continue to be temporarily closed due to the pandemic, impacts from wildfires or other issues. Please visit the webpage of your local outdoor destination to find out if it is open.
  • High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
  • Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.

Are there any new visitor guidelines?

State Parks has implemented the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors:

  • Stay Local: Stay close to home during this pandemic period. If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time. 
  • Plan Ahead
    • The ongoing pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. Prior to leaving home, check the webpage of your outdoor destination you plan to visit to find out if it is open, if parking is available, and what visitor guidelines are in effect.
    • Learn what safety precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
    • SNO-PARKS: Make sure your vehicle is snow ready. A permit is required for each vehicle parked at a SNO-PARK site. Parking is on a first come, first-serve basis at all SNO-PARK sites. The public is advised that parking lots are filling up early in the day. Illegal parking is prohibited. More information can be found at ohv.parks.ca.gov/SNOPARKS.
  • Stay Safer at Six Feet: No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings or parties. If there are too many people to maintain the required physical distance, please visit us on a different day. 
    • Boating: Do not raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to other recreators.
    • Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to others or pull up next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others. Stage 10 feet or more from each other during unloading and loading.
  • Keep Clean: Be prepared as not all services may be available. Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack out all trash. Park units are experiencing heavy use and you can help alleviate the impact on park facilities.
  • Stay Covered: The state requires you to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.

Although law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations, the expectation is that the public is responsible for adhering to the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures.

California State Parks continues to work with local and state officials 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. However, the situation remains fluid and park operations can change at any time. For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(209) 795-2334

Max. Trailer Lengths

Trailer: Up to 30 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: Up to 30 Feet

Park Hours

Day Use: 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. 
Camping: All Hours, March through November

Dogs Allowed?

Yes
Dogs allowed only in campgrounds and on fire roads.

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

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.

 

Educational Resources

Distance Learning

Explore the Fall Colors

 

Download the Home Learning Packet for Parents and Teachers. 

 

 

 

Virtual Field Trip Adventures

Interpreter Jenny guides you through the Big TreesFor more than 15 years, the PORTS (Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students) Program has been providing FREE, live interactive virtual field trips for K-12 students from California and beyond! The goal of PORTS is to break down geographic and socio-economic barriers to our state park system and virtually connect classrooms to content standards in the context of California’s diverse natural and cultural history.

 Giant Sequoia Ecology Program

As one of the oldest and certainly the biggest trees on earth, there is no doubt the giant sequoia’s fascinating story of survival will delight and inspire students of all ages. Students will learn about the history of these magnificent trees through the lens of conservation, as well as their relationship to other living things in the mixed conifer forest habitat, ultimately discovering what makes these trees such a BIG deal! Our outdoor, interactive adventure will feature forest ecology, tree life cycle, interdependent relationships, fire science, human impact and conservation.

***Suitable and geared toward all grade levels*** 

 NEW Program! "Giant Sequoia Lives On" storytime and nature walk

Perfect for the K-2 young explorers - join Park Interpreter Jenny for a fun, storytime of "The Sequoia Lives On" written by Joanna Cooke and Illustrated by Fiona Hsieh. After the read, we'll take a nature walk through the big tree forest and students will get to see the book come to life! Together we'll learn about the ecology of the forest, the animals that live there and the importance of conservation.

 Register at https://www.ports-ca.us/ports-on-demand/calaveras-big-trees-state-park