Special Events & Venue Rentals

Couple poses for wedding photos at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Photo by K. Kendall, Sunshine Photography


Weddings. Family reunions. Scouting trips. Picnics. These are just some of the reasons people choose to host a special event at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. By far though, the most popular are weddings. 

We are proud to offer several spectacular outdoor areas for your private function; however, our primary objective is the preservation of the cultural and natural resources for the enjoyment of all people. 

 Please contact park staff at CBTSpecialEvents@parks.ca.gov or call (209) 795-2334 for details about venue rentals and a copy of the Special Events Guide

 Special Event Permit Application 


Venue Locations 

The "Big Stump"

One of our most famous landmarks in the park, the stump is what is left of the Discovery Tree after it was cut down in 1852. The stump creates massive platform, nearly 25 feet in diameter. One must ascend 10 steps to get to the top. Your reservation guarantees you exclusive use of the stump; however, the public is still able to view and pass by your event

   FEE: $100 for 30 miunutes (2 hr max)


Photo of the


  Jack Knight Hall

Our most popular wedding reception venue, Jack Knight Hall is a rustic, historic building with open-beam ceilings, hand-hewn wood, and a giant stone fireplace. The hall can accommodate 100 people seated and is mainly used for receptions. Rental includes 18, 8-foot tables and 100 chairs. Many wedding parties get married at the Big Stump or the Standing Sentinel and have their reception in the hall. 

   FEE: $800 per day (8am -10pm)


Photo of Jack Knight Hall

Standing Sentinel Tree

The standing Sentinel is a popular venue for wedding ceremonies. This giant Sequoia and another that stood next to it until 1919 are two of the easiest giants to see without leaving your car. Approximately 75-100 people can be seated around the Sentinels.

   FEE: $100 for 30 minutes (2 hr max)


Photo of Wedding Set up at Standing Sentinel

Sentinel Picnic Area 

Located next to the Sentinel trees, near the Big Stump, and adjacent to a seasonal creek, this picnic area can accommodate approximately 100 people. There are eight picnic tables and one standing grill provided.

   FEE: $300 (6 hr max)


Photo of Sentinel Picnic


Campfire Center

The Campfire Center is the traditional area Rangers use for giving campfire talks. The site offers a small stage, a fire pit, and bench seating for 100 people. (Please note: this space is not available past 5pm on weekends.)

FEE: $75 for 1 hour

Photo of Campfire Center







Ralston Classroom

This modern facility is located within the Education Center building (adjacent to the Visitor Center) and is used for talks, presentations, interpretive/educational programs and meetings. The classroom can seat 80 people.

FEE: $35 per hour


Beaver Creek Picnic Area

Located at the far end of the park, Beaver Creek Picnic Area is a very short walk to the creek. Wedding parties can have a quick ceremony next to the creek and return to the picnic area for a reception. The site includes six picnic tables, one BBQ, an ADA-accessible restroom, parking, and shade

FEE: $300 (6 hr max)

Additional Information 

Date Selection

Events may be scheduled between May 1 and Nov 1, and reservations for events may be made up to one year in advance. Permits are not issued for holidays or holiday weekends. 

Fees and Deposits 

All special event applicants are required to pay a permit application fee. If we receive your request 31 days or more before the date of your event, the cost is $25. If we receive your request 30 days or less before the date of your event (rush permit), the application fee is $100 and must be paid in the form of a cashier’s check or money order. Requests for events 14 days or less from the start date will not be permitted.

A permit may require additional  fees (i.e., rental fee, monitor fee, deposit, and entrance fees). 

Cashier’s checks, money orders, company checks, and personal checks are accepted and are to be made out to: California State Parks.

Other Requirements

A permit may require Certificate of Liability Insurance, vendor list, ABC license, and a Calaveras county food permit. 

Environment and Conditions

With the exception of Jack Knight Hall and Ralston Classroom, the general public is allowed to walk around your event. Walking through your event is very rare; however, having the general public near your event is not uncommon.

California State Parks is committed to maintaining the delicate and natural ecosystem of Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Certain florals and other plants are not permitted to be used during your event due to their environmental impact. We do require you to submit a floral and plant list to the special events coordinator prior to your event for approval. Also, please be aware that some natural hazards exist in the park such as poison oak, wasps and bees, falling branches, etc.

Littering is not permitted. Littering includes leaving, depositing, or scattering flower petals, rice, seeds, ashes, confetti, or any other litter in a unit except in a receptacle designed for that purpose.

The following is not permitted: Wood gathering and/or flower picking/gathering, releasing birds, butterflies, or balloons, fireworks of any kind (including sparklers