Calaveras Big Trees State Park

UPDATE (July 14, 2020) - California State Parks continues to work 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. Even though the department has increased access across the State Park System, the need for Californians to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the outdoors remains critical.

As such, State Parks continues to ask visitors to plan ahead, avoid road trips and stay close to home, maintain physical distancing, wear a face covering when a physical distance of six feet from others who are not from the immediate household members cannot be maintained, and avoid congregating. This means no gatherings, picnics or parties. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people to allow for the required physical distance. Full details on the guidelines are available at parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

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

What is open now?
The following are open at the park:
  • Campground will open June 22. For more information about camping, visit www.parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping. To make a reservation, visit www.ReserveCalifornia.com or call 800-444-7275. Reservations must be made 48 hours in advance of arrival date.
  • Day-Use Areas.
  • State Parks conducted a prescribed burn at the park in June. Smoke from prescribed burns remains in the area after active firing stops and could last several weeks depending on weather conditions. Visitors are advised they may experience smoky conditions while visiting the park. Smoke may be more noticeable in the morning and overnight

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
At this park:
  • Group Camps.
  • Special events and public gatherings continue to be canceled until further notice.
  • Visitor Center and Museum temporarily closed until further notice.
Statewide:
  • Many campgrounds across the state remain closed until further notice. Some campgrounds have started to reopen with modifications. For more information, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping.
  • Many 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?

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: The state now requires you to wear a face covering in most indoor settings and public outdoor spaces when you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more from people outside of your immediate household. For details, please visit CDPH’s guidance here. Visitors should also abide by their local county health orders.

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

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

Effective immediately: All campfires, barbecues prohibited in all areas of the park. Propane stoves allowed in developed campsites only. Expires October 31, 2020.

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 - 5 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

Explore the Fall Colors

  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.
  • 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 a self guided school 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

Interpreter Jenny guides you through the Big Trees

Virtual Field Trip Adventures at Calaveras Big Trees State Parks!

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

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.