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.
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. Click here for a map and directions to Big Trees State Park
Summer: Typically, highs in the 80’s and lows in the 50’s, rare afternoon thundershowers.
Winter: Variable snow conditions (Chains recommended for any vehicles) sometimes suitable for cross-country skiing. Typically, highs in the 30’s and 40’s, lows in the 20’s or even ‘teens. Occasionally, highs in the 50’s or 60’s.
Winter Closure – Weather Permitting
The Walter Smith Parkway beyond the North Grove which leads to the Stanislaus River and South Grove is closed from mid November to late April. The Oak Hollow campground is closed from early October until mid May. The North Grove campground is closed from the end of November until early March.
Spring and Fall
Rain or snow showers likely, though drier in the Fall.
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.
Activities include (Winter) cross-country skiing, (Summer) 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.