As the winter snow begins to fall, and a winter wonderland appears, new ways to experience the park begin. The Parkway to the South Grove will close for the season around mid-November and remain closed until late April, but the North Grove area remains accessible. The North Grove campground is generally closed from November through early March.
At the end of the main parking lot, visitors will find the Warming Hut, which is completely funded by Calaveras Big Trees Association and staffed by Docents. Open weekends from November through March, complimentary hot chocolate, cider and coffee are served around a big open fire pit. Donations are always welcome.
On Saturdays, depending on the snow and weather, a guided snowshoe hike explores the North Grove trail. Snowshoes are provided at no charge for those that don’t have their own. These hikes begin and end at the Warming Hut. If there is not enough snow for snowshoes, there will still be a guided hike.
Visitors are always welcome to snowshoe on their own. Snowshoes are available for rent in Arnold. Depending on the snow, just good hiking boots may get you out on the trails. Dress warm and be prepared for any kind of weather.
Cross Country skiing is available if you have your own equipment. A map is available at the Entrance Station or the Visitor Center that shows the trails you can explore.
Of course, snow play is always an option. There are some gentle short slope areas that are used for kids sledding. And of snowman building and snowball fights are always fun.
Calaveras Big Trees Association has an annual “Historic Carriage Ride” through the North Grove Area in December. A ride in a Cinderella carriage ride through a winter wonderland is followed by Christmas carols and refreshments in Jack Knight Hall. This event continues to grow. Please join our mailing list for more information.
The Visitor Center is generally open on weekends during the winter, and during the week before and after Christmas.