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.
PARK HOURS: Daily – Sunrise to Sunset
PARK OFFICE TELEPHONE: 209-795-2334
PARK ADDRESS: 1170 East Highway 4, Arnold, CA 95223 (Note, be careful putting address into a GPS. The results are often misleading). Click here for Directions
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 Closures: 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.
Facilities – Activities
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.
Summer activities include evening ranger talks, numerous interpretive programs, environmental educational programs, junior ranger programs, hiking, mountain biking, bird watching and activities for school children. In the winter, enjoy cross-country skiing& snowshoeing.
NOTE: Calaveras Big Trees State Park provides the opportunity for schools, families or any group to hold their special events in the Park. Whether it is a reunion, a picnic or a wedding on the Big Stump, there is a place in the Park that will make your event memorable.
Jack Knight Hall
The historic Jack Knight Hall is also available for rent for meetings, receptions, dinners, or other special occasions. For more information, please contact Ranger Barry Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please call him at 209-795-8907. You might also call 209-795-2334.
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.
All Reservations are handled through Reserve California from May 23rd to Sept 15th
Please call 1 (800) 444-7275 or visit this link at Reserve California
Please visit http://www.parks.ca.gov/calaverasbigtrees for more information.
Becoming a Docent
Volunteers 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. 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. You can contact Devin Swartwood at 209-795-7980 for more information.