Four miles north of Arnold off Highway 4, northeast of Stockton, the colossal trees of Calaveras Big Trees State Park stand in quiet testimony to prehistoric times. These massive relics, which can reach a height of 300 feet and a diameter of 33 feet, are descended from trees that were standing when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and birds, mammals and flowering plants began to appear. Some of today’s trees are thought to be as old as 2,000 years. 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 North Fork of the Stanislaus River, Beaver Creek, the Lava Bluff Trail and Bradley Trail. Activities include camping, Saturday evening ranger talks, numerous interpretive programs, environmental educational programs, junior ranger programs, hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, and activities for school children. November - March, weather permitting, cross-country skiing, snow play, and the popular 1pm Saturday snowshoe hikes.

We visited New Year's Day, 2017. The snow was beautiful and added something special to the walk. This was my first hike as an adult. Now, I have this need to see more!

2 months ago

This is a great hike for families, and for individuals of all ages and abilities. If you are looking for a trail to get started with, if you want to get your kids interested in hiking, this is a great place to go. The path is well maintained, and is a boardwalk for much of the trail, so there is no tricky terrain. Great place to just let the kids run and enjoy the beauty all around. We completed this trail in about an hour.

If you are looking for a challenging trail, this is not for you. Great place to get kids motivated to do harder trails in more remote corners of the Sierras though.

excellent hike for large or small groups. the views are breathtaking and the distance is perfect.

hiked this and only ran into 3 people on the trail. liked it much better than the North Grove because of the solitude.

3 months ago

Super easy but great for little ones. More of a walk than a hike. Lots of places to stop along the way for a picnic under the majestic sequoias.

Very easy, mostly flat land, and shaded for most of the trail. There are some spectacular areas throughout the trail. This is a very touristy trail, and can get a little heavy on the traffic. Make sure to bring bug spray!

4 months ago

This was a great trail to view the redwoods but way too touristy for me. It was Labor Day so plenty of "holiday naturists", kids yelling at times, disrespecting the forest, etc. We ended up hiking the River Trail (much much less crowded) made it about 1.5 miles but turned around because it was too much for the kids. I'd love to go back and hike the entire River Trail (4 mile) to the Stanislaus River.

Not difficult probably a 3

5 months ago

Great hike. Absolutely beautiful! The interspersed dogwoods kept the trail in partial shade the whole one. Very nicely maintained trail.

5 months ago

There's nothing like seeing the Sierra's Giant Sequoias. This park is often crowded, but the 1.7-mile loop is always rewarding. The forest here is very lush with wildflowers, berries and even ferns.
Consider coming when the dogwoods are in bloom. In the winter, it's a great place to snowshoe or cross-country ski. Also, check out the 3-years-new visitors center. It was partially funded by the park's support group and is a testimony to its status as one of the most beloved jewels of the California State Park system.

Great, mellow trail. A couple of giant trees to see!

Do not forget the bug spray. I went at 8:00 am today to beat the heat and whenever I stopped the mosquitos landed on me. It was an easy hike if you can do some incline. I was lucky that I went early as there was no one else there and I could like I was exploring the place for the first time. Guild book was helpful because I like to read when I hike. Great place to walk and relax

Just amazing to see the big trees defiantly different from our trees in Yosemite but still amazing I love all
The little trails. I'd go
Back there right now if I could!

It really nice

Great hike!!!

10 months ago

Beautiful scenery and views. We hiked the Overlook and River Trails then finished up with the North Grove Trail. We arrived at the park around 9 am so we were pretty much alone until we returned to the visitor center at around 12 pm . By then the tourist arrived and it was no longer peaceful. We hiked in the snow. That was pretty cool too.

Love this place the hike is beautiful and it's not too crowded. Love looking at all the big trees.