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.

Really enjoyed this hike. First stopped at the north trail but decided quickly that it was too crowded. Drove a few minutes to the south trail and there was two cars there! We basically had the whole trail to ourselves (which we love). Beautiful sites to see and I loved all the dogwood blossoms throughout hike! I would definitely recommend it.

Beautiful. It smells amazing and it reminds us of how small humans are lol

I'm sure it would have been great had it been open. Closed.

4 months ago

4 months ago

very easy, the trees are amazing.

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!

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.

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!

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.