Four miles north of Arnold off Highway 4, northeast of Stockton in the Sierra Nevada mountains, the colossal Giant Sequoia 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. The park also makes a great weekend trip from the San Francisco Bay Area or Sacramento. The North Grove used to house the discovery tree, thought to be the largest tree in the country. Unfortunately, it was cut down to be paraded as a popular tourist attraction in 1853. In addition to the popular North Grove, the park features the South Grove, a five mile loop 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. The South Grove includes the Louis Agassiz tree; at 250 feet (76 m) tall and more than 25 feet (7.6 m) in diameter 6 feet (1.8 m) above ground it is the largest tree in the Calaveras groves Activities include camping at the parks main campground, 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. Park is open for day use sunrise to sunset.

Hiked this trail yesterday. The weather was beautiful. Amazing hike.

Gorgeous! Great with a stroller and young kids. Our nine year old loved the trees but was hoping for something a tad more strenuous. We went during winter days, so they had fun crafts. Seven month old’s favorite activity on hikes is talking to the trees, so she absolutely loved this stroll.
Tiny patches of icy snow on the ground in the parking lot, but none in forest/on trails. Tennis shoes are perfectly acceptable.

Awesome scenery. Great for kids. Stroller accessible.

great easy trail

Easy educational and pleasant

Went on a Friday afternoon and there was hardly anyone there compared to the North Grove trail. I wasn't able to do the whole trail due to time unfortunately but everything I saw was absolutely beautiful and it was a very easy hike. I look forward to seeing it again! Tip: bring bug spray!

Take the Grove Overlook Trail as well. Worth it to see the view of the trees from a higher viewpoint!

Our first 5 mile hike with our 10 years old and 12 years old daughters. We enjoyed the hike a lot.

Love it I can't wait to go back because it's the best ever

Great trail for young kids and all levels of physical fitness

We only GPS mapped the Canyon River Trail for one way. It was closer to 6.6 miles roundtrip than the advertised 8 miles. Moderate difficulty, reasonably well-maintained, well marked with appealing aesthetics (creek, river, forest, greenery, nicely shaded). Approx. 1300 foot elevation climb back up the ridge from the river. Have fun & don't forget to pack out your trash. We saw a lot of garbage on the trail and tried to pick up as much as we could find. Please be respectful to this beautiful forest. Thank you!!!

Beautiful hike! I loved that it was pretty easy especially for my niece and nephew, both of whom have asthma. They had an easy and fun time exploring while on the hike!

huge trees... didnt seem like that much elevation change... beautiful stream at the trailhead.

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.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

very easy, the trees are amazing.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

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!

Monday, November 07, 2016

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.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

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

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