Calaveras South Grove Trail is a 4.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Arnold, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November.

4.9 miles
754 feet

kid friendly


cross country skiing


mountain biking

nature trips

trail running




wild flowers

over grown


no dogs

Calaveras Big Trees State Park preserves two groves of giant sequoia trees. It is located 4 miles (6.4 km) northeast of Arnold, California in the middle elevations of the Sierra Nevada. It has been a major tourist attraction since 1852, when the existence of the trees was first widely reported, and is considered the longest continuously operated tourist facility in California. The area was declared a state park in 1931 and now encompasses 6,498 acres (2,630 ha) in Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties. Over the years other parcels of mixed conifer forests, including the much larger South Calaveras Grove of Giant Sequoias (purchased in 1954 for $2.8 million USD), have been added to the park to bring the total area to about 26 square kilometres (6,400 acres). The North Grove contains about 100 mature giant sequoias; the South Grove, about 1,000. The North Grove included the 'Discovery Tree' noted by Augustus T. Dowd in 1852 and felled in 1853, leaving a giant stump which is the only remainder of the tree. It measured 24 feet (7.3 m) in diameter at its base and was determined by ring count to be 1,244 years old when felled. However, the largest tree was believed to be the Mother of the Forest, which died after bark was stripped from it in 1854. Today only a fire-blackened snag remains. In addition to the popular North Grove, the park also now includes the South Grove, with a 5-mile (8.0 km) hiking trip through a grove of giant sequoias in their natural setting. The South Grove includes the Louis Agassiz tree, 250 feet (76 m) tall and 25 feet (7.6 m) in diameter 6 feet (1.8 m) above ground, the largest tree in the Calaveras groves.[2] It is named after zoologist Louis Agassiz (18071873). 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 hundreds of miles of established trails. Other activities include cross-country skiing, evening ranger talks, numerous interpretive programs, environmental educational programs, junior ranger programs, hiking, mountain biking, bird watching and summer school activities for school children. Dogs are welcome in the park on leash in developed areas like picnic sites, campgrounds, roads and fire roads (dirt). Dogs are not allowed on the designated trails, nor in the woods in general.

6 days ago

Enormous! Long but worth the trek

9 days ago

Great cool morning for hike. We took our dog Jax along and really enjoyed the great colors and trees. It took us 2 hrs for hike to end of trail and back. Trees were very awesome

23 days ago

We did this and it is a beautifull trail!!! Trees are amazing. Very easy

24 days ago

A well marked trail leads from the parking lot to the South Grove. Late October gave us the added treat of beautiful autumn colors from the non-coniferous members of the forest. The free map handed out at the gatehouse includes an expanded cut out of the north and south groves, highlighting where some of the largest are. These trees have to be seen to appreciate how magnificent they are. We’ll be back.

29 days ago

Beautiful time of year for this hike. Cool morning led to a great day. Trailhead decently marked with plenty of parking. Went on a Saturday and wasn’t crowded at all. Path was well traveled and a map was not needed. The quietness among these giants was awe inspiring. We did the north grove after this hike and it felt commercial in comparison.

1 month ago

Excellent trail!

2 months ago

Absolutely beautiful. The trees are magnificent and the trail is well compacted and easy. Good for kids.

2 months ago

Decent trail. you definitely get more bang for your buck on the north grove trail, but this one does offer fewer crowds. we carried a 2 month old and 2 year old the whole way and did ok. Creek near the trailhead is very kid friendly.

2 months ago

Light traffic, gorgeous trail and Sequoias.

3 months ago

It was a nice trek. Less crowd then the north grove

3 months ago

Wow, you have to see the big trees to take in their enormity. Breathtaking! Great hike, take your bug spray.

4 months ago

Beautiful views, easy/ moderate

4 months ago

Beautiful, go early take 2 or 3 water bottles. Take it easy and stop to enjoy the views. Take photos, you may get a great one for your Christmas card

4 months ago

This hike was awesome. Especially for our fist ever hike! My mom and I were hesitant about doing a 5 mile hike but we made it though and loved every moment of it.

5 months ago

I got their early and I only saw one other human on the trail (it is orders of magnitude less traveled than the North Grove trail). This is really more of an out and back trail with a small loop section rather than a loop trail. However, it makes you feel really remote during the hike. The Palace Hotel tree is stunning and worth the hike. I added on the Bradley Grove trail as well for two additional miles.

6 months ago

A good cardio workout without killing you. My wife and I are 72 and we met lots of fellow hikers our age and older making the hike look easy.

Lots of huge redwood trees. Truly inspiring and enjoyable!

8 months ago

Beautiful place to hike! Once you get to the North Grove, it's another 8 mile drive to South Grove on a one lane road. At South Grove there are a couple of different trails - one is 1.67 miles and seems fairly easy. It's a mile to the South Grove trail and I'm not sure of that's included in the 5.5 mile total. The trail is very well maintained and the sound of Beaver Creek is awesome. Enjoy!

10 months ago

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

Monday, October 02, 2017

great easy trail

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

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!

Sunday, July 09, 2017

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

Thursday, June 29, 2017

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!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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

Friday, May 19, 2017

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.

Monday, May 01, 2017

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

Saturday, April 22, 2017

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

Thursday, February 09, 2017

very easy, the trees are amazing.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

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

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

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

Thursday, September 15, 2016

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!

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