Explore the most popular birding trails near Arnold with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful views, easy/ moderate

Love this trail and the water fall was so beautiful . Good hike done it today 7/14

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

8 days ago

Hiked this two weeks ago. Snow patches along the way which made it more difficult without poles! Long hike but the views more than made up for it. Lots of pct folks along the way too.

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.

trail running
10 days ago

Went running here and it was great. Nice views and nice forests.

11 days ago

Great hike, however, at post 10 it’s says to go left but to get to the falls you should go right. Also bring bug repellent. We got attacked!

17 days ago

All day hike with amazing views the whole way up. At the summit it is filled with butterflies in late June. Can see all the way to Yosemite. 360 views over the whole mountain range.

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.

Nice trail, as of May 2018 they are removing some trees from a valley so there is a large fire road. We ended up following the larger road instead of turning off to a smaller trail which is I think what we were supposed to do.

1 month ago

We had a great time hiking to Cougar Rock on the ART today. The sometimes steep terrain was worth the view and the trail was well maintained and manageable even with my children, ages 7 and 11.

We accessed the trail at Valley View Road. The access off this road provides the shortest route to destinations like Cougar Rock and Top of the World according to their website. I downloaded the map on my iPhone on the Avenza app as suggested on their website. It was super helpful and followed our direction even though I had no cell service. The trail is well marked, but can be confusing in some places when the trail intersects with other routes. It also helped to keep us motivated to see how close we were to our destination.

The view from Cougar Rock was awesome, but a little overwhelming and frightening with kids. I kept them close to me, away from the edge, and never took my eyes off them.

My only advice is to use mosquito repellent! We couldn’t explore Coswell Creek (we had to pass through it to get to Cougar Rock) because the mosquitoes were thick and aggressive. We literally had to run through swatting at ourselves to get away.

Overall, an enjoyable day with beautiful scenery.

1 month ago

I have done this loop a few times when backpacking. I love it. Fun trails and a beautiful area. Never many people out if any. And I find it funny to read the other reviews that complain about the part of the trail (moving east from the damn south side of reservoir) that has absolutely not been maintained in years. That was my favorite part. Don’t get me wrong. You will be climbing over fallen trees and walking throw tall grass and baby pine trees for quite a while. It’s hard work. You will also have to use a map or GPS to figure out where you are going. But all said and done, that part was a blast if you are willing to work for it.

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!

2 months ago

wonderful views went hiking today and it was cold out when we arrived it was about 10 miles. we had our dog with us and she did fine. didnt see any parking fees so assumed free parking.

This trail will lead you to the S.A. river. But if you continue on down stream another 100yd you come to the top of the waterfall, and for the sure footed you can squeeze around the rocks and make your way under the falls. The water was running so fast we could literally get under the shelf of the water fall for well deserved rest.

One of my favorite trails in Calaveras County! Gorgeous expansive views at Manuel Peak, Cougar Rock, Top of the World and San Antonio Falls. I have been to all of these scenic lookout points, and they never disappoint. The trail is not difficult, but can be challenging at times depending on the direction you're going. I will say that it can be easy to get turned around or lost on this trail due to all the different places you can start it from and all the various spur trails + forestry roads, so just a heads up. Bring a map of it or take a screen shot of the online ART map with your phone...(in case you run out of phone service). Enjoy the trail and please remember to pack out whatever you pack in -- as a local from the surrounding area, this place is special to me. Hoping to keep it that way and nurture the natural beauty! Cheers :)

3 months ago

We started at post #5 took a scenic route back to the Falls overlook. What a workout. My two kids 10&12 did great but we were all exhausted after the 9.70 miles. So many different views. It was an overcast day so one day I will have to return for a clear day. The top of the world is amazing but the falls is well worth the extra jaunt. Can’t wait to explore more of ART!

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!

5 months ago

Awesome trail , cant wait to bring friends to see the falls

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

6 months ago

Hiked it with my wife and 2 year old. Definitely a bit too tough for the 2 year old, but the hike and the view at the end are totally worth it.

6 months ago

Started from the Meadowmont neighborhood access point (there’s a few parking spaces at the trailhead at the brown gate) and ended at Manuel Peak (Top of the World). The hike took about an hour RT and was almost 3 miles. Perfect sunset hike, ending on the ridge with a view of purple pink skies and hiking back looking at the moon (bring a light for the way back!).

Definitely know where you are going.
I am pretty sure we started at the beginning, a parking lot in Arnold at a park and museum around, at 6:30.
The goal was to get to the "top of the world" view, but at a fork, 3 miles in, we took the wrong trail and ended up down at a creek. Do not follow the AllTrails app, it will lead you to the creek. Make sure to take the ALTERNATE ROUTE maker if you want to get to the top and see the fall. The creek was pretty, but definitely a little bit of a downer.
I brought my 35lb pack for training and would consider this trail easy. For the most part, you are headed uphill on your way back.
We got to see a bear right at the beginning of the trail! There are some breathtaking parts. There are a couple parts where the trail is lined with small christmas trees (idk what they actually are) on both sides and it looks and smells wonderful!
You don't pass any water, at least this time of year, unless you head down to the creek, so make sure to pack enough water.

7 months ago

A wonderful trail with a breathtaking view! It was just me and my dog the whole time. Give yourself enough time to hang out and enjoy the view for a while! Enjoy!

7 months ago

Easy hike- part of the trail is paved then it gets beautifully rough and muddy.

8 months ago

Beautiful foggy, drizzly November day. Saw one other person in two hours of hiking.

great easy trail

we did this trail to "The top of world" on 9/29/17. Beautiful trail through the forest till the very end. We too a side trail for a bit and the "steep" portion of 0.7 miles that felt like much more. Take the alternate route if you want an easier hike ( at appx 2.7 miles in) clearly marked. at the top of the world you are rewarded with an almost 360 degree view for many many miles....worth the hike up.
I had read an earlier review that says " not for children or grandma". .I am 63 and have problems with my knees, hips and back....and I am just dumb enough to take that as a challenge..they may have been right, but I survived. sore but glad I went. Took us about 6 hours. we did a bit on a side trail and ended up doing 10 miles. mosquito netting for your face would be a very good idea!

9 months ago

Stunning ridge line views. The best section of the PCT I've ever hiked. If you want to know the best day hike on the PCT, this is it!

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!

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