Calaveras Big Trees State Park, California

4.8
#67 of 625 in Nature in California
Calaveras Big Trees State Park is a state park of California, United States, preserving 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.
Parcels of land that would later become the state park and nearby national park were optioned by lumberman Robert P. Whiteside in January, 1900, with the intention of logging. A protracted battle to preserve the trees was launched by Laura Lyon White and the California Club. Despite legislation in 1900 and 1909 authorizing the federal government to purchase the property, Whiteside refused to sell the land at the offered price, preferring its higher valuation as parkland. It was not until 1931 that Whiteside's family began to divest the property, beginning with the North Grove.
The area was declared a state park in 1931 and now encompasses 6498acre in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties.
Over the years other parcels of mixed conifer forests, including the much larger South Calaveras Grove of Giant Sequoias, have been added to the park to bring the total area to over 6400acre. The North Grove contains about 100 mature giant sequoias; the South Grove, about 1,000. According to Naturalist John Muir the forest protected by the park is: "A flowering glade in the very heart of the woods, forming a fine center for the student, and a delicious resting place for the weary."
A visit to Calaveras Big Trees State Park represents just the start of the adventure when you use our California day trip planning app to plot your vacation.
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Calaveras Big Trees State Park Reviews
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501 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • We walked the south grove hiking trail and it was a great route with wonderful impressions.
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  • This place is incredible. The main trail thru the Giant Sequoia grove of trees is about 2 miles and is a fairly easy walk. The trail is very well maintained and has a number of markers that you will n...  more »
Google
  • A magnificent grove of giant Sequoia just 3 hours from the bay area! The North Grove hike is flat enough for a wheelchair (though there are dirt sections). We also did the Lava Beds trail which is completely different, and had almost no one on the trail. We camped at the North Grove campground: the sites were big, people were friendly and the bathrooms were clean. It was a great weekend!
  • A great little park that we stopped at on our way back from Tahoe. The park staff were very informative and gave great suggestions on a few day hikes we could take. We did the north loop (I believe) that was about 1.5 miles. This gave us the opportunity to see a ton of big trees and learn more about the area. They warned us about bears, but we never saw one and were fine the entire time.

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