Calaveras Big Tree State Park River Trl/North Grove Trl, 9.7 mi, Intermediate+

Calaveras Big Trees State Park is the home of over 900 Giant Sequoia Trees. We will start from the main parking area ($8.00 parking fee) and start along the North Grove Trail where we will pass a tree stump so large it was used as a dance floor and bowling alley/bar in the 1800’s. We will turn right at the Grove Overlook Trail, hike a short distance and veer right again onto the River Trail. The River Trail is very scenic with patches of snow, well shaded with creek crossings and spectacular views of Mount Whitney. We will hike down to the Stanislaus River, have lunch, then hike back up to the Visitors Center. The River Trail is an in and out trail which is approximately 8 miles with 1,000 feet of elevation change. After a break at the Visitors Center and Warming Hut, we will continue to take a short gentle 1.7 mile loop trail through the North Grove containing over 100 Giant Sequoia. This portion of the day is optional, but suggested, as we will stroll through the Giant Sequoias with plenty of stops for photographs.

Sorry but dogs are not allowed on the State Hiking Trails in this park.

Driving directions to Calaveras Big Trees State Park
11th/ P St. Sacramento, CA

1. Head West on P St
2. Turn Left on 9th St.
3. Turn left onto X St.
4. Take the I-80 BUS E/US-50 E ramp on the left to Reno/Placerville
5. Continue onto US-50 E.
6. Take the Watt Ave Exit.
7. Turn right onto Watt Ave.
8. Turn Left onto CA-16 E/Jackson Rd. Continue to follow CA-16 E. 30.5 mi
9. Basically stay on CA-49 S/Golden Chain Highway S. and follow the instructions, Watch for the CA-49 signs.
10. Slight right toward CA-49 S/Golden Chain Highway S. 0.1 mi
11. Slight right onto CA-49 S/Golden Chain Highway S. 7.7 mi
12. Turn left onto CA-49 S/CA-88 E/Golden Chain Highway S
Continue to follow CA-49 S/Golden Chain Highway S. 16.3 mi
13. Turn left onto CA-49 S/Golden Chain Highway S/W St Charles St
Continue to follow CA-49 S/Golden Chain Highway S. 11.8 mi, There is a Starbucks and McDonalds at this location, and a good restroom break.
14. Turn left onto CA-4 Bypass E/Angels Camp Bypass. 1.9 mi
15. Continue straight onto CA-4 E. 21.8 mi
16. Turn right onto Big Trees Pkwy
Destination will be on the right. 144 ft

Calaveras Big Trees State Park

1170 California 4
Arnold, CA 95223

GregS can be contacted at:[masked]

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  • Susan

    This was a great hike with great people! I will definitely be hiking with this group again.

    March 10, 2013

  • Joann

    That was my first hike with the group and wasn't sure what to expect. And I was pleasantly surprised that it was a great hike and great company. Thanks Greg and Doreen!!

    March 10, 2013

  • Greg S

    How many times can you say, I hiked over trails covered with virgin snow, then kicked off my boots and waded into the middle of a river, where I sat on a rock and enjoyed my lunch in the sunshine. This adventure was made possible by all those who attended. Thank you!

    March 9, 2013

  • diane

    Loved the hike and snow, great weather, and good company. Thank you, Greg for a well organized hike.

    1 · March 9, 2013

  • Israel C

    Good hike

    1 · March 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    sorry just found this meetup, looks great. too last minute, catch you on the next one

    March 9, 2013

  • Helen H

    I'm sorry I won't be able to make it. Really looked forward to goimg. ;(

    March 9, 2013

  • Greg S

    As I promised, I called the visitors center this afternoon and they told me, they only received about two inches of snow from the recent storms. They said the trails should be in good condition with some slush on Saturday and temperatures in the low to mid 50's. The volunteer I talked with told me the park is beautiful with the dusting of snow with the roads and parking lots dry and snow free. This should be fun!!!

    March 8, 2013

  • Krysha

    It's meant to snow up to 10 inches mid-week!

    March 4, 2013

    • Krysha

      Thanks for checking up, Greg! Unfortunately I can't go anymore so you guys enjoy the snow for me, whether there be a little or a lot!

      March 7, 2013

    • Greg S

      If you go up Sunday, Go to the visitors center and check it out. It's very nice and they have the trail maps and all the information regarding the trails. FYI, the South Grove area of the park is not scheduled to open until sometime in April, so if you were planning to hike the South Grove it won't be open Sunday. I will be scheduling a South Grove hike next month after it opens. If your plans change you're welocme to join us Saturday.

      March 7, 2013

  • Krysha

    Darn, can't go anymore! :( We will most likely go ourselves on Sunday instead so please let us know how it went and if you have any suggestions for us! Thanks!

    March 7, 2013

  • Greg S

    For those of you wondering about the weather and snow conditions with this recent storm; I called the visitors center this afternoon and they told me, they received only about two inches of snow last night. They were expecting light showers tomorrow and felt the trails should be in good condition on Saturday with temp's in the low 50's. I'm thinking about wearing shorts LOL... I'll call them again tomorrow and Friday and keep everyone up to date.

    March 6, 2013

  • Kristi

    If we decide to meet at the trailhead, what time should we be there?

    March 4, 2013

    • Greg S

      10:00 am. Its roughly a 2 hour drive from 11th and P St.

      March 4, 2013

    • Greg S

      Just let me know if that is what you plan to do so we will look for you at the trailhead.

      March 4, 2013

  • Joann

    This will be my first trip and not really sure how this works. I was planning on meeting at the park and ride in Sac is that where most people will meet?

    March 4, 2013

    • Greg S

      Yes, we will meet up at the park and ride at 11th and P about 7:45. We will divide into carpools and head out at 08:00. Dress in Layers, bring warm clothes that you can strip off as we are hiking and warm up.

      March 4, 2013

  • Michele

    Hey Greg looks fun. What time do you think we'll be back in Sac by? Thanks!

    March 3, 2013

    • Greg S

      If you plan to do the North Grove trail hike, I estimate your return time to Sacramento would be around 6:00 to 6:30. Earlier if you decide not to visit the North Grove and visitors center.

      March 3, 2013

  • Joann

    It still depends on the date. But would love to explore the big trees!

    March 3, 2013

  • Greg S

    Warming Hut, what is a warming hut? It is a special treat and that's all I'm going to say about it!!!

    March 3, 2013

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