We Got to Move It, Move It – Calaveras Style!

Move it more in 2024! Calaveras-living…we can all still enjoy getting outdoors in the winter because of our moderate temperatures! Within an hour of everything, we can ski, hike around a lake, stroll a historic downtown, and take in a round of golf – 18 holes, mini, or disc…the choice is yours! Start the year off right with some really fun and accessible activities for all levels of capabilities. There is so much to do throughout Calaveras county you can keep on moving through January and beyond.

In 2024, the Calaveras Visitors Bureau will have it’s third annual photo campaign, Pets In Calaveras, to benefit our local animal shelters!  So, when you get out there, remember take your pets, get a photo of them enjoying Calaveras County, and make sure to submit your photo to us @gocalaveras #gocalaveras!


When heading into the great outdoors, it is vital you know what’s allowed, follow good safety protocols, and make sure you have appropriate equipment. Please follow all rules provided by forest services, Bureau of Land Management, and all law enforcement agencies. They don’t want to have to go looking for you if you get lost in the middle of nowhere.  Check out the US Forest Service’s Know Before You Go page for their recommendations on how to prepare for your wilderness trip. Here’s a partial list of safety recommendations:

  • Before you leave for your wilderness experience, let friends/family know where you’re going and when you expect to be back. In case you get lost in the middle of nowhere.
  • Bring water, a water container &  even water purification supplies if you’re doing some serious back country adventuring.
  • Dress in layers for unexpected weather changes – bring head covering, jacket and gloves even in warm weather. Temps drop at night in the mountains.
  • Bring a first aid kit. Include sunscreen, insect repellent and blister protection.
  • Keep matches in a waterproof container.
  • No internet in the wilderness, so bring a compass and a (paper) map as well as your GPS.
  • Bring extra energy food & snacks. But don’t share with the forest residents.
  • Include spare batteries with your flashlight or headlamp.
  • Bring your cellphone, a mirror for signaling and a whistle (3 blasts means “help”).
  • Always have a knife as part of your kit.
  • Look out for rattlesnakes and poison oak. Here’s a short video from KCRA with some tips to avoid rattlesnakes. Here’s a video about how to spot poison oak from Out West With Chris.
  • Bear-proof your campsite using the “Bear-muda triangle”, and learn what to do if you encounter a bear.
  • Stay on the trail. And don’t venture out alone without proper training.
  • Always let someone know where you are going, or better yet, bring some friends!

Take a Walk

Get energized and a fresh perspective by taking a walk pretty much anywhere in Calaveras! Stroll through one of our picturesque historic Gold Rush towns or hit a local trail because there’s nothing like a simple walk to start or end your day!

Run, Baby, Run

Move More Calaveras January
From the campgrounds at New Melones, trails stretch for miles and are great for crisp winter runs and hikes. | Jason B Smith

Take your outdoor movement up a notch, and turn any of the above walks into runs! Calaveras has several running events throughout the year like the the Arnold Rim Trail Endurance Run (coming in September 2024) or the local family favorite Klassen Klassic Turkey Trot every Thanksgiving morning in Murphys. Keep an eye on our calendar of events for opportunities to join us on the trails in Calaveras!

Hit the Gym and Practice Your Yoga

The practice of Yoga is increasingly popular in the United States, plus the mental and physical health benefits are wide-ranging – from building physical strength and increasing flexibility to reducing stress and anxiety and improving mental focus. If yoga is something you do every day or would just like to try it, here are a few places in Calaveras who may be able to provide exactly what you are looking for.

  • Angels Camp Body Shop:  Offering Slow Flow and Buti Yoga, body sculpting, cardio, and ab overhaul classes
  • Better Together Fitness Center:  A Mindbody community member, BT*FIT has yoga
  • Olde Iron Fitness: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – strength training focusing on a “results oriented” healthy and disciplined lifestyle with genuine olde school attitude
  • Family 4 Fitness:  This place has it all – yoga, strength training, kickboxing classes, Zumba, Self-Defense, low-impact aerobics, and childcare!

Get in a Game of Golf

Murphys 9 golf course

Winter is a great time to play golf in Calaveras because of the cooler temperatures, and the crowds are smaller during this time of year. Plus, there are so many levels and golf experiences to be had right here in Calaveras. Choose from The Robert Trent Jones Championship golf course in Angels Camp at the Greenhorn Creek Golf Resort, Copperopolis’ award-winning Golf Club at Copper Valley (one of Golf Week Magazine’s regular top picks), the stunningly beautiful Sequoia Woods Country Club in Arnold, Forest Meadows Golf Course’s beautiful 9-hole course just above Murphys, or Golf Digest darling La Contenta Golf Resort in Valley Springs

And Mini or Disc Golf:

Calaveras Disc Golf - tournament
Disc golf tournament at Feeney Park

In case you haven’t heard, disc golf is kind of a big deal around here. If you’ve never tried it, give it a shot – it’s harder than it looks and you get a good walk out of it! Plus, most courses are either free or have small park entrance fees. SNAC in Arnold and Murphys are your source for golf discs. Disc Golf is also well represented throughout the county, with courses at Lake Hogan (near Valley Springs), Plug Ugly Disc Golf Course (in San Andreas) and Feeney Park (in Murphys), we have more than a few disc golf courses to choose from. Check our various disc golf courses out side by side and learn more about our higher elevation disc golf courses available in warmer months here.

Did you know Calaveras has its very own mini golf course? Located in Murphys on Tom Bell Road next to El Dorado bank, this fun, 9-holes of mini-golf course is open daily from dawn to dusk.  Just $7 per person for unlimited play. Paying is on an honor system, and note that a portion of all the proceeds go back to local communities, organizations and families in need.  Pay via cash or through one of the various pay apps.  Self-serve equipment is located in the shed on the premises.  For more information check them out on Facebook @murphysminiaturegolf.

You, Too, Can Snowshoe

Calaveras Big Trees State Park in Winter | Dave Bunnell
Winter snowshoeing at Calaveras Big Trees State Park | Dave Bunnell

Snowshoeing through the Calaveras Big Trees is a winter wonderland experience like no other.  With gigantic sequoias towering above you and the peaceful forest surrounding you, you won’t even realize the calories melting right off! The park has first come, first serve snowshoes to borrow, or you can easily rent some at Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods or SNAC right in Arnold on your way to the Big Trees.

Ride Your Bike

New Hogan Lake, Bike ROute, Valley Springs, Road Bike, Cycling, Bike ROute, Cycling Route
New Hogan Bike Route I Courtesy of Instagrammer @will_on_2_wheels

We all know the health benefits of getting out and riding a bike – strengthen the heart and lungs, reduces stress, and boosts brain power. Calaveras is all about biking whether it’s mountain biking, lakeside biking trails, or just a leisurely tour around town.

Lower elevation Calaveras lake trails are a great spot to sample local mountain biking. Try the easier Angels Creek Trail at New Melones Reservoir, and if you’re in the mood for something more challenging, attempt the 1.2 mile intermediate/difficult The Tower Climb Trail. Download a New Melones trail map here. At New Hogan Lake in Valley Springs, you have miles of bike trails along the lake and Cameron Trail.  Download the biking map here.

The Arnold Rim Trail can be covered in snow on part of the trail this time of year, but watch the weather because it can be an excellent place to ride during a spell of dry weather.  Also, check out, a site created by mountain biking enthusiasts who have experienced the best trails throughout Calaveras.

When there are mild daytime temps in the foothills, it makes for a great day of road cycling as well.  Looking to connect with other cycling enthusiasts in the area? Contact the Motherlode Bicycle Coalition or check in with Mountain Aloha Mountain Biking Co, Bear Valley Bicycles, Bear Valley Adventure Company, or Mountain Peddler for top notch biking expertise.  Also, check out Ebbetts Pass Roads: Cycling Ebbetts Pass for lots of information about biking in the higher elevations.

Take A Hike

Arnold Rim Trail | Cougar Rock
Cougar Rock | Photo: Arnold Rim Trail Association

Calaveras County offers outdoor enthusiasts a wide variety of  hiking trails from gentle rolling foothills strolls to strenuous up country alpine hikes.  Below are some trail maps and/or website links to local hiking and biking. See spectacular mountain vistas, beautiful lakeside views, impressive giant sequoia trees, and incredible varieties of wildlife.

Arnold Rim Trail: Arnold Rim Trail 

Calaveras Big Trees State Park: Calaveras Big Trees State ParkHiking Trails OverviewNorth Grove Trail Guide and South Grove Trail Guide

Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail: Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail

Natural Bridges: Natural Bridges

New Melones: United States Bureau of Reclamation’s list and map of 19 trails around New Melones can be found here: New Melones Trail map This map shows Angels Creek Trail, Buck Brush Loop, Carson Creek Trail, Frontier Trail, Gold Rush Trail and Tower Climb, among others.

Sierra Foothills Trails: East Bay Municipal Utility District’s list of trails, permits and other helpful information including details on Cosa Mesa Trails access point, Patti’s Point, Rich Gulch Trail, Middle Bar through Independence Flat: Sierra Foothills Trails | Mokelumne Area Trails

Come Back in the Spring & Summer

Rock Climbing & Bouldering

Mountain Adventure Seminars
Family rock climbing

Bear Valley (Calaveras’ neighbor to the east) is home to vast amounts of granite outcroppings perfect for climbing and bouldering.  Check in with California Rock Guides who will be happy to give you a half-day, full-day, or private group training of all the basics.

River Rafting

Photo courtesy Carolyn Schooley

Raft the North Fork of the Stanislaus with world-renowned OARS based right here in Angels Camp, Calaveras County. This is a local, spring-run, making the timing available only between April and June.  This is a six-mile, 13 named rapid, jaunt that puts in at Sourgrass Recreation Area at Boards Crossing and take out at Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

Need a place to stay? Check out our lodging options here! Let us know if you need help planning your next vacation in Calaveras – 209-736-0049

With all of these inspiring ways to get a move on it, what are you waiting for? Let’s get moving, and remember to tag us in your photos of moving more! #gocalaveras @gocalaveras.