Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Giant sequoias were discovered here by Augustus T. Dowd in 1852 when he was tracking a bear through the forest. Imagine the disbelief of those he told about these massive, majestic trees.

Calaveras Big Trees State Park by OARS

Calaveras Big Trees State Park is named for the spectacular giant sequoia trees – the largest trees in the world – that were first discovered here. Once the world knew of their existence, demand to see the GIANT SEQUOIAS was immediate. Tourists began arriving at the Calaveras North Grove by 1853, and historians believe that the North Grove is the longest continuously operating tourist attraction in California, and perhaps anywhere west of the Mississippi.

Calaveras Big Trees State Park | Lisa Boulton

Dogwoods in bloom in spring

This beautiful park, open daily, year round now consists of two main areas, both of which give you access to giant sequoia trees: the original North Grove with the visitors center and museum, which is open year round, and the South Grove which is open when snow season is over: late-April to mid-November. Get complete details on the trail systems from our Calaveras Big Trees State Park recreation page.

Traveling with dogs? Learn the Calaveras Big Trees State Park dog-friendly guidelines here.

Please help keep Calaveras Big Trees State Park beautiful by following our Hop Lightly guidelines.

Calaveras Big Trees State Park – 4 Seasons of Spectacular Beauty

Calaveras Big Trees State Park

The dogwoods provide beautiful fall color on the North Grove Trail

A four-seasons destination, the park is spectacularly beautiful in spring with blooming dogwoods, in summer with all trails open for full access to the entire park, in fall with the dogwoods changing to their fall colors, and in winter with annual snowfall. Every season is worth your visit to take in the full beauty of this amazing State Park.

Calaveras Big Trees State Park in Winter | Dave Bunnell

Winter snowshoeing at Calaveras Big Trees State Park | Dave Bunnell

Calaveras Big Trees State Park – Visitors Center & Museum

The new visitors center, completed just a few years ago includes a fabulous gift shop and comfortable seating area for those wishing to take a load off while their family or friends browse the shop. The visitors center museum describes Native American use of the area, and shows examples and information on the local flora and fauna. In addition, there is a movie room where you can see a movie about the discovery of the giant sequoias by Augustus T. Dowd in 1852.

Calaveras Big Trees State Park

The museum in the Visitors Center

The gift shop features a large variety of quality souvenir apparel, science and nature themed items and lots of fun and educational toys for the kids. It’s easy to come here and buy gifts for your entire family. Be sure to take advantage of your VIP discount in the gift shop.

Calaveras Big Trees State Park

The children’s area in the Visitors Center gift shop 

Calaveras Big Trees State Park also has two of the most beautiful campgrounds with 129 campsites in Calaveras County (in both the North and South Groves). The North Grove campground is available March through November, while the Oak Hollow Campground is available when the South Grove opens. If you’d rather stay in a structure, there are also cabin rentals available year-round.

5 Amazing things to do while you’re here visiting Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Calaveras Big Trees State Park: MORE INFO, BLOGS & VIDEOS

Related links: Calaveras Big Trees Association | Hiking maps | Full list of Calaveras museums

Blogs and video featuring Calaveras Big Trees State Park: Best of the West Small Town: MurphysPlan this: Romantic getaway in the Sierra Foothills | Watch this: California Forever on PBS | Do this: Big Trees, swim holes and summer concerts | Family vacation: Camping in Calaveras County | Go for it! An active adventure awaitsTop Family-friendly Picks for Winter Activities

ATTRACTIONCalaveras Big Trees State Park received the BEST ATTRACTION award in the 2013 Calaveras Visitors Bureau Innovations in Tourism Awards for their interpretive programs, warming hut and new visitor center.

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