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Camping at Calaveras Big Trees State Park

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Calaveras Big Trees State Park is known for its two main groves of giant sequoias, the North Grove and the South Grove. These magnificent trees, which are among the largest and oldest living things on earth, draw visitors from all over the world. Located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California, not far from the town of Arnold, the park offers much more than just big trees; visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities year-round.

Camping Opportunities

Developed Campgrounds: The park features two main campgrounds for visitors who wish to camp overnight:

  • North Grove Campground: It is the more accessible campground, with over 70 campsites that can accommodate tents and RVs, although there are no hookups available for RVs. Amenities include restrooms with showers.
  • Oak Hollow Campground: This campground has over 20 sites and is usually open during the summer season. These sites are nestled within the terrain, offering a more secluded camping experience.

Environmental Campsites: For a more rustic experience, there are a few environmental campsites that are walk-in and not accessible by vehicles. These campsites provide a more primitive camping experience and have fewer amenities.

Group Campsites: The park also offers group campsites that can accommodate larger groups, perfect for family reunions, scout troops, or other large gatherings.


Camping reservations are strongly recommended, especially during peak season, and can be made through the California State Parks reservation system. You can reserve a campsite up to six months in advance.

Park Activities

  • Hiking: There are many trails of varying difficulty, including those that meander through the sequoia groves.
  • Picnicking: Several picnic areas are available for day-use visitors.
  • Wildlife Viewing: The park is home to many species of wildlife, including black bears, which means it's important to use bear-safe storage containers.
  • Fishing: The Stanislaus River and Beaver Creek offer opportunities for fishing.
  • Winter Activities: During the winter, some trails are available for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Visitor Center and Educational Programs

The park has a visitor center with exhibits and a gift shop. Educational programs, such as guided walks and talks by park rangers, are often offered to help visitors learn more about the giant sequoias and the natural environment of the park.

Important Reminders

Here are a few important considerations for visitors:

  • Wildlife Safety: Since wildlife is abundant, it's crucial for visitors to keep food stored properly and to maintain a safe distance from animals.
  • Conservation: Given the fragile nature of the ecosystem, staying on designated trails and camping only in designated areas is vital for the health of the park.
  • Fire Safety: Follow all fire regulations and be aware of any seasonal restrictions due to high fire danger.
  • Pets: While pets are allowed in the park, they are not permitted on the trails and must be kept on a leash in developed areas.
  • Weather Conditions: Always be prepared for changing weather conditions, especially if you're visiting in the off-season.

Before planning a camping trip to Calaveras Big Trees State Park, it's a good idea to check the official state park website for the most current information regarding trail conditions, weather updates, and any alerts or closures.

Map of Campgrounds in Calaveras Big Trees State Park
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