Calaveras South Grove Trail
A trip to the Calaveras Big Trees State Park is well worth the detour. Located in the Stanislaus National Forest, the Calaveras South Grove Trail is an enchanting nature walk, unparalleled in its beauty. Explore the grove chock-full of ancient giant sequoias and marvel in their grandeur.
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Route Description for Calaveras South Grove Trail
The Calaveras South Grove Trail is an immerse experience, leading eager adventurers through a sea of mixed-conifers. This awesome exhibits the area’s natural beauty, attracting thousands of curious visitors every year. Located in the High Sierra, this route warrants diverse weather conditions, so check the forecast before your trek! When visiting in the summer months, the Calaveras Big Trees State Park charges an entrance fee, which typically costs $10USD. Note the road to the south grove is subject to seasonal closure—but the trails remain open for snowshoers and cross-country skiers to enjoy, free of charge.
Of all the sequoia groves in California, this one is amongst the most secluded and most grand. Home to the trunk of the largest known giant sequoia and countless other impressive conifers, there is nothing quite like it. In addition to the enormous trees, this route offers Big Trees Creek, Beaver Creek, volcanic rock formation and lush meadowlands. The Calaveras South Grove Trail is lined with interesting interpretive signs detailing the history and ecology of the ancient giant sequoia grove. So the next time you find yourself in the Stanislaus National Forest, a trip to the Calaveras Big Trees State Park is a must!
Discover the beauty and grandeur of the giant sequoias along the Calaveras South Grove Trail. Setting out from the trailhead, you will be guided south along the South Grove Trail over Beaver Creek. Enjoy the sounds of the gurgling alpine waters and continue along the South Grove Trail. This route will divert you east, gradually climbing along Big Tree Creek. At the next intersection, the path will enter the South Grove Natural Preserve, where grow the immense trees in the park. Soon after, you will encounter another junction; veer right here, crossing the footbridge over Big Trees Creek. As you ascend this path, you will be overwhelmed by the enormity of the sequoias.
Hiking through the heart of the grove, you will soon pass a resilient sequoia adorned with a burn scar from a wildfire. Marvel in the intricacies of the burn, and when you are ready, continue trekking east. Passing a downed sequoia and passing through the tunnel of another, you will cross yet again over Big Trees Creek. At this intersection, turn right, tracking east along the South Grove Trail. This route will lead you to the Palace Hotel Tree and the Agassiz Tree. Here, retrace your footing back along the South Grove Trail, this time staying right and hiking the north fork through the Kansas Group. At this point, all you need to do is retrace your footing along the South Grove Trail all the way back to the trailhead.
Calaveras Big Trees State Park
The Calaveras Big Trees State Park is a State Park in California that protects two groves of ancient giant sequoias. The North Grove has about 100 giant sequoias, and the south grove encompasses about 1,000. Located in the Sierra Nevada, these groves have been a popular destination since 1852. The area was officially declared a state park in 1931 and now encompasses 6,498 acres in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties. The tree was famously known as the Discovery Tree, the largest known Giant Sequoia; the tree was felled in 1853.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to explore the Calaveras Big Trees State Park?
The Calaveras Big Trees State Park charges an entrance fee which typically costs $10USD.
Are there bears in the Calaveras Big Trees State Park?
Yes, there have been plenty of black bear sightings in the Calaveras Big Trees State Park?
How old are the trees in the Calaveras Big Trees State Park?
The oldest trees in the Calaveras Big Trees State Park are 2,000 to 3,000 years old.
Insider Hints for Calaveras South Grove Trail
- Pack a lunch and have a picnic beneath the shade of the towering trees
- Head out in the early morning to beat the crowds
- Charge your camera, the scenes along this route are picture-perfect
- In the winter months, you can enjoy this scenic grove with a pair of snowshoes or cross country skis!
Getting to the Calaveras South Grove Trail Trailhead
The Calaveras South Grove Trail is accessed via the South Grove Trailhead off Big Trees State Park/Forest Route 5N18.
Calaveras South Grove Trail Elevation Graph
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Calaveras South Grove Trail Reviews
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