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“Great substitute for Yosemite”

Calaveras Big Trees State Park
Ranked #158 of 8,957 things to do in California
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Home of the giant sequoias called "Tree Giants," and a great place for family camping. Park entrance is located near Arnold, California.
Houston, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“Great substitute for Yosemite”
Reviewed October 8, 2013

The federal government did its best to ruin our vacation. We had our heart set on the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite. With that being closed, I desperately searched for an alternative and found this park. Turned out to be a great experience. We found no problems with the attendant at the front gate. Too bad the new visitor's center was not open yet as it looks to be very nice. We only had time to hike the North Grove which was spectacular. These trees are a bit smaller than those in Yosemite I am told, but are nonetheless spectacular. We spent about 3 hours on the North Grove trail. We saw some deer, pretty birds, and a forest that felt enchanted. It only seemed to get better with each corner we turned. Be sure to hike the entire North Grove loop. You won't regret it. It's a bit far from anything else. Nearest food and gas are in Arnold but a lot of things were closed being the off-season. We ate dinner in Angel's Camp which also had few options available but had a very charming downtown.

Visited October 2013
3 Thank rogerm001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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381 reviews from our community

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Oceanside, California
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Big Trees”
Reviewed October 6, 2013

Nice park. National parks are closed so instead of Yosemite we went here and some old mining towns and just took in scenery. The man at the gate was to put it nicely, not professional. The trails are being redone so are not laid out very well. The walk was longer than we wanted (1.7 miles). But, it was a beautiful walk without the crowds you would find at Yosemite or Muir Woods. I love the Big Trees.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank oscarusa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Volunteer at gate was incredibly unpleasant and aggressive”
Reviewed October 4, 2013

The park is lovely and I'm sure will be even nicer when the new visitor center opens. However the visit was spoiled by the nasty behavior of the man at the entrance gate.

As we were paying our entry fee the man working at the entrance gate felt it necessary to express his political views. We made no complaint about paying a fee to enter the park, but the volunteer referred to the Governor of California, Jerry Brown, stating that our fee to enter the park was Jerry Brown extracting his pound of flesh.

I later expressed how his comments had been upsetting and he began shouting that he hated Jerry Brown and could say that anytime to anyone (he was going into details about why he hated Jerry Brown, but I left because his behavior was so rude and aggressive). He was shouting in front of several other park visitors who were also upset by his comments and attitude. It was an incredibly unpleasant experience.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank SkiUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Castle Rock, Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
158 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“You Have to Hike to be able to see most of the trees”
Reviewed September 24, 2013

There are a couple of big Sequoias near the visitor center, and the Stanislaus River is nice to see, but you really need to be able to hike to see most of the big ones. If you can hike or camp, this is a nice place to go. If you can't, it may not be worth the $10 admission.

Visited September 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, California
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Such a gem”
Reviewed September 21, 2013

We almost don't want to write about how great this place is because what is so nice is how quiet and peaceful it was. It was so special to see the magnificant trees in thier natural state. Take the time to hike the South Grove. Majical! Nice to know there are still places like this!

Visited September 2013
Thank NorcalGrls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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