by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved

Calaveras Big Trees

State Park - California

Calaveras Big Trees State Park preserves two groves of giant sequoia trees. It is located 4 miles (6.4 km) northeast of Arnold, California in the middle elevations of the Sierra Nevada. It has been a major tourist attraction since 1852, when the existence of the trees was first widely reported, and is considered the longest continuously operated tourist facility in California.

maps

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of the northeast area of the Calaveras Ranger District in Stanislaus National Forest (NF) in California. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Stanislaus MVUM - Calaveras (northeast) 2017

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of the northeast area of the Calaveras Ranger District in Stanislaus National Forest (NF) in California. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Boundary Map of the Mother Lode BLM Field Office in California. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Mother Lode - Boundary Map

Boundary Map of the Mother Lode BLM Field Office in California. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=551 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calaveras_Big_Trees_State_Park Calaveras Big Trees State Park preserves two groves of giant sequoia trees. It is located 4 miles (6.4 km) northeast of Arnold, California in the middle elevations of the Sierra Nevada. It has been a major tourist attraction since 1852, when the existence of the trees was first widely reported, and is considered the longest continuously operated tourist facility in California.
Calaveras Big Trees State Park Our Mission The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. It is unlikely that anyone could look upon the Sequoiadendron giganteum and not feel a sense of awe California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (209) 795-2334. If you need this publication in an alternate format, contact interp@parks.ca.gov. CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service www.parks.ca.gov SaveTheRedwoods.org/csp Calaveras Big Trees State Park 1170 East Highway 4, Arnold, CA 95223 (209) 795-2334 www.parks.ca.gov/calaverasbigtrees © 2004 California State Parks (Rev. 2016) and reverence. T hree miles north of Arnold off Highway 4, the colossal trees of Calaveras Big Trees State Park stand in quiet testimony to prehistoric times. These massive relics, which can reach a height of 325 feet and a diameter of 33 feet, are descended from trees that were standing when dinosaurs roamed Earth and birds, mammals, and flowering plants began to appear. Some of today’s trees are thought to be as old as 2,000 years. Located at the mid-elevation level of the western Sierra Nevada, Calaveras Big Trees State Park is a prime example of a mixed conifer forest in the yellow pine belt. Giant sequoias dominate ponderosa pines, sugar pines, incense cedars, and white fir. The Pacific dogwood displays white blossoms in the spring. Wildflowers along the Lava Bluffs Trail include leopard lily, Hartweg’s iris, crimson columbine, monkey-flowers, harvest brodiaea, wild hyacinth, and lupine. NATIVE PEOPLE Though some native groups saw the trees as sacred and untouchable, the Miwok respected them and made careful use of them. These skilled fishermen, trappers, and hunters built their seasonal villages alongside the flourishing rivers of the Sierra Nevada foothills. The acorns and other seeds the Miwok harvested in the fall were a vital part of their diet. Their way of life was rich in ceremony and social activity, including the important harvesting and grinding of the fall acorn crop. Throughout this area, large granite outcroppings and boulders with groups of mortar holes bear witness to the Miwok method of grinding seeds and acorns. Today, approximately 3,500 Miwok descendants live in the area. PARK HISTORY In the spring of 1852, Augustus T. Dowd was tracking a wounded grizzly bear through unfamiliar territory when he came upon a forest of enormous trees. The giant sequoia that first caught his attention was the largest in what is now the Calaveras North Grove. At first, Dowd’s description of what he had seen was considered a “tall tale” until he led a group of men to the grove. Word of the giant sequoia grove’s existence spread rapidly. Newspapers picked up the story, bringing curious visitors and entrepreneurs eager to make their fortunes from naive spectators. Pioneer Cabin Tree The Discovery Tree that had earlier stopped Dowd in his tracks was the first casualty in the rush to exploit the giant sequoias. It took five men 22 days to cut it down. Sections of bark and a portion of its trunk were shipped to San Francisco to be placed on display. Later it was sent around Cape Horn to New York City, where it was considered a “humbug” by many skeptics. The financially unsuccessful showing closed, and while the tree’s artifacts were awaiting shipment to Paris, a fire destroyed the entire exhibit. The Discovery Tree’s stump remains in the North Grove. Further depredations continued in the North Grove. A magnificent tree named the “Mother of the Forest” was stripped of nearly 60 tons of its bark to a height of 116 feet. The bark was sent to the East Coast and abroad for exhibition. In 1861 the Mammoth Grove Hotel was built in the North Grove. The resort hotel operated until 1943, when it was destroyed by a fire. THE TREES Two redwood types are native to California  —  the coast redwood along the northern and central coast, and the giant sequoia in scattered locations along the Sierra Nevada western slope. Conservationist John Muir declared that these giants, survivors of the Ice Age and the ravages of time, were “rapidly vanishing before the fire and steel of man. . . . ” In 1878, after a protracted ownership battle was settled, the Calaveras property was sold at public auction. The winning bid, from James L. Sperry, was $15,000. In 1900 Mr. Sperry sold out to lumberman Robert Whiteside, raising great public protest. Whiteside declined offers from federal legislators hoping to establish a national park at Calaveras. The struggle to acquire and protect the groves s
Calaveras Big Trees State Park North Grove and Oak Hollow Campgrounds 1170 E. Hwy. 4, Arnold, CA 95223 • (209) 795-2334 Welcome to Calaveras Big Trees State Park, home of the giant sequoias. Experience the great outdoors in one of our 120 campsites or try one of our new rental cabins. Park activities include guided hikes, interpretive programs, hiking, swimming, fishing, wildlife viewing, photography and winter activities. For your enjoyment, comfort and safety, please read below. CAMPGROUND OCCUPANCY: Each campsite is limited to eight (8) people and two (2) licensed vehicles, including trailers (CCR 4323). All vehicles must park in designated campsite parking. No road or off-road parking permitted. VEHICLE FEES: Campsite fee includes the first vehicle only. Additional vehicles must pay additional fees per night and may be required to park in overflow parking areas. CHECK-OUT TIME: Check-out time is 12 noon (CCR 4456). If you wish to re-register for another night, you will need to check with the entrance station before 11 a.m. for site availability. QUIET HOURS are between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. (CCR 4320). Loud music, activities and/or equipment are prohibited at all times. GENERATORS may only be operated between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. (CCR 4320). WEAPONS: Firearms, bows and arrows, explosive projectile devices and fireworks are prohibited at all times (CCR 4313 & 4314). HIKING TRAILS: Several interesting hiking trails have their own brochures. Brochures can be purchased at the visitor center or trailhead. BIKING: Bicycles are NOT ALLOWED on the trails. Bikes are permitted on the dirt fire roads, paved roads and campgrounds. Bicyclists under 18 years of age must wear an approved helmet. After dark, bicycles must be equipped with a headlight, reflector, and tail light (CVC 21201). MESSAGES: Post all messages on the message board at the park entrance. FIRES must be confined to either stoves provided by the park or to metal containers six inches or more off the ground. Hot coals must be disposed of properly. Fires are not allowed in makeshift rock fire rings, on tables, or on the ground. Purchase firewood in the park. All natural materials in the park are protected by law, so please do not gather down wood, pine needles, cones or twigs (CCR 4306 & 4311). INTERPRETIVE PROGRAMS: Throughout the summer months, we provide regularly scheduled interpretive programs for your interest and enjoyment. Activities include campfire programs, guided walks and Junior Ranger programs. MOTORIZED VEHICLES: Motorized vehicles are not permitted on trails or fire roads. All vehicles and operators must be licensed for the street. California helmet laws apply to motorcycles, motor-driven cycles and motorized bicycles (CCR 4355). SPEED LIMITS: Speed limit is 15 MPH and strictly enforced. Children and adults frequently cross roadways. Please drive carefully (CCR 4353(a)). WILD ANIMALS: Bears, raccoons, birds and squirrels are native to this area and commonly visit the campgrounds. Please DO NOT FEED the animals (CCR 4305). WASTEWATER: An RV sanitation station is located near the park entrance, and use is included with campsite registration. BEAR WARNING: Bears may come into the campground at any time, day or night. Please lock all food and scented items in the bear-resistant food locker at all times, except when actually preparing food or eating. Do not keep food or toiletries in your tent, sleeping area or in exposed ice chests. Place all waste in dumpsters as soon as possible. Improper food storage could result in a citation, with a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or ejection from the park (CCR 4323(b)). PETS: Except for service dogs, pets are NOT ALLOWED on the trails. Pets are permitted on the paved roads, campgrounds, picnic areas and dirt fire roads. Pets must be on a six-foot leash and under your immediate control at all times. Dogs must be confined inside your tent or vehicle at night. Do not leave your pet unattended in a campsite or in a hot vehicle. Visitors must clean up after their pets. Visitors with noisy or aggressive pets will be removed from the park (CCR 4300(a) & 4312). RESPECT PARK PROPERTY: Please respect the tables, posts, and trees, and do not cut, carve, tie ropes or drive nails into them (CCR 4306(a)). If you have any questions, comments or concerns, or if you need additional assistance, please contact the parks staff. We hope you have a safe and memorable visit. Calaveras Big Trees State Park — inspiring, protecting and preserving California’s rich natural and cultural resources for future generations. Discover the many states of California.TM CAMPING RESERVATIONS: You may make camping reservations by calling (800) 444-7275 (TTY 800-274-7275). To make online reservations, visit our website at www.parks.ca.gov. ALTERNATE FORMAT: If you need this publication in an alternate format, contact interp@parks.ca.gov. 8 Upper Group Camp tt be Eb s as sP 4 28 29 St 52 36 37 45 at e 26 R 25 50 53 55 56 57 27 54
Calaveras Big Trees State Park Winter Trails SCALE IN MILES ay Hi w gh Wa 4 ith m S . W r lte r mo e M ia k ar P l North Grove Ski Trail Beginning of Parkway Loop Ski Trail e mm r Only Su P Park Entrance Tre es w 1/4 Big 0 ay eek r C Visitor Center End of Parkway Loop Ski Trail Paved Roads Jack Knight Hall Parkway Loop Ski Trail North Grove Ski Trail Hiking Trails/Fire Road (summer) North Grove Big Trees Creek Campground P Parking Ranger Station Restrooms Viewpoint Ski Trail Calaveras Big Trees State Park P. O. Box 120 Arnold, CA 95223 (209) 795-2334 WELCOME TO THE WINTER SEASON AT CALAVERAS BIG TREES STATE PARK! In order to help us protect the park and ensure a safe visit, please review the following: FEES: Park fees must be paid prior to entering the park. When park staff is not available, pay fees by self-registration at the entrance station. DOGS: For wildlife protection and public safety reasons, dogs are allowed on paved roads and fire roads only. Dogs must be on a six foot leash at all times. Dogs are welcome on leash on the Parkway Loop Ski Trail. SNOWMOBILES: Snowmobiles and other mechanized devices are strictly prohibited in the park. SKIING/ SNOWSHOEING: The park has two winter trails, the North Grove Ski Trail and the Parkway Loop Ski Trail. Trail conditions are subject to change. Please stay within your skill level. WEATHER: The weather in the Sierra Nevada can change quickly. Please be prepared at any time for winter conditions. Carry cold weather gear and vehicle chains. For updated road conditions, call (800)427-ROAD. The park is located off of HWY 4. WARMING HUT: The warming hut, located near the restrooms at the main North Grove parking lot, is open on a limited basis and is operated by volunteers. Please warm yourself by the fire when the hut is open! VISITOR CENTER: The visitor center has limited winter hours. Its hours are posted on the exterior of the building. Call (209)795-3840 for more information, or visit the California State Parks website at www.parks.ca.gov You are responsible for knowing park regulations. Please contact a ranger if you have any questions. TRAIL DESCRIPTIONS: The North Grove Ski Trail is a relatively flat, 1.5-mile loop trail, that winds through the majestic Giant Sequoias. The Parkway Loop Ski Trail is a 3.5-mile trail that affords a scenic view of the Sierra Nevada. This trail is marked with orange signs and covers moderate slopes. Less-experienced skiers are advised to travel the Parkway Loop Ski Trail in a counter-clockwise direction to avoid the steeper downhill section. ©2005 California State Parks

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