My brother and I hit the north grove campground for the first time this past weekend. My expectations weren’t high but this place was great.
The campground we chose was kind of close to the road which would have been the only real negative. The campground map makes it seem like the road was further away from the sites but I woke up a couple of times from road noise.
Our campsite had a fire ring, bbq, picnic table and bear box and still had a large flat spot for my huge tent as well as parking for my car.
The weather was great, no bugs to be found and plenty to do. I already want to go back next year but choose a site further from the road.
There are 4 cabins that can be rented from the park service however, they are not actually in the park. They are across the highway and up in the hills. We drove to the park but it's only short distance.
The cabins are great but expensive, $170 per night, so I deducted a star. They are rustic. No TV, no air conditioning (just ceiling fans), no bedding or towels. You bring your own.
I think this is my favorite California State Park. It is situated in the Calaveras Big Trees Giant Sequoia Grove.
The campsites are spacious with lots of room between you and other campers, hot showers, great Visitors Center, campfire programs, puppet shows, self guided hikes, Stanislaus River, Beaver Creek, lots of wildlife, astronomy programs (we even got to see the International Space Station go overhead) and so much more.
We saw a yearling doe with the longest eyelashes I have ever seen on a deer, a fledgling osprey with a little hick-up in his first flight, lots of squirrels, chipmunks, and other critters, birds of all different colors. Just delightful.
Big Trees is close to explore the many little charming Gold Country Towns in the area and if you want to go out to dinner every kind of cuisine you can imagine.
You will have an awesome time at Calaveras Big Trees.
We love camping but we had never camped with our kids. We decided to go to Calaveras Big Trees and camp with our two kids plus our friends kids which in total equaled seven. We thought we were crazy to go into the woods with a ton of kids. It was actually really fun and we enjoyed every little bit of it.
The first day was fun and the kids ran around all over the place. We did learn that they can't jump off the walking bridge because there is a small marsh and they were soaked up to their ankles. But it was a great learning experience for them. Explore but we a little cautious.
That first night was also very cold and we discovered we didn't bring enough warm blankets. We did have to go to town and buy an extra warm blanket. After the trip we made sure to buy some extra warm sleeping bags too. We made sure to rent two big spots so we can have enough room for everyone. The kids played volleyball at one site and we sat nearby so we can play games. It was nice to have the kids right next door but far enough so they can explore. They even built their own tee pee out of logs and covered it in pine cones. It made me think of Lord of the Flies as they worked together and sometimes fought. They settled everything and worked it out in the end.
Overall it was a great trip and we all enjoyed our walk through the Calaveras Big Trees. It was so fun and exciting. Our kids loved adventuring on their own with a bit of supervision here and there from one or more of the parents. Overall it was an amazing trip. We had a lot of fun.
If you are visiting Calaveras Big Trees State Park, then you need to stay at this campground!! The sites are large and spacious- we had a 34 foot RV and there was still plenty of space. It’s perfect for groups with kids. There is so much to learn and explore here!!
Calaveras is, hands down, my favorite park in CA. It’s beauty and trees are unmatched anywhere in California. It is perfect for hiking, exploring, and nearby fishing. If you do any park besides the more well known ones in CA, do not pass this one up!
so peaceful. great for the warmer months as the trees and creek keep you cool. many beautiful trails to keep you busy and so much history.
There are two campgrounds at the Big Trees State Park. I can only speak for the Oak Hollow campground. It was overall a pleasant stay. I went during the week so there wasn't very many people there although there seemed to be quite a few spots so I'm sure it is quite a bit noisier on weekends especially during the summer. The site we were in wasn't one of the "prime" spots recommended in a camping guide I looked at but it was still pretty decent. Most of the sites seemed pretty spacious. The site had a bear boxe, a fire ring with a grate to allow grilling, and a picnic table. There were actual bathrooms with sinks not porta potties. The park itself is beautiful as well, we hiked the north and south groves. The visitors center is very cute as well containing a small museum, gift shop, and sitting area. The only complaibts I had were the cost per night ($35) plus an extra $10 for a second car and the $8 bundle of wood which was barely enough for a nights fire. The per night fee was totally worth it, I'm just cheap and prefer to camp at free or low cost places.
The experience of seeing the redwoods will live in my heart forever. I drove across the country to see them, & I'd do it again in a second. This campground lets you sleep beneath these giants, breath their air, & be near them if only for the day. Beautiful camground, very well maintained, great facilities.
I want to start off this review with one big caveat and that was we literally had the campground to ourselves, with the one exception of the hosts. Because of this I don’t feel like I can say our stay at this campground was representative of what it is normally like, but here’s my review nonetheless.
The campground was beautiful with a wide-open meadow in the middle and lovely late fall trees showing their colors during our November camping trip.
All the sites are located pretty tightly around one road and there are a few large group camps. However, like I said the place was stone quiet when we were there.
The is a nice trail around the campground and a short nature walk from the Visitor’s Center, but other than that not a lot of great hiking right from the campground.
One nearby hike leaves from the Beaver Creek Campground and is just a short drive from the park. We took the South Grove Trail which is approximately 5-miles out and back with about 1,500 feet of elevation gain.
We also did the Lava Bluffs Trail which is a short 2.54 miles round trip with a little under 800 feet of elevation gain.
Overall it’s a beautiful campground and a nice area of the state. Worth a visit for sure.