The eight of us left Bridgeport Saturday morning and made the drive up over a snowy Ebbetts Pass heading towards Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Wyatt had requested that we see some Sequoias on our trip and this was our best shot as the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite was closed.
We arrived at the park a little after lunch time and set up camp at the North Grove Campground. We then hopped on our bikes and rode over to the Visitor Center where we got a sense of the lay of the land. Because our time was limited we decided to just explore the North Grove. A 1.5 mile trail circles through the grove of the ancient behemoths.
We picked up an informational pamphlet for the trail which discussed the history of many of the named trees in the park and gives background on the forest ecology. The famed Pioneer Tree, which visitors could once walk through, had blown down the winter before leaving a massive hole in its place.
We finished up the loop and biked back to our campsite. We fixed “walking tacos” for dinner and settled in for the evening. Though the night was cool, we enjoyed the much warmer temperatures in this more balmy country.
Sunday morning we broke down camp. Our intended destination for the evening was Lassen Volcanic National Park. Additionally, we were going to need to stop to reprovision our larders for the last leg of our trip. I would have loved to have been able to spend more time at Calaveras, but the five plus hour drive with needed stops on the way called us on.
See it Yourself: Calaveras Big Trees State Park protects two sequoia groves separated by the North Fork of the Stanislaus River. It offers camping in two different campgrounds, hiking, biking, and when conditions are right cross country skiing as well. Though it does not contain the highest, oldest, or broadest of California’s sequoia groves, it is certainly worth a visit.