South Grove and Big Tree Creek Loop is a 16.9 kilometer lightly trafficked loop trail located near Arnold, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November.

Length16.9 kmElevation gain483 mRoute typeLoop
BackpackingHikingMountain bikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingRunningForestRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeFeeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (1)
• There is a fee to access Calaveras Big Trees State park. For more information, please visit https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=551. • Dogs are only allowed in the campground and on paved roads. This was a beautiful hike but unable to see the Sequoia grove and the valley from above due to the density of trees. The rim trail is a wide lumber road that is well maintained on the southern half of the loop and less so on on the northern half of the loop, but is easy to follow throughout the hike. The incline is pretty gentle all the way up, gaining about 1700 feet over 7 miles, making it a moderate hike, though lengthy at 11. The hike begins and ends in coniferous forest, with lots of White Fir, Ponderosa Pine, California Incense Cedar, and Pacific Dogwood. No Sequoias to be seen, though. At higher elevations, it takes you through patches of chaparral, dominated by White Manzanita and Black Oak. There are flowers throughout in Spring and early Summer, including Western Columbine, Naked Buckwheat, Mountain Blue Penstemon and Common Woolly Sunflower. Birds generally try to stay concealed and include Dark-eyed Juncos, Hairy Woodpeckers, Ravens and Turkey Vultures. Mammals include Douglas' Squirrel, Long-eared Chipmunks and Black Bear. Hikers have reported some bear signs, including scat and trees with bark removed. Dogs are allowed on leash in the paved and picnic areas of the park but not on the dirt trails.
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (28)
Photos (89)
Activities (27)
Completed (50)
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3.6
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28 Reviews
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 20, 2021
Hiking

It was all good until last 1/3 of the trail, when the paved portion became off trail. We wanted to go towards the digital map but it was off the designated portion, so we trekked through the woods, which was quite annoying but kinda fun adventure. We eventually made it back to designated trail.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 28, 2021
Mountain biking

All fire road

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 19, 2021
Mountain biking

Loops fine but the map is off. Trail isn’t well used and is very loose and rocky. Conditioning good not super fun

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 3, 2021
Hiking

Does not loop, had to turn around and go back at about 7.5 miles in

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 31, 2021
WalkingGreat!

Great place

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 29, 2021
Hiking

Cannot complete trail as shown in app. The trail leading off the forest road on the eastern side of the loop doesn't seem to exist any longer. Searched pretty thoroughly from both sides with no luck and was forced to back track. The forest road was quiet, but not too exciting. I'd take another trail in the area.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 23, 2021
FishingFeeRockyScramble

Map is off. Its almost 13 miles. Someone said they trekked through bush to get back on track according to the map and going off that we saw the trail was curving the right way and decided to trust that it would reconnect with the map at some point and it did. That happened a couple of times but the most concerning was at the northeastern curve when the map showed we were going in completely the wrong direction when in reality we never diverted from the obvious road track. There were also a couple of trail signs that helped at the 2 intersections. Aside from the downloaded map inaccuracies it was a nice hike. Lots of views and incline/declines. We did see bear evidence though so be aware. And some very nice ravens and steller’s jays. $10 fee to enter big tree state park.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 26, 2020
Hiking

The GPS of the app and the layout of the fire road is off slightly. We ended up off road by trying to follow the GPS, but really should have stayed on the fire road. It's longer than 10.5 and not that spectacular of views. Good conditioning trail.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 23, 2020
HikingBugsOff trailOver grownRocky

This hike is definitely only for conditioning purposes. Views , not much to see. Very rocky , loose gravel and a great deal of the trail burnt down. Trail is very misleading in the upper portion of the loop. We ended up extending hike earlier on and went into view the calaveras south grove trail which did have some cool massive trees and some tree caves in which you can be a little adventurous and walk through them.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 7, 2020
Mountain biking
First to Review

First this trail is past Arnold off hwy4 not near Long Barn which is off hwy108. This trail is not a loop - we tried and tried to find the loop but couldn’t , so we reached 7 miles in following the fire road and had to turn back the same way we came ... lots of up and down hills w close to 2,000 feet of elevation gain. The road is beautiful near Beaver creek for about 2 miles from the start then it passes burned out areas, areas w loose rocks and gravel , areas w pieces of wood on the path ... I’d recommend hiking the south grove trail instead which crosses the fire road at some point

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 20, 2021
Hiking
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Mountain biking
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Hiking
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