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Now That’s a Big Tree

Every few minutes, I’d look up and find myself thinking, “holy #@*!”

We were at Calaveras Big Trees State Park to see some redwoods. We had just been to Yosemite Valley the day before to see some big beautiful rocks, and since this was in the neighborhood, we wanted to see some big trees. We were not disappointed.

The visitor center is in the North Grove Trail area, where most people spend time when they visit. There are a lot of big trees all in one small area. You can get guided tours of the flat trails or walk solo and not commit to to much time or energy. If you only visit the North Grove, you won’t be disappointed.

It’s really hard to capture on camera the size of these trees. What is often awe inspiring to look up at is often not impressive at all in a photo. But when these giants have fallen or have people right next to them, it’s much easier to appreciate their size.

Look at all those people standing up there! The trunk goes waaaay off to the left.
This is only about half the tree. The rest is behind me.

After walking the North Grioe trails, we opted to drive down to the South Grove area, which promised to offer a sight of the biggest tree in the park, Agassiz. But to see it involved an almost 5 mile round trip hike.

It’s not that difficult of a hike, but it is more remote and much less visited. It’s far enough from highway 4 that you don’t hear traffic any more. With most airline traffic way overhead, no cell service, fewer people, soft needle-covered ground, and tall trees blocking distant sounds it was quiet. We would occasionally cross paths with other parties, but the sound of them quickly disappeared by the time they were a hundred feet away.

The South Grove isn’t as densely populated with the monstrous trees. So I my attention would fall back to the trail, the walk, the quiet, the peacefulness. But, every few minutes, I’d look up and find myself thinking, “holy #@*!” as another behemoth appeared through the brush.

At the end of the 2.3 mile trail was the promised sight of Agassiz.

Now that’s a big tree!
Nope. Your arms will not reach around it.

And if you’re in the area and hungry, Giant Burger makes a good burger and shake. There are a bunch of wineries for tastings down the road too!

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