A-frames near Arnold with hiking

Shop, dine, or sleep in town on the edge of Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

A-frames near Arnold with hiking guide


Southeast of Sacramento in the Stanislaus National Forest, the town of Arnold has long been a stopover point for road-trippers and area explorers. The town can trace its roots back to 1927 when a local couple, the Arnolds, opened an area in. Today, Arnold has quite a few lodging options and campgrounds, along with shops, restaurants, a grocery store, and even a brewery. Arnold’s biggest draw these days is the Calaveras Big Trees State Park on the outskirts of town, established in 1931 to protect a couple of giant Sequoia groves.

Where to go

Calaveras Big Trees State Park and Around

Among California's longest-running attractions, Calaveras Big Trees State Park features two groves of gargantuan sequoias along with ample camping opportunities and trails. While this is the biggest attraction in the immediate Arnold area, there are also plenty of other quieter spots to take in nature, including the Sourgrass Day Use Area just up the road.

Stanislaus National Forest

Spread out over 1.4 million square miles in the Sierra Nevada, this sprawling forest area has long been a popular spot for water sports enthusiasts, owing to its numerous lakes and hundreds of miles of rivers and other flowing waterways. Stanislaus campgrounds are plentiful.

Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway

It’s worth taking a drive along the 61-mile-long Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway, which connects Arnold with the town of Markleeville. You can expect to see views of volcanoes, basalt and granite rock formations, lakes, rivers, and plenty of trees, including—of course—giant sequoias.

When to go

Arnold and the surrounding areas are at their most pleasant from late May through early October, when temperatures are pleasant and rainfall is usually nonexistent. Summers are busy, particularly with those visiting for outdoor recreation, but they rarely get too hot, with July and August highs hovering in the mid 80s. If visiting between November and March, be prepared for the possibility of snowfall and road closures or delays.

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