If seeing giant sequoias up close has always been on your bucket list, make your way to the Calaveras Big Trees State Park! Nestled at the mid-level elevation of the western Sierra Nevada, this pawpular destination is home to groves of these muttnificent trees, including the stump of the first Sierra redwood noted by Augustus T. Dowd in 1852. The park also offers a wide variety of habitats and recreational opportunities for visitors to enjoy.
If you're bringing your canine BFF along, keep in mind that four-legged guests are only allowed in developed areas such as picnic sites, campgrounds, paved roads, and fire roads. Except for service animals, doggos are not permitted on designated trails or in the woods for wildlife protection and public safety reasons. The fire roads span several miles, so you and Fido can still stretch your legs and get a good hike in. You won't be able to see any of the giant sequoias from these roads, however. During the winter, you and your pooch can tackle the Parkway Loop Ski Trail.
Remember to keep your pupper on a 6-foot leash and pick up after them at all times. Bring your own doggie waste bags and plenty of water for your furry hiking buddy. If you need to take a break, stop by a picnic site to refuel with a packed lunch. You'll find one by the Stanislaus River, as well as in the North Grove, Beaver Creek, and Oak Leaf Spring areas.
Not quite ready to go home yet? Check in to a campsite and stay for the weekend—the park has two main campgrounds with a total of 129 sites. Note that dogs cannot be left unattended, so make sure someone from your pawty stays behind with Fido if you plan to check out the giant sequoias.
For an unfurgettable outdoor getaway, plan a visit to the Calaveras Big Trees State Park!