Campgrounds to close for winter
Published: November 1, 2005
By MIKE MORRIS
Campgrounds at Calaveras Big Trees State Park will close this winter in a cost-cutting move, park officials said yesterday.
Savings from the wintertime closure will come from not having to plow roads and heat bathrooms.
"We're very busy with day use, but we're pretty sparse on camping," park Ranger Darren Cooke said of the winter months.
The North Grove Campground will be open on a first-come, first-served basis this month. It will close from Dec. 1 to March 1.
A road that takes visitors to the park's South Grove, across the Stanislaus River in Tuolumne County, will close once the first significant snowfall of the season hits, Cooke said.
In the winter, a portion of that road is used as a three-and-a-half mile ski trail. The park has two cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails.
Big Trees' South Grove is eight miles from its Highway 4 entrance, just east of Arnold, and involves a five-mile round-trip hike, rather than one-and-a-half-mile walk in the more-crowded North Grove.
Cooke said yesterday that the North Grove's dogwood trees are now at the peak of their foliage.
"They're spectacular colors," he said.
Dogwoods aside, the real draw to the park has always been Big Trees' groves of giant sequoias. They are unique not only in that they are virtually untouched, but that they are among only 75 groves in California's Sierra Nevada to have the trees.
For more information on hiking or camping, call Calaveras Big Trees State Park at 795-2334.
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