California Attractions


Calaveras Big Trees SP Discovery Stump

CALAVERAS BIG TREES STATE PARK - If California's 19th century settlers  only knew then what we know now they'd all become Tree Huggers! The year was 1853 and newcomers to California just couldn't believe their eyes. They saw the biggest tree that anyone has EVER seen! Planning to take JUST the bark on a trip around the world and sell tickets to see it, the bark was stripped from the tree in ten-foot high sections, marked for reassembly.

When the public tour launched, the bark made it to San Francisco, then New York where it was consumed in a fire. The massive, monstrous forest giant was then felled (cut down). Here are some interesting facts about it:
  • Located at Calaveras Big Trees State Park ( North Grove Trail
  • The Stump is what once was a Giant Sequoia tree that gained publicity in 1852 when mentioned by Augustus Dowd.
  • The Discovery Tree fell on June 27, 1853.
  • It took 3 weeks to cut down the Discovery Tree.
  • Pump augers and chisels were used to cut it down, as no saw was large enough for the project.
  • Discovery Tree measured 24 feet in diameter at its base, was 363 feet tall, and was determined by ring count to be 1,244 years old when felled.
  • The Stump, itself, became a popular spot for cotillion parties, picnics, and gatherings.
  • An elegant pavilion was erected in 1856 on top of The Stump.
  • One portion of the felled tree served as a bowling alley and bar.
  • Mammoth Grove Hotel which could accommodate 60 lodgers, was built near Discovery Tree so guests could take vacations to see the tree and the forest. Many hundreds of trees had to be cut down to let in a little sunlight to the hotel site.
  • The Stump, Discovery Tree and forest lands passed through many owners.
  • Calaveras Big Trees State Park in the middle altitudes of the Sierra Nevada in Calaveras County, became a state park in 1931 to preserve the North Calaveras Grove of Giant Sequoias.
  • It has been a major tourist attraction since 1852, when the existence of the trees was first widely reported, and is considered the longest continuously operated tourist facility in California.
  • The Big Stump, Mother and Father of the Forest, and the Pioneer Cabin Tree (at one time a drive–through tree) are all located along the North Grove Trail of 100 very large Giant Sequoias.
Getting there: Calaveras Big Trees State Park is four miles northeast of Arnold on Highway 4. The Park is home to the North Grove, the South Grove, Stanislaus River, and Beaver Creek. Open year-round, Calaveras Big Trees State Park includes 129 campsites, picnic areas, miles of hiking and biking trails, and a visitor center.


Calaveras Big Trees State Park with two groves and 1,000 of the world's biggest trees.

The Giant Gold Nugget at Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys

Railtown 1897 are three  California State Parks in the Gold Country region and High Sierras.

Getting to Angeles Camp, California: 2 1/2 hours from the Bay Area on Highways 49 and 4. Approx. 2 hours South East of Sacramento.

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