From Stockton

From the City of Stockton on Hwy 99, drive 69 miles east on Hwy 4 to Arnold. Calaveras-Big Trees State Park is about about three miles east of Arnold on Hwy 4. A right on Parkway Road will take you to the park's campgrounds and hiking trails, and the bridge crossing the North Fork. To visit the National Forest recreation facilities upstream, continue east on Hwy 4 to the small town of Dorrington, and turn right on Forest Road 52 to access the popular Sourgrass Campground and Picnic Area on the North Fork.


The North Fork Stanislaus River

The North Fork Stanislaus River and its major tributary, Highland Creek, is one of the premier river canyons in the Sierra Nevada. From top to bottom it provides scenic splendor, outstanding wildlife habitat, and diverse recreation opportunities. The entire river canyon is also rich in Native American cultural heritage.

Fly fishing on the North Fork Stanislaus River

Beginning one mile below New Spicer Meadows dam, Highland Creek drains a scenic glaciated granite basin until it joins the North Fork Stanislaus, an impressive river canyon forming the boundary between Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties. The North Fork cascades past granite cliffs and rugged canyon slopes blanketed with ancient conifer forests, providing rich habitat for the California spotted owl and the Pacific fisher, and of course, rainbow trout and brown trout.

A rainbow trout caught on the North Fork Stanislaus River in Big Trees Calaveras State Park

The North Fork flows through the heart of Calaveras State Park. The state park supports one of the largest concentrations of Giant Sequoia in the central Sierra. Below the park, the North Fork tumbles its way through a nearly inaccessible and seldom visited foothill canyon, clothed in oaks and chaparral, before joining the main stem of the Stanislaus River just upstream of New Melones reservoir.

Giant Sequoia Tree in Big Trees Calaveras State Park