Arnold

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Best Trails

The Upper Natural Bridge Trail of Calaveras County

Vallecito, CA

Hiking
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More Activities

Walking

The Upper Natural Bridge Trail of Calaveras County is a 2 mile out and back trail located near Vallecito, California that features a cave and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking & walking and is accessible from year-round.

  • Best Hiking

  • Best Mountain Biking

  • Best Trail Running

Recent Reviews

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Calaveras Big Trees State Park: South Grove Trail
by

12 Completed 11 Reviews

A breathtaking path through an ancient Giant Sequoia grove. Easily accessible and I believe even handicap friendly. This is a state park and therefore beautifully maintained. There is a fee to enter, but you will never forget the sight of these prehistoric trees. It is overwhelming to the senses, even more so than the Coastal Redwoods in my opinion. Although the trail is 5 miles, you need only walk a short distance in to enjoy the forest. Must see at least once if you have any interest in seeing the miracle of some of God's most marvelous natural wonders.

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Arnold Rim Trail
by

12 Completed 11 Reviews

The Arnold Rim Trail is a new trail that connects older existing trails and some dirt logging roads that are no longer in service into one very long trail. There are three main trail heads with enough parking for horse trailers, trucks and plenty of cars. This trail is very much a long walk through the forest. Mostly evergreens with oak mixed in. Be sure to visit the Arnold Rim Trail website to download a map. Although the trail is marked, there are many intersecting paths and old roads splitting and veering everywhere along the way so it can become confusing at times staying on the true path. I would recommend a GPS for this one. If not, make sure to mark your trail as you pass through the various splits in the path, as this is long trail and it can be hard backtracking out the first few times. This is one of the better trails around for mt. biking. Not a lot of rocks for the most part and plenty long enough for a good workout. A nice place for horsebacking too. Shady in the summer with nothing too treacherous. The trail's highlights are Cougar Rock and The Top of the World. The best place to access the trail to find these spectacular vistas is the Valley View Drive parking area, which is near the middle of the trail. You can reach these spots on foot from the lower trail head on Avery Sheep Ranch Road but it's a good 8 to 9 miles total and steep for a long portion. I've done it, but it's not for little ones or grandma. These vistas are breathtaking however and worth the effort. I will try to get back out there for some photos and a more accurate mileage estimate. The upper trail head near The Logging Museum is easiest to find right but not as spectacular in my opinion. I give this trail 5 stars because of the tremendous amount of volunteer work done in creating and maintaining this magnificent trail also because of the length and beautiful location of this trail. The Arnold Rim Trail is still under construction and will continue expand which makes it even better still.

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Calaveras Big Trees State Park: South Grove Trail
by Nancy Serna

9 Completed 9 Reviews

O M G this is beautiful. I never cease to be amazed when I visit this grove.

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natural bridges
by

10 Completed 1 Reviews

Great hike for little kids, not to long and they LOVE swimming the caves. Water is cold but worth it.

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Calaveras Big Trees State Park: North Grove Trail
by

1 Completed 1 Reviews

Fun trail especially for the kids. Easy walk. Lots of people so the trail can get quite crowded. Summertime is the busiest. Winter is a great time to go.

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Calaveras Big Trees State Park: North Grove Trail
by

33 Completed 28 Reviews

A bit crowded but an experience none the less. And with the historical markers it makes it a great hike to take the whole family on. Educational and a little exercise make for a good family activity.

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Bear Trap Basin Loop
by

33 Completed 28 Reviews

This was a very quiet and uncrowded trail. You get to enjoy the majestic sequoias in all their glory without the narrative of other travelers that you encounter on some of the easier hikes in this area. This is one I would do again if I were to have the chance to hike in that area again.

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Calaveras Big Trees State Park: South Grove Trail
by

9 Completed 6 Reviews

Great hike through the big trees. Bit of an incline burn with my excited 9 year old setting the pace but other than that it's a mellow walk through a forest so beautiful your eyes will cramp up.

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Calaveras Big Trees State Park: North Grove Trail
by

11 Completed 3 Reviews

Great, toddler friendly trail. Lots of fun photo ops and opportunities for exploration.

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