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greenBlue South Grove Loop

  3.0 ( 6 ) Favorite

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11.5 mile 18.5 kilometer loop
0% Singletrack


Ascent: 1,243' 379 m
Descent: -1,243' -379 m
High: 5,586' 1,703 m
Low: 4,450' 1,356 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 17% (10°)


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Trail shared by Dan Oakland

A truly hidden gem representing the only real mountain biking in Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

Dan Oakland

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Winter & early spring months the road to the South Grove can be closed due to debris. Call ahead to check it is open.


I'm hesitant about posting this trail. It's a great secret that I want to share but selfishly like to keep for myself. Part of what makes it special is its remoteness and infrequent use.


From Stockton take Highway 4 heading east. Going past Highway 49 and past Arnold, you find the entrance for Calaveras State Park. Pay the entrance fee and drive an additional 8.3 miles to the South Grove parking area. Or you can bypass the turn into the South Grove parking area and drive another mile or so beyond it to where the paved road ends by making a one-way loop back onto itself. There will be a bathroom and a small gravel parking area at the end of the road near the gate where the fire road starts. While this trail is technically 100% 'Fire Road' it has a singletrack feel. The trail is loose from pine needles and/or rocks in spots and can be overgrown but always easy to follow.

From the parking lot, start straight on the trail around the gate and you'll go slightly downhill to a wooden bridge crossing Beaver Creek. You'll turn south after the bridge and stay straight (SSE) to start the loop at an intersection about 1.3 miles from your start. You are now on 5N45, you're starting the climb, and will be heading northeast until the trail peaks at about 4.4 miles.

Now you'll be on rolling terrain as the trail goes southwest then north back to the original intersection. Continue straight on to other fire roads or go left and across the bridge back to your car.


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Dec 23, 2017
John Gump
beautiful doubletrack. super empty. 11.5mi
Aug 19, 2017
Jeffrey Larson
Jun 24, 2017
Rich Burger
Nice trail nothing technical. All doubletrack and easy rolling only the climbing may be tough for beginners. 2k+ for me. 13.3mi — 1h 55m
Oct 2, 2016
david coe
Soft soil, fun downhill. Beautiful area.
May 17, 2016
John Et
Great place to do some easy trail riding. What makes this trail Intermediate was the elevation and soft terrain. Thanks Dan Oakland for sharing! 20mi — 2h 30m
Jul 31, 2014
Dan Oakland
Completed this + bonus OK Corral. Saw my 2nd bear of the year - a big black guy/gal running across the trail ~60 feet ahead. 10.9mi
Jul 30, 2014
Dan Oakland
Great ride starting at 5:00, evening sun going down great views and still warm enough for a quick dip in the creek after wrapping up. Pint at Snow... 10.9mi

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 6 votes


  3.0 from 6 votes
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37 Views Last Month
3,193 Since Jun 21, 2014
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Thanks for posting this ride Dan - it was a lot of fun for my wife and I this past weekend. I added a few details to the description about getting to the staging area because we initially parked in the South Grove lot and the fire road dosent start for another mile or so down the paved road past the posted South Grove parking lot. Hopefully it prevents someone from the same confusion we initially had. I hope to revisit some day and do both the South Grove and OK Corral loops together when I have more time. Jul 18, 2016
Ed M  
This was a pleasant ride, done during a morning in late May. The sun was low enough where it wasn't hot and mostly in shade, and some of the views were great. After the rough winter there were still a few trees blocking the trail and a road washout, but nothing was impassable. A dunk in the frigid creek after the ride is recommended. May 31, 2017
Neela Jacques
Menlo Park, CA
Neela Jacques   Menlo Park, CA
Did this ride with my two kids. Overall nice fireroad climb and descent. Pretty but not spectacular. Some of those climbs were pretty steep for the kids. Garmin showed 1500 total feet of elevation gain from the end of the road. Sep 5, 2017

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