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Big Trees Loop

Intermediate
 4.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A long uphill doubletrack climb on 5N03 that's not overly steep but takes you to the top of the world.


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Map Key

16.5

Miles

26.5

KM

0%

Singletrack

5,625' 1,715 m

High

4,445' 1,355 m

Low

1,700' 518 m

Up

1,694' 516 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

21%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs No Dogs

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

All CA State Park and US Forest Service rules apply. Pack it in - pack it out. Check in at the gate upon entering the park and ask for a basic Beaver Creek Area guide map. Service dogs only but call Big Trees State Park first to be sure. Accessible late spring to late fall, depending on snow and weather conditions.

Overview

A nice doubletrack loop. 5N03 is a long climb that is fairly consistent in grade and can be challenging if you're older (70 or older) or not accustomed to a long ride at higher altitudes. There is some beautiful scenery through the conifer forests on well-maintained forest service and timber company roads.

Need to Know

Park entrance fee $9. Day use. Have a bike in good condition. Bring extra water. Ride tops out at around 5,600 ft. Read the narrative. Park pit toilet facility at parking lot.

Description

This shared loop begins at the parking lot at the end of Big Trees Road on a portion of the OK Corral Loop on 5N045 (5N45 on FS Map). Then, after crossing Beaver Creek, at the top of the climb, 1.5 miles later, go left at the intersection and proceed on 5N05X (an old logging rail-trail) to the OK Corral. There is a muddy section with standing water at about mile 3.5.

After that, you'll have to go over a pipe gate at mile four that marks the park boundary. Then, a short distance later, a small stream. Be aware of washouts on this portion. You’ll go through a clearing and shortly, you'll see the “OK Corral” and Forest Road 5N03. Here, go right and take 5N03 all the way to the top. You may hear cow bells from the range cattle, see deer, lots of little critters, and some bear tracks crossing the road.

Once you begin the descent on 5N03, you'll go only about 200 yards and see a signpost marking 5N06X. Turn right onto Forest Road 5N06X - a little traveled, pine needle-covered road that continues upward for another three-quarters to one mile. You may have to walk parts of this section.

Once you're on the downhill part, you'll come to the intersection of the published Calaveras Big Trees State Park South Grove Loop, 5N045 - there's no sign posted here. You may go either left or right. We went right and proceeded downhill to the intersection of 5N045 and 5N05X. If you go left, you'll still come out at the 5N05X intersection but at the other end of the old logging rail-trail two miles away. Regardless of choice, at that intersection, bear left down the hill back toward Beaver Creek and continue on to the parking lot.

At the top of 5N03, you'll be between 5,450 and 5,550 feet in elevation. Take extra water. The entire ride is as scenic as it gets in a vast, conifer forest area. Both north and south portions of the published South Grove Loop have some really steep portions so do your homework first. But, it appears that from the 5N06X intersection, that it’s downhill in either direction from there.

History & Background

Some of the ride on 5N05X is on an old logging company railway.

Contacts

Shared By:

Dave Arrich

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#2375

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#319

in California

#2,375

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2,480 Since Aug 18, 2017
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Photos

Wooden Bridge crossing Beaver Creek
Jun 21, 2014 near Arnold, CA
At around 1.9 miles the trail opens up into a meadow. Which makes a  good place for a snack.
Jun 25, 2017 near Arnold, CA
Along a rarely used fire road that offers two easy lanes for side-by-side riding.
Jun 25, 2017 near Arnold, CA
Twin Sequoias I refer to as The Brothers.
Jun 21, 2014 near Arnold, CA

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Jul 2, 2018
Andy Kordsmeier
21mi