Visit Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Cave or Wine/Beer Taste in Historic Murphys
Giant Sequoia trees are the largest above ground living things on earth. With the ability to survive over 3000 years, they have been known to reach heights of over 300 feet (90m) and have a diameter over 30 feet (9m).
I created this tour to spin off of the popular Muir Woods & Wine Country combo. This is one of my favorite areas for a quick getaway from San Francisco. On this trip, we visit the cousin of the coastal redwood, the giant sequoia. I'll take you to a grove much larger then the grove visited by day tours to Yosemite and closer as well. See "The Big Stump", 25 feet (7. 3m) which once served as a dance floor and a bar. You may also walk through the tunnel cut in the still living Pioneer Cabin Tree.
We will stop in a historic mining town for lunch where you can also enjoy shopping, wine or craft beer tasting. If you have kids, you can opt for a visit to a local cavern instead.
We will take a rest stop at a Central Valley roadside fruit stand to break up the 3 hour drive to Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Stroll amongst the giants! The North Grove is a gentle 1. 5 mile (2. 4 km) loop which takes about 1. 5 hours to enjoy.
After your hike, make a stop for lunch in a nearby gold rush town. There are many great restaurants in historic downtown Murphys. In town, you will have free time to visit the shops on Main Street, home of over a dozen family owned wine tasting rooms. Another dozen wineries and vineyards are a short drive from town. If wine is not your thing, Prospect Brewing Company is located right in downtown. Mercer Caverns is just 5 minutes away if you rather cool off in a cave for 45 minutes.
7am Depart San Francisco for Gold Country
10:30 - 12:00 Explore Calaveras Big Trees
12:00 - 12:30 Drive to Murphys for lunch
12:30 - 1:30 Lunch
1:30 - 3:00 choose between free time downtown, a visit to a cavern or drive to nearby wineries.
3:00 - 6:30 Return to SF
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: Meet up location: I pick up at downtown San Francisco hotels and at the cruise ship terminal. Neighborhoods include the Financial District, SOMA, Union Square, Tenderloin, Nob Hill, Civic Center, Hayes Valley, Alamo Square, Fisherman's Wharf, Russian Hill and Cow Hollow. Feel free to contact me if you're staying at a residence in one of these areas.
End location: Drop off at the hotel or downtown San Francisco.
Duration: 11 hours 30 min.
Transportation for 1-7 passengers is provided in an extended 2015 Ford Expedition EL XLT equipped with 4-wheel drive. Selected for its size, this comfortable vehicle has leather seats and a full 3rd row with 17% more leg room than other SUVs of its model year. This modern vehicle is clean and has working air conditioning and heating.
Estimated Local Cash Needed
55 USD - Lunch normally runs from $15-$30
Wine tastings are about $5-$10 each
(Optional) Mercer Caverns - $16 Adult / $9 Children 3-12 years.
My National Park permits do not allow guided hiking. I do however advise on optional walks and hikes for you to do on your own.