Big Trees

The Big Trees Nature Trail is a 1/2-mile loop through the northern-most grove of giant sequoias.

Length: 1.40 miles
Loop Trail? No
Agency: USDA Forest Service
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

Allowed Uses:

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Location: Tahoe National Forest, In Tahoe National Forest, S of I-80, E of Georgetown off Mosquito Ridge Rd.
State(s): California
Longitude: -120.57235
Latitude: 39.05934

Driving Directions

From Foresthill, take the Mosquito Ridge Road (Road 96) approximately 24 miles to the Placer Big Trees turnoff, and turn right. The picnic area and trailhead are one half mile from this turn.


Placer Big Trees Grove is the most northerly stand of naturally occurring Giant Sequoias. The grove is located 23 miles east of Foresthill overlooking the Middle Fork American River. The area has been designated as a Botanical Special Interest Area by the Forest Service. The trees have been a popular tourist attraction since the 1800s and each bears the name of a prominent individual from presidents to generals to local politicians.

The tallest tree in the grove is the Joffre tree, standing over 250 feet tall. Marshal Joseph Jacques Cesaire Joffre was a French general during World War I. The largest tree when measured by volume is the Pershing tree, standing 225 feet tall and 12 feet in diameter at breast height.

Walking the half-mile-long trail at a leisurely pace takes about 25 minutes. most of the trees are named after distinguished people. On the Larder tree you will see damage to the bark caused by bears a century ago. A few of the giants have fallen. those standing are estimated to be 500 to 700 years old, mere teenagers in the lives of Giant Sequoias.

Additional Details

Primary Surface: Not Available
Secondary Surface: None
Elevation Low Point: Not Available
Elevation High Point: Not Available
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail Management:
Tahoe National Forest
631 Coyote St.
Nevada City , CA 95959
(530) 265-4531



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