I'll be in Arnold, CA this weekend: activity suggestions?
May 12, 2016 11:06 AM   Subscribe

We are planning to check out Murphys and also maybe go hiking in Stanislaus National Forest or Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Can anyone suggest a specific trail/area/place that would be good for novice/intermediate hikers? Or other activities/attractions in the area? Good picnic spots? Also, any ideas on where we might find vegan food (restaurant or grocery store)? Thanks!
posted by désoeuvrée to Travel & Transportation around Arnold, CA (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You can walk from Arnold in to Big Trees State park - if you're in the development just to the southwest of the park on the south side of the 4- it's really nice. Upper Moran road will take you to the North Grove area. This doesn't show the spur to the North Grove but it's there...

Also we really enjoyed exploring the Stanislaus (though it is one dangerous river - stay away from the slickrock where it meets the water). You can drive down to it here:

The grocery store in Arnold proper is very well stocked.
posted by mrzz at 11:39 AM on May 12, 2016

If it were me, I'd head up to the pass and take the road at Spicer Sno Park before Tamarack and then up to summit lake (if it's open - no idea if it's passable or not) and explore this area off trail - looks incredible:

I've only been there in shoulder seasons when either that area's been snowed in or the reason I was there had nothing to do with my own personal hiking/exploring obsession.
posted by mrzz at 11:48 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

We recently spent a night in Murphys and went to Rob's Place for dinner. It's a nice (not cheap) neighborhood bistro that has some really good vegan dishes. We went because it seemed like the most vegan friendly option open that night, but were pleasantly surprised by one of the nicest meals I've had in a long time.
posted by kendrak at 1:25 PM on May 12, 2016

If you go up Hwy 4 just immediately past Bear Valley, there is a beautiful lake called Lake Alpine. Lots of picnic areas but also a great lodge where you can rent kayaks and boats.

If you like beer there is a small brewery in Arnold called Snowshoe Brewing Co. Kinda fun.
posted by twin_A at 2:24 PM on May 12, 2016

Not relevant to Arnold/Murphy's proper, but some info on places east on Hwy 4:

FWIW, Ebbets Pass on Hwy 4 (just east of Lake Alpine, mentioned above) is still closed due to snow. Source: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/clsdlst.htm .

This site has some local web cams and might be helpful:


Despite the high temps in that area at the moment, from the above web cams it looks like there is still some snow on the ground in the Bear Valley area.

Obviously, Arnold, Big Trees, and much of the Stanislaus National Forest (SNF) are at lower elevations and not subject to snow concerns. However, it is high runoff season in the Sierras right now (and for the next month-ish), so be careful around running water, as creeks and streams are running strong and high.

This US Forest Service site has a good list of trailsheads in that area:

posted by mosk at 3:02 PM on May 12, 2016

I'll just add that a few years ago my wife and I tried to do a Memorial Day day hike from the Gianelli trailhead in SNF, and upon arrival discovered that the trailhead was still buried under 3' of snow.
posted by mosk at 3:09 PM on May 12, 2016

The water is probably freezing right now, but this cave site near the park looks cool: Natural Bridges
posted by extramundane at 3:48 PM on May 12, 2016

The Arnold event calendar http://cometoarnold.com/scheduler/ shows a guided tour of Big Trees and a Murphys walking tour, no time details for either one though.

In a couple weeks, Memorial weekend is the Arnold Peddler's Fair.
posted by IpsoFacto at 4:14 PM on May 12, 2016

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