Nestled in the heart of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Arnold, California, is a charming town that offers numerous outdoor activities and attractions to explore. Are you an adventure seeker or a history buff? Doesn’t matter! There’s something for everyone to enjoy in Arnold.
In this blog post, we’ll dive into 14 amazing things to do in Arnold, ensuring your trip to this picturesque destination is unforgettable. So, get your bags, put on your hiking boots, and set off to discover the best that Arnold has to offer!
1. Hike the Arnold Rim Trail
One of the top outdoor activities in Arnold is hiking the Arnold Rim Trail. A scenic 14.5-mile trail meandering through the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains. This moderately challenging trail boasts fantastic views of the landscape. It also offers glimpses of local wildlife.
Don’t forget to stop by the iconic Cougar Rock, a popular spot for taking photos and enjoying panoramic vistas. The place is only 0.9 miles away, so it should only take three minutes to get there.
2. Go Picnicking and Hiking at the Big Trees State Park
Just a 5-minute (3-mile) drive from Arnold, you’ll find Calaveras Big Trees State Park, home to some of the world’s most impressive giant sequoias. With over 6,000 acres of pristine wilderness, the park offers numerous hiking trails and picnic spots.
Hit the well-maintained visitor center and look at the educational exhibits. Participate in the park’s ranger-led programs and events to better understand these giant trees and their unique ecosystem.
3. Go Camping and Hiking at the Stanislaus National Forest
Stanislaus National Forest is a vast, 898,099-acre wonderland, just an 8-minute (5.3 miles) drive from Arnold. Here, you’ll find endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, including camping, hiking, fishing, and swimming in crystal-clear rivers.
Winter sports enthusiasts can also enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country skiing when it gets colder. With its breathtaking scenery and diverse activities, Stanislaus National Forest is a must-visit destination for nature lovers.
4. Go Wine Tasting at Gossamer Cellars
Gossamer Cellars offers a delightful wine-tasting experience for connoisseurs and casual enthusiasts alike. Discover the exquisite flavors of their handcrafted wines while enjoying the charming ambiance. Gossamer Cellars is approximately a 14-minute drive from Arnold, covering around 12.2 miles. Indulge in the world of wine and create lasting memories at this intimate tasting room in the heart of Murphys.
5. Explore the Sierra Nevada Logging Museum
Immerse yourself in the history of the Sierra Nevada region by visiting the Sierra Nevada Logging Museum, just a 3-minute (0.9 miles) drive from Arnold. This fascinating museum features interactive exhibits, artifacts, and displays that recount the area’s rich logging history. The museum also hosts special events and programs throughout the year, providing an engaging and educational experience for visitors of all ages.
6. Enjoy Picnicking in Arnold
With its beautiful scenery and numerous parks, Arnold is an ideal location for a picnic. Many local parks offer picnic tables and designated areas for enjoying a meal al fresco. Some of the best picnic spots in Arnold include Big Trees State Park (5 minutes and 3 miles), White Pines Lake (3 minutes and 1.1 miles), and various spots along the Arnold Rim Trail. Pack a picnic basket filled with local treats and spend the day exploring the great outdoors.
7. Go Mountain Biking at Bear Valley
Arnold and the surrounding area boast a variety of mountain biking trails suitable for riders of all skill levels. Popular trails include the Arnold Rim Trail (2 minutes and 0.5 miles), Bear Valley (33 minutes and 25.4 miles), and Pinecrest Lake (1 hour 29 minutes and 60.9 miles).
Local bike shops offer rentals and guided tours, ensuring you have everything you need for an exhilarating ride through the Sierra Nevada mountains. Don’t forget to wear a helmet and follow safety guidelines for an enjoyable experience.
8. Explore and Camp at Angels Camp
A mere 25-minute (20 miles) drive from Arnold, the historic town of Angels Camp is well worth a visit. Wander through the charming downtown area, which features unique shops, eateries, and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Be sure to attend annual events like the Calaveras County Fair and Frog Jumping Jubilee, a quirky and entertaining spectacle that has been a local tradition for over 90 years.
9. Go Hiking and Camping at Camp Connell
Located just 9 minutes and 6.1 miles from Arnold, Camp Connell offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities, including camping, hiking, and wildlife viewing. This picturesque spot is perfect for families and kids.
It gives you the chance to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Sierra Nevada region. Look out for deer, squirrels, and an array of bird species while you’re exploring.
10. Paddle at White Pines Lake
Just a 3-minute (1.1 miles) drive from Arnold, White Pines Lake is a peaceful spot perfect for a day of paddling. Rent a kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard from a local rental shop and explore the lake’s calm waters. Surrounded by lush pine trees, this serene location is ideal for a leisurely day of water-based activities and relaxation.
11. Go Horseback Riding at Aspen Meadows Pack Station
Discover the beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains on horseback. Aspen Meadows Pack Station, a 1-hour-and-36-minute (63.8 miles) drive from Arnold, offers guided trail rides through meadows, forests, and along rivers. Suitable for riders of all ages and experience levels, horseback riding is a unique way to explore the region and enjoy the great outdoors.
12. Go Fishing in Alpine Lakes and Streams
Arnold is surrounded by numerous alpine lakes and streams teeming with trout, making it an ideal destination for anglers. Popular spots include White Pines Lake (3 minutes and 1.1 miles), Spicer Reservoir (1 hour 7 minutes and 31.6 miles), and the North Fork of the Stanislaus River (21 minutes and 8.2 miles). Whether you’re fly fishing or using conventional gear, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to reel in a catch.
13. Snowshoe or Cross-Country Ski in Winter at Bear Valley Adventure Company
After the snowfall, Arnold becomes a winter wonderland perfect for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Just a 33-minute (25.2 miles) drive from Arnold, Bear Valley Adventure Company offers groomed routes for both activities, allowing you to explore the snowy landscape at your own pace. Rental shops provide equipment and guidance for those new to these winter sports, ensuring a fun and memorable experience.
14. Attend an Outdoor Concert at Cedar Center
During the warmer months, Arnold hosts a variety of outdoor concerts and live music events at Cedar Center, just a 1-minute (0.3 miles) drive from the town center. From local bands to traveling musicians, there’s always something happening in this charming outdoor venue. Grab a blanket, pack a picnic, and enjoy a night of live music under the stars in this charming mountain town.
Hey, if you stick around the area make sure to check out these other towns:
- 11 Exciting Things to Do in Angels Camp
- 16 Amazing Things to Do in Copperopolis
- 15 Exciting Things to Do in Murphys
- 12 Unforgettable Things to Do in San Andreas
Arnold, California, is a charming town nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains that offers a treasure trove of outdoor adventures and attractions for visitors to enjoy. From hiking the scenic Arnold Rim Trail to exploring the towering sequoias in Big Trees State Park, there’s no shortage of memorable experiences awaiting you.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, gather your friends and family, and embark on an unforgettable journey to discover the best of Arnold, California!