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Big Trees & Lit Geeks LbNA #15193 (ARCHIVED)

Plant date:May 21, 2005
Found by: Not yet found!
Last found:N/A
Last edited:May 21, 2005
Confirmed Missing as of 6-03-05

The letterbox can be accessed any time of day as long as the weather isn't severe. Entrance fee to the park is $6. The trail is wheelchair accessible, but the box certainly isn't.

Driving Directions:

The park is northeast of Stockton, four miles northeast of Arnold on Highway 4.
Latitude/Longitude: 38.2719 / -120.2867

From SF Bay Area
Take I-580 eastbound over Altamont Pass to I-205 toward Manteca, to US 99 North. Take the exit for State Hwy 4 Eastbound (Angels Camp) to the Park Entrance. Hwy 4 makes a jog to the right in Angels Camp along State Hwy 49, then jogs left just before leaving town. Calaveras Big Trees is about 35 minutes driving from Angels Camp.

From Southern California
Take either I-5 or US 99 North. From I-5 you can cross to the other side of Stockton on State Hwy 4 to 99/4 South a few miles, then follow Hwy 4 towards and beyond Farmington to the Park. Hwy 4 makes a jog right in Angels Camp, then jogs left just before leaving town. Calaveras Big Trees is about 35 minutes driving time from Angels Camp.

From Sacramento
Take US 99 South to Stockton, turning off onto State Hwy 4 towards and beyond Farmington to the Park (through Angel's Camp). Driving time to the Park from Stockton is approx. 1 hour and 30 minutes. An alternate route is to take State Hwy 16 southeast to State Hwy 49 South through the goldrush towns to Angels Camp, making a left turn on the far side of town on State Hwy 4 to the Park. Driving time from Angels Camp is approximately 35 minutes.

From Nevada
Take US 395 to State Hwy 89 West to the terminus of State Hwy 4, up over Ebbett's Pass to the Park. The road is closed in winter. It's very scenic, but so steep and tortuous that trailers and large motorhomes are ill-advised to use it.

Letterbox Clues:

When you enter the park, turn right. Follow the signs to the North Grove Picnic Area (not the trail). There will be signs for “camps” and “group picnics” – don’t follow these! Follow the signs that just say “picnic.”

Use the North Grove Picnic parking. Once you have parked, find the stone bridge that crosses Big Tree Creek. From here, find The Sentinels. Climb the stairs to an unusual platform. From this vantage point, look for the white arrow and follow it. (Don’t use your senses, but do abide by your “nose.” If you do, you’ll be on the “right” track.)

Walk along the trail until you feel very unlucky. (Don’t worry about not knowing where this is; you’ll get a very clear sign.) You’ll sympathize with the tree: it’s been drawn and quartered. Get inside of the tree. Yes – inside. Don’t worry, there’s no climbing involved – at least, not yet. Now, put yourself in the tree’s legs for a minute. Look down. No, not that down, your perspective of down – you’re a tree, remember? Now: can you escape through your feet? If so, do it. If not, you should be able to find another way there.

If you have a camera, take a picture. You won’t be alone – there’s a whole century behind you. Now, follow the direction of the horse’s rear end. After you do, try to become a mirror image of the man on the ladder. There are steps waiting for you. After you’re high enough, lean how the man in the picture is leaning and look down (the real down, this time). The box should be visible.

Find the box? Email us at if you have questions about what's in the box or want to show us what you put in. Thanks!