Enjoyable picnic spots are found all along the Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway. Some are established picnic areas with tables and restrooms, others are simply beautiful places to spread a blanket and enjoy a restful meal beneath a canopy of pines.
Only a mile from Arnold, White Pines Lake is a great place for a picnic, especially for families with young children. The are no fees. The community park beside the lake has picnic tables, restrooms, and a playground. For anyone wanting to take a short hike, the Arnold Rim Trail begins right there at the lake. Other attractions include fishing and visiting the Sierra Nevada Logging Museum. For more information, see White Pines Lakes.
The entrance fee for the park is $10 per vehicle ($9 for seniors). For more information about the park, see Calaveras Big Trees State Park.
A picnic area is found near the North Grove Campground. It is conveniently located close to the trail through the big trees, the visitor center, restrooms, and parking. It is a good choice for families and for anyone who may have difficulty getting around.
This picnic area is on the north side of the Stanislaus River, 5.5 miles from the entrance station. There are picnic tables, restrooms, parking, and the beauty of the river. This nearby river access trail is only about a quarter mile long, and it has benches along the way where you can sit and enjoy the river.
You can reach the Oak Leaf Spring picnic area by driving 6.5 miles on the South Grove road. As with all the designated picnic areas in the park, you will find picnic tables, restrooms, and parking.
The Beaver Creek Picnic Area is popular with those making the 9 mile drive from the park entrance to the South Grove. Located near the end of the road and along the bank of Beaver Creek, it is an especially attractive area to enjoy a picnic. Tables, restrooms and parking are all there. You can fish in the creek or just enjoy a stroll along its bank.
Sourgrass Day Use Area is on the south side of the North Fork of the Stanislaus River, 5 miles from Dorrington
on the Boards Crossing Road. The area has 10 picnic sites with picnic tables, grills, flush toilets, piped water,
and parking. It's a good area for fishing and some short hikes. The fast moving river can be dangerous during
spring runoff and through mid-summer.
For information about campgrounds in the area, see Sourgrass Camping.
Cottage Springs Day Use Area is located in a turnout off Highway 4, four miles east of Camp Connell. It has picnic tables, grills, and restrooms. Other than a convenient place to stop and stretch your legs, it has little else to offer in the way of recreation.
Marmot Day Use Area is found at Lake Alpine next to the Lake Alpine Campground. It has 21 picnic sites with tables, grills, piped water, restrooms with flush toilets, and parking. The picnic area is within eyesight of the lake and only a short walk from the boat ramp and Lake Alpine Resort.
Chickaree Day Use Area (shown right) is at the eastern end of the lake, right off Highway 4. There are picnic tables, grills, restrooms, piped water,
and parking. The lake shoreline is easily accessible, making it a great place
for children to try their hand at fishing.
For more information about the area, see Lake Alpine.
Markleeville Campground (shown right) is less than a mile south of Markleeville on Highway 89. A picnic area is included in the campground which rests on the side of Markleeville Creek. There are picnic tables, restrooms, and piped water.
The picnic area in Grover Hot Springs is open year-round. It has 20 sites with picnic tables, grills, piped water,
and nearby restrooms. There is an $8 entrance fee. Use of the hot springs pool is $5 for an adult and $3 for a child.
For more information about the area, see Markleeville.