What? : Jedediah
Smith Redwoods State Park has a lot of uninterrupted old Redwood growth and
considered to be one of the most unspoiled redwood parks. One main forest road cross
the park with only few hiking trails, the Boy Scout Tree Trail is really the
only trail that take visitor into the park’s interior. Few other shorter trails
explore the Redwood groves, Grove of the Titans will take you to the largest
redwood in volume on the plant.
This location is part of my "Redwood Parks at Northern California Coastline" road-trip suggestions and trip planner blog.
When? : Year round, Summer
temperatures range from 45 to 85 degrees, Winter can bring 100 inches of rain
and temperatures between 30 and 65 degrees; snow at this low elevation is rare.
Due note 1: Camping at one
of the 89 sites is available, reservations are recommended between Memorial Day
and Labor Day.
Due note 2: The short
trails and the popular redwood groves like Grove of the Titans and Stout Grove
can be crowded with many visitors and full parking lots.
Due note 3: Jedediah Smith
Redwoods State Park is part several others redwood state and National parks
that stretch up at the Northern California's coast and protect the
remaining of the old growth Redwoods trees.
Due note 4: In Jedediah
Smith Redwoods State Park you can find the largest in volume Redwood trees on
earth (Grove of the Titans).
My thoughts: Howland Hill drive
is one of the most beautiful drives I did among the giant redwood trees. The
Park unpaved road wind through the lash redwood forest. The Park has several
hiking options, during my short visit I hiked the 5.7-mile-long Boy Scout Tree
Trail and enjoy my time with the redwoods. Unfortunately I did not hiked the Grove
of the Titans that is probably must visit park short trail.
coast redwoods (sequoia sempervirens) exist in a narrow band that runs for 500
miles from Monterey to just over the Oregon border. The redwoods follow the rain
and fog at elevations below 2,000 feet, where heavy winter rains and moderate
year-round temperatures occur. Trees can grow up to 350 feet tall or more, with
a base diameter of about 20 feet.
“living fossils” dating back 100 million years to the Cretaceous Period- the
time of the dinosaurs. The oldest coast redwoods are about 2,000 years old.
As result of
extensive logging activity in Between 1880 and the early 1900s, thousands of
acres of old-growth redwoods had disappeared; Series of state and national
parks in northern California protect the remaining of the old-growth Redwoods.
In 1994, NPS
and California State Parks agreed to co-manage four parks: Del Norte Coast,
Prairie Creek and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Parks, and Redwood National
Park. Managing the parks together provides protection and preservation of more
than 105,000 acres of redwood forest.
logging only about 5% of old growth Redwood exist today, 95% of them are in
northern California and 80% of them are already protected in one of the parks.
Detailed driving directions:
Redwoods State Park is about an hour and 45 minutes north of Eureka. Driving north
from Eureka, highway 101 reach Crescent City beaches. Turn right onto Humboldt
Road and once reaching to it end turn right into Howland Hill Road. You’ll pass
a casino on your left side and then the road climb into Jedediah Smith
Redwoods. At the top of Howland Hill drive the road turns into a
well-maintained dirt road and at this point the drive will take you into the redwoods
You can also
drive to the park east-side entrance: from highway 101, after Crescent City, drive
east on highway 199. After passing Jedediah Smith Campground turn right into
427 side road, you will cross 2 large bridges over the Smith River fork and
then turn right into Douglass Park Dr., this road will pass house section and
soon after you get to the park east entrance.
confluence of the Smith River and Mill Creek, few miles inland from the ocean,
the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park protects 10,000 acres of primeval redwood
groves and a lush undergrowth of ferns. The Park contains and preserve 7%
of all the old-growth redwoods left in the world.
The Park is not
so much developed, and most trails are short within the old redwood groves near
the road, you can stop at the different parking lots and enjoy the short and
easy hike among the giant trees.
Driving through the park:
Road passes through the center of the park from west to east, this is probably
the best redwood drives I experienced in all my redwood parks visits. Narrow
unpaved 6-mile-long road that will take you into the redwood forest and wind
itself between the towering trees.
from the west and entering the park you will immediately pass through a
remarkable cluster of monster trees, your car perspective to the tree trunk
shows how large they are.
You will drive
between the forest trees in sections where you will be surrounded by the lush car
minutes’ drive down the road you will reach on your left Boy Scout Tree Trail trailhead.
From this point
to the east the road levels out, you will reach the Grove of the Titans.
This is a very
popular section of the park, here you can walk into the old grove that has the
largest, in volume, redwood trees on earth.
In 2021 the
park opened the Grove of Titans walkway (1.7 miles). In order to prevent soil
compression and long-term damage, the trail was elevated slightly on a metal
mesh walkway. Here you will pass by the huge trees and enjoy their view.
This section is
popular and can be crowded.
The Boy Scout Tree Trail (5.2
A fun out-and-back
hike that proceeds through a variety of redwood environments, huge ancient
redwoods, higher elevation smaller trees to a mixed-species forest dotted with redwoods.
The hike starts
at the park road trailhead, where the most impressive redwoods are located.
From this valley, easy climb to the hillside and soon you will reach the ridge
From here the
trail descends, still in a redwood forest with smaller in size trees, after
short walk the trail reaches a stream. Here at the lower elevations the trail
leaves the dense redwood grove and enters a lush, diverse woodland. When
visiting here at late fall (Oct. 2021) I enjoyed the maples trees yellow
down the trail and after 2.6 miles from your starting point you will reach a
small waterfall, Fern Fall. Not so much impressive waterfall but the hike
itself is the goal.
is the end of the trail, and you need to hike back the same trail you hiked in.
First climbing back to the ridgetop and then short hike to the trailhead at the