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USA Parks
California
Northern California Region
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
JEDEDIAH SMITH REDWOODS STATE PARK
JEDEDIAH SMITH REDWOODS STATE PARK
Crescent City, California   95531

Phone: 707-458-3018
Reservations: 800-444-7275
Established in 1929, this 10,000 acre predominately old growth coast redwoods park is bisected by the last major free flowing river in California, the Smith River. Almost all of the park land is water shed for the Smith River and Mill Creek, a major tributary.

The park has about 20 miles of hiking and nature trails, river access, a visitor center with exhibits and a nature store. Drive Howland Hill Road (gravel-not recommended for trailers) and stroll in the Stout Grove.

The park is named after the intrepid explorer, Jedediah Stong Smith who was the first white man to explore the interior of northern California. His journey through the coast redwood belt was part of a remarkable two-year trapping expedition which began in 1826. Smith pioneered a trail southwest from the Great Salt Lake across the Mojave Desert through the San Bernadino Mountains into California.

Discovery of gold along the Sacramento and Trinity Rivers in the mid-1800's drew many thousands to northern California. The need for a supply route to remote mining camps initiated a spurt of exploration that motivated settlement of Humboldt and Del Norte counties.

Conifers other than redwoods include western hemlock, Sitka spruce, grand and Douglas fir, as well as the less common Port Orford cedar. Primary examples of the understory include tanoak, madrone, red alder, big leaf and vine maple, and California bay. Ground cover is dense with a wide range of species and varieties of shrubs, bushes, flowers, ferns, mosses and lichens common to the coast redwood environment.

Wildlife of the park is both abundant and varied including such animals as black bear, deer, coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, skunks, fox, beaver, river otter, squirrels, chipmunks and many others. Some of the rare or uncommon examples of bird life identified include the bald eagle, spotted owl, pileated woodpecker and marbled murrelet. The Smith River and Mill Creek are especially known for the king salmon and steelhead trout runs in the fall and winter. Mill Creek is a spawning ground for these fish.
Nature of the Area
Conifers other than redwoods include western hemlock, Sitka spruce, grand and Douglas fir, as well as the less common Port Orford cedar. Primary examples of the understory include tanoak, madrone, red alder, big leaf and vine maple, and California bay. Ground cover is dense with a wide range of species and varieties of shrubs, bushes, flowers, ferns, mosses and lichens common to the coast redwood environment.

Wildlife of the park is both abundant and varied including such animals as black bear, deer, coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, skunks, fox, beaver, river otter, squirrels, chipmunks and many others. Some of the rare or uncommon examples of bird life identified include the bald eagle, spotted owl, pileated woodpecker and marbled murrelet. The Smith River and Mill Creek are especially known for the king salmon and steelhead trout runs in the fall and winter. Mill Creek is a spawning ground for these fish.
History of the Area
The park is named after the intrepid explorer, Jedediah Strong Smith who was the first white man to explore the interior of northern California. His journey through the coast redwood belt was part of a remarkable two-year trapping expedition which began in 1826. Smith pioneered a trail southwest from the Great Salt Lake across the Mojave Desert through the San Bernadino Mountains into California.

Discovery of gold along the Sacramento and Trinity Rivers in the mid-1800's drew many thousands to northern California. The need for a supply route to remote mining camps initiated a spurt of exploration that motivated settlement of Humboldt and Del Norte counties.


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Trails
Boy Scout Trail

7.5 miles round trip to Fern Falls Northernmost of California's redwood state parks, Jedediah Smith beckons the hiker with both a redwood forest primeval and the banks of the Smith River, the state's only major river without a dam.

The park honors mountain man/pathfinder Jedediah Smith, credited with discovering (for west-bound travelers) the Rocky Mountains pass through which most California- and Oregon-bound emigrants traveled.

Smith was also the first to journey (by land, anyway) to what was to become the west coast of the continental United States-from San Diego to just short of the Canadian border. The Smith River was named for the dogged adventurer, who crossed the wild watercourse in 1828.

Centerpiece of the state park is Stout Memorial Grove. Among the magnificent 5,000 acres of nearby National Tribute Grove is one of the world's largest: Stout Tree, named not for its considerable girth, as you might suspect, but for Frank D. Stout, whose family donated the grove to the Save-the-Redwoods League.

Another towering redwood is Boy Scout Tree, visited by a trail constructed by the scouts of Crescent City's Troop 10 in the 1930s.

Directions to trailhead: From Highway 101, at the south end of Crescent City, turn east on Elk Valley Road. After 1.5 miles, fork right on Howland Hill Road and continue east about four more miles to the signed trailhead located on the north side of the road.

The hike: Stroll the fern-lined path, the 300-foot tall trees towering above you. After a mile, the trail follows a redwood-topped ridge, with tall sword ferns pointing the way.

About two miles along, the path descends a series of wooden steps to a lush, lovely creek. Another mile of quiet forest walking brings you to a fork: the right branch goes to Boy Scout Tree while the other leads to Fern Falls.
Area Attractions
Redwood National and State Parks

This park, along with Prairie Creek, Del Norte Coast, and the National Park Service's Redwood National Park, are managed cooperatively by the National Park Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation. These parks make up 45 percent of all the old-growth redwood forest remaining in California.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
May 27 by Wim
September 26 The inspiration for Avatar by Gould Family, Santa Barbara
Born and raised in CA I grew up camping in the Redwoods; Big Basin, Big Sur, Sequoia...... This was my first visit to Jedidiah Smith and I was in total awe....simply magical!
September 5 A trip back in time by The Hill Family 2009
The drive through Howland Hill Rd was an experience. It brought a tear to my eye. It was like stepping back in time, so pure and unscathed. Words do not express the feelings of awe and wonder that my family and I felt.
September 10 Gorgeous by Mom and Daughter
The drive out to this untouched redwood grove is magnificent.


Area Campgrounds

Mystic Forest RV Park
15875 Highway 101
Klamath, CA
707-482-4901


Hiouchi RV Resort
2000 US Highway 199
Crescent City, CA
707-458-3321


Village Camper Inn
1543 Parkway Drive
Crescent City, CA
707-464-3544


Salmon Harbor Resort
200 Salmon Harbor Road
Smith River, CA
707-487-3341


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Directions
Nine miles east of Crescent City on Highway 199, Latitude/Longitude: 41.7817 / -124.1008.

USA Parks
California
Northern California Region
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
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