#21 of 90 state parks in California

Best trails in Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park, California

1,858 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park, California? AllTrails has 17 great hiking trails, trail running trails, forest trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Just looking to take a quick stroll? We've got 9 easy trails in Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park ranging from 0.7 to 5.6 miles and from 13 to 531 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

Named for a famous American explorer, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is a 10,000 acre park deep into Northern California. This old growth coastal redwoods park is crossed by the free flowing Smith River. Visitors will find miles of trails, river access, and a visitor center. Accessibility: There are ten wheelchair/mobility equipment accessible picnic tables with pedestal grills and accessible parking spaces and restrooms at the picnic area. There are six wheelchair-accessible tent/RV campsites with accessible routes to the restrooms and showers. All four cabins are wheelchair accessible and they have electricity, although no restrooms inside. The Campfire Center has upper and lower wheelchair accessible seating. For more accessible trails and facilities information in the park, please visit: http://access.parks.ca.gov/parkinfo.asp?park=10&type=2#:~:text=The%20picnic%20area%20has%2010,the%20picnic%20area%20are%20accessible.&text=The%20Stout%20Memorial%20Grove%20Loop,0.5%20mile%20through%20redwood%20forests.

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Map of trails in Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park, California
Park information
Acreage:
9,500 acres
Park hours
Monday
dawn - dusk
Tuesday
dawn - dusk
Wednesday
dawn - dusk
Thursday
dawn - dusk
Friday
dawn - dusk
Saturday
dawn - dusk
Sunday
dawn - dusk
Contact
707-464-6101
Helpful links
Top trails (17)
#1 - Fern Falls via Boy Scout Tree Trail
Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(710)
Length: 6.3 mi • Est. 2 h 31 m
The Boy Scout Tree Trail ranks as one of the top showcases of old-growth redwood forests in existence with truly huge trees and several distinct redwood forest types. Part of the beauty of Jedediah Smith Redwoods is that it is the single least developed and most pristine old-growth forest around. The Boy Scout Trail has an honest feel of remoteness to it, with not a whisper of modern sounds to be heard. Catch this trail on a sunny morning and the filtered slanting rays reveal a stunning variety of textures and color variations on the redwood's bark. In the fogs of this region, the sense of mystery becomes astounding. This is an out-and-back hike and unlike other hikes, both directions are amazing, revealing a constant supply of sights you may have missed on the way in. It's really a toss-up over which direction is better. The trip to the trail head is an adventure as you walk through a magnificent old-growth grove on Howland Hill Road. Much of the route is on an old dirt logging road that's kept well graded. If you've never toured on logging roads, you should absolutely do it! There's a visceral something totally lacking on paved roads. This one's easily passable in 2WD. At the trailhead, located in a spectacular redwood grove, there's a little pullout that can accommodate about six cars. Users have reported that the entrance coming from Crescent City is currently closed so visitors must either go around or walk the extra distance to the trailhead. Show more
#2 - Stout Memorial Grove Trail
Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(433)
Length: 0.7 mi • Est. 16 m
According to Access Northern California (http://accessnca.org/access-northern-california/explore/explore-detail-view/?site_id=121): California's most northerly redwood park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, boasts some of the world's largest trees and six miles of the pristine Smith River within its 10,000 acres. The park is named for the first non-native explorer known to have traveled overland from the Mississippi River, across the Sierra Nevada range to the Pacific Coast. It's mostly undeveloped, hence unspoiled, but there are opportunities for camping, fishing, boating, and hiking. Only a few trails, the visitor center, and some campsites are wheelchair accessible. For a scenic drive through the park that will give you a sense of isolation from the outside world, follow Howland Hill Road from Stout Grove south for five miles on a narrow dirt road to connect to Hwy. 101 just south of Crescent City. Depending on the season and when the road was last resurfaced, the ride can be very bumpy — or, as in our mid-September visit, very dusty — but will nonetheless provide an intimate encounter with an otherworldly setting. In fact, it was the extraterrestrial setting for the Ewok scene in the third Star Wars movie, Return of the Jedi. Staffed seasonally, the Hiouchi (a Tolowa word for clear water) visitor center is just off Hwy. 199 (access has not been verified to the small Jedediah Smith visitor center inside the campground). It offers a small gift shop and exhibits on coast redwoods, wildlife, and preservation history. Start your tour of the park with a 12-minute film about the redwoods, Trees of the Coast Redwood Forest, and a self-guided walk with wayside exhibits, located just outside the center. At the entrance is a contemporary example of a traditional Tolowa river craft made of redwood. ACCESSIBILITY: There is firm, designated, accessible parking at the visitor center and Stout Grove trailhead with a 2% slope or less. Two accessible spaces on Walker Road also serve the Simpson-Reed and Peterson trailhead. There are wheelchair-accessible restrooms at Stout Grove (no sink) and the Hiouchi visitor center. There are none at the Simpson-Reed Discovery and Peterson Memorial Trails. Wheelchair-accessible picnic tables with a firm and stable path and surface and at least 27 inches of knee clearance can be found at the Hiouchi visitor center adjacent to the restrooms. The visitor center is wheelchair-accessible. From the parking lot to the trailhead, a moderately steep (greater than 5%) section of deteriorated asphalt descends for several hundred feet before leveling out at the start of the loop. The trail is first paved and then compacted dirt with a thick layer of duff. It is typically at least three feet wide although users have reported there is one narrow section for wheelchair users. Going counterclockwise, you will come to a spur trail that crosses the river via seasonal bridges but it is not accessible because a fallen tree at its start narrows the path to less than 2 feet in width. The steepest section is at the beginning; otherwise, the trail undulates slightly throughout. In a few places, the cross-slope is greater than 2% and may be bothersome to manual chair users.Show more
#3 - Simpson-Reed Trail
Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(186)
Length: 0.9 mi • Est. 21 m
According to Access Northern CA (http://accessnca.org/access-northern-california/explore/explore-detail-view/?site_id=121): California's most northerly redwood park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, boasts some of the world's largest trees and six miles of the pristine Smith River within its 10,000 acres. The park is named for the first non-native explorer known to have traveled overland from the Mississippi River, across the Sierra Nevada range to the Pacific Coast. It's mostly undeveloped, hence unspoiled, but there are opportunities for camping, fishing, boating, and hiking. Only a few trails, the visitor center, and some campsites are wheelchair accessible. For a scenic drive through the park that will give you a sense of isolation from the outside world, follow Howland Hill Road from Stout Grove south for five miles on a narrow dirt road to connect to Hwy. 101 just south of Crescent City. Depending on the season and when the road was last resurfaced, the ride can be very bumpy — or, as in our mid-September visit, very dusty — but will nonetheless provide an intimate encounter with an otherworldly setting. In fact, it was the extraterrestrial setting for the Ewok scene in the third Star Wars movie, Return of the Jedi. Staffed seasonally, the Hiouchi (a Tolowa word for clear water) visitor center is just off Hwy. 199 (access has not been verified to the small Jedediah Smith visitor center inside the campground). It offers a small gift shop and exhibits on coast redwoods, wildlife, and preservation history. Start your tour of the park with a 12-minute film about the redwoods, Trees of the Coast Redwood Forest, and a self-guided walk with wayside exhibits, located just outside the center. At the entrance is a contemporary example of a traditional Tolowa river craft made of redwood. ACCESSIBILITY: There is firm, designated, accessible parking at the visitor center and Stout Grove trailhead with a 2% slope or less. Two accessible spaces on Walker Road also serve the Simpson-Reed and Peterson trailhead. There are wheelchair-accessible restrooms at Stout Grove (no sink) and the Hiouchi visitor center. There are none at the Simpson-Reed Discovery and Peterson Memorial Trails. Wheelchair-accessible picnic tables with a firm and stable path and surface and at least 27 inches of knee clearance can be found at the Hiouchi visitor center adjacent to the restrooms. The visitor center is wheelchair accessible. Start off on the Simpson-Reed loop, where interpretive panels invite the visitor to learn about the redwood forest. At the first junction bear right to follow the Simpson-Reed loop in a counter-clockwise direction, or left to more quickly hook up to the Peterson loop. One short section on the Simpson-Reed trail narrows to less than 30 inches where trees have fallen. Three-quarters of the way along the loop is the first turnoff for the Peterson Loop Trail (which is 0.5 miles). We continued a bit farther and chose the second access point. A slight downhill takes you to a 50-foot metal bridge (the first of four crossings; all are accessible) where you can see over and through the railings, although there was no water in mid-September. A few hundred yards past the bridge, you notice that you're on a ridge with a steep drop-off, and from this vantage point you can see and hear water. There is no edge protection but the path is quite wide. This grove has a lush stream corridor where trees that have fallen in the water form staircases and pools that support fish and insects. After the second bridge crossing the forest becomes more dense. Each trail can be done separately, but combined they offer a 1.1-mile journey through some of the world's biggest trees, some reaching 360 feet. Fog often lingers like a soft blanket, but in summer, when temperatures outside the forest can reach into the 80s, it's a welcome relief. Show more
#4 - Hiouchi Trail
Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(139)
Length: 4.7 mi • Est. 2 h 8 m
#5 - Leiffer and Ellsworth Loops
Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(85)
Length: 2.2 mi • Est. 1 h 6 m
Take a step back in time on a trail that travels along a section of the 19th-century Crescent City Plank Road before descending into a canyon filled with hazel and vine maple. During the spring, clintonia, western burning bush, thimbleberry, red huckleberry, and western trillium color the trail, while California bay and tanoak wave overhead. Old-growth redwoods tower above, illustrating the many levels found in a climax forest.Show more
#6 - Jedediah Smith River Trail
Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(61)
Length: 1.0 mi • Est. 25 m
#7 - Hatton Trail
Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(36)
Length: 3.3 mi • Est. 1 h 41 m
#8 - Crescent Beach Loop Walk
Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(32)
Length: 1.1 mi • Est. 27 m
Take a break from the nearby redwood forests and stroll along the beach for a chance in scenery. This quick beach stroll is a nice break from the rugged redwood forest trails in the surrounding area. There are plenty of shells to examine and all kinds of Pacific Ocean flotsam washing up. What will you find?Show more
#9 - Howland Hill Road
Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(26)
Length: 5.6 mi
A twisting single-lane road through old-growth redwood forests. For current conditions, see the park page here: https://www.nps.gov/redw/planyourvisit/conditions.htm The Walker Scenic Redwood Drive is a 6 mile out-and-back drive to the Stout Memorial Grove. It winds it's way through huge old growth coastal redwoods and ends near one of the largest stands of trees in the main areas of the park. This is one of the lesser known drives through a coastal Redwoods Forest as it is far up the north coast of California away from population centers and the road through it (Howland Hill Road) is not paved and is not well marked, unlike Highway 199. You will be following the road as it twists and turns around giant trees and passes by numerous trailheads which may well be worth your time to explore. Definitely take the time to stop at Stout Grove and go for a walk as it is truly beautiful (especially in late afternoon as the sun shines through the trees). Stout Grove is also where several scenes in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi were filmed. Show more
#10 - Jedediah Smith Campground
Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(19)
Length: 1.2 mi • Est. 31 m
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