Boy Scout Trail

MODERATE 142 reviews

Boy Scout Trail is a 4.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Crescent City, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October.

DISTANCE
4.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
882 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

old growth

no dogs

The Boy Scout 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.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful part of the forest! It was a lovely hike, not a lot of people and very quiet. There is nothing more calming than standing among giants such as these! My husband is an eagle scout and of course we had to do this trail.

1 month ago

Spectacular ancient redwood forest. Lush and green. The perfect length out and back hike for us. Took us 3 hours with short breaks for photos and logged 6.0 miles total (longer than what the app says here). Majestic scenery and ends at a small waterfall. We did hear a little faraway road noise but otherwise felt very secluded. We went on a weekday morning at 10am and didn’t see any other hikers until about noon on the way back

hiking
1 month ago

This was a very beautiful trail. Lots of old redwoods to see all throughout the trail.

It's pretty long but I would consider this very easy with the slight "moderate" either being because of the length or because there's short parts where you have to walk on the roots of the trees, carefully watching where you're stepping instead of taking in the sights.

The ride up was narrow and bumpy but my sedan was able to make it and back no problem.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail!!!

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent hike. Beautiful, smells fresh, amazing trees!!!! End falls are small but nice. One of my all time favs.

hiking
2 months ago

Loved it! Took me 1:55 out and back. Heads-up that the falls are about 10 mins or so past the Boy Scout Tree SIGN not the tree. Maybe that's self-explanatory to everyone, but wasn't to me.

Went at 8 AM and didn't see a soul until my way back when I saw a solo woman and an older couple. As I was driving out, saw nearly 15 groups of people coming in. Worth noting, I did this trail solo with no apprehension.. minus my brain seeing all kinds of crazy things in the trees. :)

Based on the comments, I thought the road in was going to be WAY worse. It wasn't too bad. Take it slow and keep going!

As far as the complaints about noise.. I didn't hear anything. Or rather, I couldn't hear anything over the sound of my heavy walking and breathing. Haha. In all seriousness, I heard a LITTLE bit of traffic once I got to the tree.. but is it nature's fault we encroached on their turf?? Nope. Chill, and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.

3 months ago

This was my first hike in the Redwoods and it was amazing. The groves here are magnificent, it really feels like you're wandering around magical forests. We brought lunch and took a seat in front of the massive Boy Scout Tree at the end of the trail. Plenty of seating here and a nice way to relax before you head back. Just a couple tips, no bathrooms here. The road to this trailhead is bumping and unpaved my Nissan Versa did just fine. There are a couple trailheads off this road including Stout Grove, which has bathrooms.

walking
3 months ago

Ultimate quiet.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful trees everywhere along the trail. The small water fall is well worth the extra distance past the Boy Scout tree.

hiking
4 months ago

This trail really is the best one ever. Amazing trees and path that lead to the Boy Scout Tree and a waterfall!

The drive through Jebidiah was a nightmare for my low-chassis car (Honda), but the path itself was one of the more unbelievable experiences of my life.

hiking
5 months ago

nice, leisure hike where the adventurous part (for me at least, lol) was the drive to get there!

5 months ago

Could not hike it as its only open on weekends till the road is done. Also the bridge is out across the river so you cant even hike in the back way

hiking
5 months ago

This is a beautiful hike 2.8 miles into a waterfall. The first 0.8 miles in is a gradual uphill and then drops down the last 2 miles. Spectacular views of redwoods with ferns for vegetation covering the ground everywhere. Most people were averaging about a 30 min mile that we talked to and the trail had a lot of areas where you are walking on roots.

5 months ago

Gorgeous family friendly trail!

5 months ago

Hiked this trail this morning with my wife. We are not expert hikers, and this trail was not too hard to traverse. This was a very cool hike through the amazing redwoods. The trail had a lot of variety too including small bridges, fallen trees to walk under, and beautiful scenery. This was a lot of fun to hike! FYI... road to the trailhead was a bit rough so take it slow, gets pretty busy late morning recommend hiking it earlier than later, and the waterfall at the end is cool but a bit underwhelming. Would love to do this hike again!

5 months ago

We hiked this trail with an 11 and 8 year old and I think it's between easy and moderate. Very nice trail with excellent opportunities to see redwood trees.

5 months ago

The Red Woods were spectacular! It was like walking through a different world!

5 months ago

Fun hike. Trees are massive.

hiking
5 months ago

Feels like walking in a peaceful rainforest, where the wide tree crowns are replaced by even more height. Trail is comfy and enjoyable.

hiking
5 months ago

If I could only do one trail during my four day stay at Jedediah Smith State Park this would be it. Very rooty and muddy in places but the scenery is second to none. I highly recommend getting in and out early as the trail got very crowded as we finished around 11am.

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