Boy Scout Trail

MODERATE 174 reviews

Boy Scout Trail is a 4.8 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
4.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
875 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
14 days ago

Beautiful hike, shaded of course. A few small bridges over streams. We went in the middle of April and the trail was quite muddy so we were all happy we wore our hiking boots. It’s an in an out trail so we went about an hour and a half in and took us 40 minutes to get back out. Easy hike I would take all ages on!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike. It was a pretty decent hike but nothing crazy & easily doable for multiple types of hikers.

1 month ago

Redwoods and ferns galore. Fresh air surrounded by nature’s wonders. Great trail...

1 month ago

Great trail. Was a bit muddy but the shear volume of trees and their size made it a minor inconvenience. Beautiful ferns.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is amazing. It took a while to complete because I kept stopping along the way to admire the beauty of it all. It was an easy, long, and beautiful hike. Definitely one of the best in the area. Here's a video I made to highlight the scenery along this trail: https://youtu.be/8E8vg1rr170

2 months ago

Incredibly beautiful trail with a new amazing view around every corner! There are some old growth and new growth parts. We found ourselves stopping frequently to marvel at these incredible trees.

Dogs are NOT allowed - there was a sign at the trailhead. It also was a bit muddy when we went but nothing too bad.

2 months ago

Really great trail. Plan more time then you typically would on a 5 mile trail because you will be in awe of the Redwoods (lots of pics) also the trail was not busy at all which was a very pleasant surprise. Would highly recommend

hiking
2 months ago

This was an amazing hike.
We passed boy scout tree on the way, so we found it on the way back. Around every corner opened up to new amazing views of the redwoods. Total milage for one way came into 2.9, because of going off trail to see boy scout tree.
Total miles round trip was about 6.
No huge inclines, overall pretty easy/medium hiking level.
It was so muddy because it rained a day prior. I don't recommend doing this hike in the rain. We went on a lucky sunny day.

hiking
3 months ago

Every time you round the corner on this trail there is a new breathtaking view. It truly is beautiful out here. I went early in the morning and was all alone on the trail - there was silence in the woods and it just added to the ambiance. The creek and waterfall were nice viewpoints, and there were plenty of downed trees along the way that could provide a nice resting spot if you need one or just want to sit and enjoy the view.

Be warned that the trail itself gets really muddy if it has rained within the last week, but you can still navigate it if you proceed with caution. The road leading up to the trail isn’t the most fun for smaller cars - lots of bumps and it’s very narrow - but it’s also manageable with caution.

I loved this trail and will definitely come back again. I encourage everyone reading this to check it out.

4 months ago

Great trail. This is a rather long trail. The terrain is easy to moderate.

hiking
6 months 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.

6 months 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
6 months 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
7 months ago

Beautiful trail!!!

hiking
7 months ago

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

hiking
7 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.

8 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
8 months ago

Ultimate quiet.

hiking
9 months ago

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

hiking
9 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
10 months ago

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

10 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
10 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.

10 months ago

Gorgeous family friendly trail!

10 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!

11 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.

11 months ago

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

11 months ago

Fun hike. Trees are massive.

hiking
11 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
11 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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