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Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

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...
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.

Visitor Center: 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.

Trail/Pathway Details

Simpson-Reed Discovery and Peterson Memorial Trails

Trailhead: At the accessible parking area on Walker Rd. off Hwy. 199

Length: 1-2 total miles

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

One short section on the Simpson-Reed trail narrows to less than 30 inches where trees have fallen.

Typical Grade: Gentle

Terrain: Firm

Description

Before you even leave the parking lot, an uprooted redwood tree seduces you to marvel at the artistry of its root structure. Start off on the Simpson-Reed loop (.6 mile), 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...
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Stout Memorial Grove

Trailhead: Howland Hill Rd.

Length: Under one mile total

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Typical Grade: Mostly level or gentle

The steepest section is at the beginning; otherwise the trail undulates slightly throughout. In a few places the cross-slope is greater than 2 percent and may be bothersome to manual chair users.

Terrain: Moderately Firm

Description

Located on a small floodplain of the Smith River, this 44-acre grove was donated to the Save the Redwoods League by Clara Stout in 1921 and later became part of Redwood National and State Parks. Although the redwoods found here are not the biggest in the region, a lack of understory trees reveals their full stature. A plush...
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Accessibility Details

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

At visitor center and Stout Grove trailhead. Two accessible spaces on Walker Rd. serve the Simpson-Reed and Peterson trailhead. At Stout Grove (no sink) and Hiouchi visitor center. None at Simpson-Reed Discovery and Peterson Memorial Trails.
At Hiouchi visitor center, adjacent to the restrooms
Uprooted tree on Simpson-Reed Discovery Trail
Uprooted tree on Simpson-Reed Discovery Trail (Mark Lewkowicz)

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Features icon key

  • camping
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • picnic

Additional Information

View Map  
Website: www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=413
Managing Agency: California State Parks, National Park Service
Nearest City: Hiouchi
Phone: (707) 465-7335
Hours: Trails: sunrise to sunset. Hiouchi visitor center: mid-May to mid-September, daily, 9 am-5 pm; closed off-season.
Fees: None
Dogs: Not allowed
Reviewed by Bonnie Lewkowicz, September 22, 2013
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.  
California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

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Accessible Wheelchair Icon looks like a wheelchair with balloon wheelsBeach Accessible
Wheelchairs Available
  Hiking icon is silhouette of a hikerHiking & Trails
Biking icon looks like person riding a bikeBicycling   Good for Familis icon is a child on a swing'Particularly Good for Families
Boating Icon is a boatBoating   Picnic Area Icon is a picnic tablePicnic
Camping icon is a tentCamping   Swimming Icon is a person swimmingSwimming
Fishing Icon is a fish biting a hookFishing   Wildlife Viewing Icon is a pair of binocularsWildlife Viewing
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