Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is an oasis of beauty, a preserved slice of the natural world home to towering trees and a pristine river. Located in Northern California, the park is easy to find—just follow Highway 199 nine miles to the east of Crescent City. This wildlife watcher’s dream features more than 20 miles of trails to hike as well as a visitor center and access to the Smith River, one of the last free-flowing rivers in the region. Named for the explorer Jedediah Smith, the park continues to welcome adventurers. It’s part of a network of parks managed by the state in cooperation with the National Park Service. Together, Jedediah Smith, Redwood National Park, and a few neighboring others are home to nearly half the redwood forests in California.
Crescent City Image: Beezum (flickr)
The closest major city to the state park, Crescent City embodies that laid-back California charm. Nestled in Del Norte County, the northernmost county in California only 20 minutes from Oregon, the city takes its name from the beach that wraps around the harbor. Its location leads to a micro-climate with a high average rainfall and relatively moderate temperatures in all seasons. There’s a lot to enjoy along with Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Crescent City is the gateway to the Smith River National Recreation Area and the Castle Rock National Wildlife Refuge. You’ll also find beaches and everything you need to enjoy a vacation, including hotels and eateries.
Hiking & Camping
Hiking & Camping Image: Steven Smith! (flickr)
Once you’ve left Crescent City and headed to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, you’ll have a long list of options to enjoy. It’s hard to deny the amazement of seeing the redwoods up close. More than 10,000 acres of these majestic trees stand in groves with winding trails. In the summertime, park rangers lead interpretive hikes, and you can head out on your own any time of the year. Along the way, you’ll encounter many different species of plants in animals, including charming little redwood chipmunks and Steller’s jays. If you’re lucky, you might see an river otter and a beaver or even a bald eagle soaring along the treetops. The park is also home to a campground that accommodates RVs and tent campers. Open year round and busiest in the summer, the campground has 89 sites with fire pits and bathroom facilities among the redwoods.
Different seasons bring different angling opportunities at the state park. The prime season arrives in October and continues in February—during this time, salmon and steelhead trout are in abundance. The cutthroat trout arrive in the summer. Local guides and outfitters can ensure you have all the equipment you need to make a great catch at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
Top image: MiguelVieira (flickr)