52 Weeks of Fun

Not Just Destination Finders, But Destination Storytellers


, Redwood Parks Conservancy

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park


Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park has been described as the gem of the California State Park system. Located in Redwood National and State Parks, the park is home to the Coast Redwoods (Sequoia Semperviren) the tallest living things on the planet. Once covering most of the land of North America, the Redwoods are now only found in a narrow area along the northern California coast, where they tower over the landscape, growing 350 feet tall, and thousands of acres of old-growth forest have yet to be seen by humans.

The park offers a variety of hikes geared towards every activity level from the accessible Simpson-Reed Grove Trail to the strenuous Damnation Creek Trail, each offering the hiker something special. The Simpson-Reed Trail has interpretive signs along the way to help visitors understand the biome that is the Redwood Forest. The Boy Scout Tree Trail visits the park’s only waterfall, and the Damnation Creek Trail drops over 1,100 feet in just two miles for a glorious view of a Pacific sunset. It takes just 45 minutes to go down, but about three hours to travel back up.

Bisecting the park is the Smith River, designated a Wild and Scenic River and the only undammed major river left in the country. Due to the serpentine rock that the river travels through, it is also considered the cleanest river in the country, outside of Alaska. Its crystal clear emerald waters are a favorite of fishermen and kayakers, making camping in the park a year-round experience as hundreds of recreationists arrive in winter to catch record-setting salmon and steelhead, or experience Class 3 and 4 rapids.

The park is open year-round, with limited amenities and programs in the low-peak season (October to May). Summer includes Jr. Ranger programs, ranger-led hikes, and evening campfire programs. There is a visitor center run by the Redwood Park Conservancy that has a little natural history museum.

, California State Parks
, Recreation.com

A 52 Weeks of Fun Fascinating Fact about Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

Stout Grove, just across the river from the Jed Smith campground, was used by George Lucas as the planet Endor in his blockbuster “Return of the Jedi.”

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  • Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
  • Crescent City
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