Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park
Coordinates 41°46′54″N 124°6′2″W
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
Established in 1929, this predominately old growth coast redwoods
park is bisected by the last major free flowing river in California,
the Smith River. Almost all of the park land is water shed for the
Smith River and Mill Creek, a major tributary.
The park has about 20 miles of hiking and nature trails, river
access, a visitor center with exhibits and a nature store. Drive
Howland Hill Road (gravel-not recommended for trailers) and stroll
in the Stout Grove.
Nine miles east of Crescent City on
Summer 45-85 degrees.
Winter 30-60 degrees.
Annual rainfall can be up to 100 inches
during November through May.
Redwood National and State Parks
This park, along with Prairie
Creek, Del Norte Coast, and the National Park Service's Redwood
National Park, are managed cooperatively by the National Park
Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation. These
parks make up 45 percent of all the old-growth redwood forest
remaining in California.
About the park
The park is named after the intrepid explorer,
Jedediah Strong Smith who was the first white man to explore the
interior of northern California. His journey through the coast
redwood belt was part of a remarkable two-year trapping expedition
which began in 1826. Smith pioneered a trail southwest from the
Great Salt Lake across the Mojave Desert through the San Bernardino
Mountains into California.
Discovery of gold along the Sacramento and Trinity Rivers in the
mid-1800’s drew many thousands to northern California. The need for
a supply route to remote mining camps initiated a spurt of
exploration that motivated settlement of Humboldt and Del Norte
Conifers other than redwoods include western hemlock, Sitka
spruce, grand and Douglas fir, as well as the less common Port
Orford cedar. Primary examples of the understory include tanoak,
madrone, red alder, big leaf and vine maple, and California bay.
Ground cover is dense with a wide range of species and varieties of
shrubs, bushes, flowers, ferns, mosses and lichens common to the
coast redwood environment.
Wildlife of the park is both abundant and varied including such
animals as black bear, deer, coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, skunks,
fox, beaver, river otter, squirrels, chipmunks and many others. Some
of the rare or uncommon examples of bird life identified include the
bald eagle, spotted owl, pileated woodpecker and marbled murrelet.
The Smith River and Mill Creek are especially known for the king
salmon and steelhead trout runs in the fall and winter. Mill Creek
is a spawning ground for these fish.