Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

How to get there: Nine miles northeast of Crescent City, California on Highway 101 and 199. For information call (707) 464-6101 ext. 5112.

Established in 1929, this 10,000 acre predominately old growth coast redwood park is bisected by the last major free flowing river in California, the Smith River. This is a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. Almost all of the park land is watershed for the Smith River and Mill Creek, a major tributary. 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.

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 counties.

There are 107 developed campsites, a 50 person group campground, and a bicycle camp located in old growth redwoods along the Smith River. The park can accommodate motor homes up to 36 feet and trailers up to 31 feet. An RV dump station is available near camp. Reservations are recommended during the summer season and can be made by calling Destinet at (800) 444-7275.

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park in a nutshell:

Visitation: 500,000/year
Location/directions: Nine miles east of Crescent City, California on Highway 199.
Address: Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, 1375 Elk Valley Rd, Crescent City CA 95531.
Telephone: (707) 464-6101 ext. 5112 on season (ext. 5101 off season).
Operating hours/seasons: Campground open all year. Day use sunrise to sunset.
Climate/Recommended clothing: Summer 45-85. Winter 30-60 Dress for rain Nov.-May with up to 100 inches annually.
Travel Directions: Take Highway 101 north of Crescent City, California then Highway 199. Campground is east of Crescent City 9 miles.
Transportation (to the park/in the park): None.
Fees/costs/rates: Car campsites are $12 off season, $16 on season. Showers need quarters. Bicycle camps are $3/person. Group camp is $75. Day use $5/day. Senior citizens receive $2 discount on camping and $1 discount on day use.
Facilities: 20 miles of hiking and nature trails, river access, visitor center with exhibits and a nature store, RV dump station.
Reservations/Permits: Recommended for the summer season. Not necessary the rest of the year.
Basic visit recommendations: Drive Howland Hill Road (gravel-not recommended for trailers) and stroll in the Stout Grove. This is a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve, and the park lives up to this recognition.

Additional North Coast Redwoods District State Parks links:

[Azalea State Reserve]
[Benbow Lake State Recreation Area]
[Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park]
[Fort Humboldt State Historic Park]
[Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park]
[Standish - Hickey State Recreation Area]
[Humboldt Redwoods State Park]
[Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park]
[Humboldt Lagoons State Park]
[Lake Earl State Park]
[Patrick's Point State Park]
[Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park]
[Richardson Grove State Park]
[Sinkyone Wilderness State Park]
[Trinidad State Beach]

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Revised: 22 September 1997
Copyright © 1997 Humboldt Redwoods Interpretive Association