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 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 Bernadino 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.
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 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.
Day use sunrise to sunset.
Campground open all year.
Fees: Visit www.reserveamerica.com for camping reservations and fees
ADA Accessibility Notes
Five campsites designated accessible are level and mostly accessibly furnished. There is some loose gravel over firm packed surfaces. Parking is paved and is generally accessible. Route of travel: There are accessible routes to restrooms with showers from these sites. Restrooms and showers: One restroom opposite site 13 has a usable toilet. Current showers are not wheelchair accessible.
The Stout Grove Loop Trail is accessible for about 0.50 miles through redwood forests. Trailhead, accessible restroom and accessible parking are located at the east end of Stout Grove parking lot.
Pet Friendly Notes
Dogs must be on leash and are not allowed on trails. Dogs are allowed on roads and within campground as long as they are leashed.
For More Information, Contact:
California State Parks – North Coast Redwoods District
P.O. Box 2006, Eureka, CA 95502
(707)445-6547 · fax (707) 461-5737