Redwoods National Park

May 4th ~ Redwoods National Park, Northern California

Can you see the people? Tiny specks next to the trees

We left Ellie Mae Camp-it safely parked at Jedediah Smith Park while we took a morning expedition to check out the Giant Redwoods. 

We started with gathering up some literature at Hiouchi Information Center. Although we often refer to the giant trees as “Redwoods” there are in fact three distinct species.

Three redwood species can be found

  1. Dawn Redwood ~ the smallest variety, long thought to be extinct but were recently rediscovered in Central China
  2. Giant Sequoia ~ quick-growing, and long-lived. They can live more than 3,000 years. The largest one, General Sherman, is located in Sequoia National Park (California). With an estimated volume of over 50,000 cubic feet, height up to 311 feet and a diameter up to 40 feet, it is the most massive living thing on earth. They can be found only in the Western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Central California. The rangers called these the “football players” of the tree family.
  3. Coast Redwood ~ the tallest trees in the world. Think “basketball players” for this variety. Found on the Northern California coast and into the southernmost coastal section of Oregon. With a height up to 370 feet, and diameter up to 22 feet, they can live more than 2,000 years.

After getting some recommendations, we chose to take the scenic Howland Hill Road to Stout Memorial Grove to see the Coast Redwoods.

Map shows the Howland Hills Road to Stout Grove just south of Hiouchi Visitors Center

The road is not paved most of the distance, but we easily navigated it in the Subaru. RV are not recommended on this section.

Stout Memorial Grove (courtesy nps.gov)

  • Location: Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
  • Trailhead: Paved access road is on east end of Howland Hill Road. Summer seasonal bridge allows access from Jedediah Smith Campground.
  • Mileage: 0.5-mile loop
  • Difficulty Level: After the initial descent from the parking lot, the trail is easy and flat.
  • Description: Stout Grove, a majestic example of an ancient coast redwood forest, is often considered to be the heart of Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. In 1929, Mrs. Clara Stout donated this 44-acre grove to the Save-the-Redwoods League to save it from being logged and to memorialize her husband, lumber baron Frank D. Stout. A walk along this loop trail reveals colossal redwoods thriving in rich soil deposited during periodic flooding of the Smith River. Here, waist-high sword ferns carpet the forest floor and normally flared tree bases stop short, covered in river soils. Flood waters inhibit the growth of understory trees and plants seen in other groves, leaving the 300-foot redwoods on display. A short spur trail leads you to the serpentine waters of the Smith River.

It was truly an easy stroll through these magnificent giants. Although only a short 1/2 mile loop, we took our time and savored every moment. At one point I commented that “this is my church”, as the feeling of grandeur is overpowering.

Tranquil, and awe-inspiring

Looking up

The shapes, bumps, growths, bark made fascinating shapes.

Colors and shapes

Otherworldly magnificence

We played, we posed, we laughed, we honored their majesty.

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Others before us left their marks. Today this is forbidden.

Please don’t do this…

We could not believe how much this burl looked like a gorilla head!

Gorilla head from a different/closer angle

We were like ants on the forest carpet next to these fallen giants.

We look pretty insignificant next to the trees

Sums it up nicely

After our morning drive and gentle hike, we returned to Jedediah Smith Park, loaded up Ellie Mae, and drove back into Oregon along the coast.

Next overnight place: Gold Beach, OR

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Where would I begin on my gratitude today? The size of the redwoods dwarfed me and humbled me. Standing next to these imposing creations was like a religious experience. Seeing their beauty, strength, and endurance was both over-powering and invigorating. One can not visit here without leaving with a new sense of wonder and appreciation for Mother Nature.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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34 Responses to Redwoods National Park

  1. Laura Urban says:

    Having an amazing time! The Redwoods were truly magical….

    Like

  2. Claire says:

    Wow. That is truly majestic. Love the pictures and info!

    Like

  3. Mike Alesko says:

    I am imagining myself there with you and even at home I am humbled and speechless. I once went into that area at night and turned off my car lights. It was pitch black, save for moon shadows on the gentle giants. I will never ever forget the ethereal experience.

    Like

  4. Peter Buller says:

    It seems you were well tree-ted…
    Jeanette & I should be in the USA in a year or so. Redwood forest is way up on the visit list.
    Jeanette’s a veracious tree-hugger but she may have trouble getting her arms around those…

    Like

    • Peter, I’m excited for you to see some of the USA. Please let us know when/if your plans will bring you to the Los Angeles area as we would love to see you and meet Jeanette. If you have any other areas of interest, we would be happy to make some recommendations. Just like Australia, our country is large and impossible to see it all – even over several visits.

      Like

  5. joylennick says:

    Those trees are truly awe-inspiring! Magnificent… As you said, very humbling. Follow that, eh!

    Like

  6. A few years ago we visited Muir Woods and were also blown away by the size and beauty of the trees as well as the quiet of the woods, even with lots of people there. Magnificent!

    janet

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  7. Fran Vukovich says:

    A M A Z I N G. The pics are wonderful!

    Like

  8. nanci dixon says:

    Amazing! Thanks for your thorough post. It is on our list for sure now.

    Like

  9. I would just love to visit the Redwoods…..amazing post

    Like

  10. TracyNicole says:

    What a beautiful place! Your caption about feeling like ants reminded me of the movie “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” when they’re exploring the backyard!

    Like

  11. Widdershins says:

    Walking in old growth forests is a truly magical experience. 😀

    Like

  12. Great Pictures. Thanks

    Like

  13. Kim Gorman says:

    What amazing photos! I can only imagine how much more majestic they appear in person, and how magical it must feel to be walking among them. My husband and I celebrate our 25th anniversary in two years and that is where we plan to go – San Francisco, Redwood, and Napa Valley, where I fully intent to ride in a hot air balloon!

    Like

  14. “This is my church.” I couldn’t agree more. When I’m in a forest I feel the same way.

    There’s a place on the way to Tofino, heading up Vancouver Island in Canada called “Cathedral Grove” that is much like what you saw when you felt that…. only it is dropping with moss that absorbs the landscape in a hush…. that lack of sound fills the place with reverence and awe. It is incredible.

    Like

  15. Cherilyn says:

    Wow….thank you for letting us get a peek over your shoulders so to speak. 🙂

    Like

  16. curvyroads says:

    Incredible place and photos! Definitely on our list. We are feeling small and humbled by the scenery in Colorado, but the magnificence of the redwoods is even more humbling!

    Like

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