Redwoods

Del Norte County is synonymous with redwood forests.  Del Norte has some of the most beautiful redwood forests in California.   If you visit Crescent City or surrounding towns, you should spend some time wandering these beautiful forests.  Know that you will find more than the beautiful redwoods, the forests are filled with much more.

Some of the varying fullage you'll see will include feathery ferns, redwood sorrel, salal, trillium, Douglas iris, tigerlily, Salmonberry, thimbleberry, huckleberry, rhododendrons, azaleas, redwoods, western hemlock, Douglas fir, big-leaf maple, alder, California laurel,tanoak, madrone, and Port Orford Cedar.

Some of the wild life you'll see will include elk, deer, gray squirrels, Douglas squirrels, redwood chipmonks, raccons, bears, mountain lions, and if you're really lucky ... otters, and beavers.

Oh, and the Del Norte area is noted for its birdwatching.  There are more than 420 different birds that have been identified in the Del Norte area. Among others, you'll see Steller's jay, dippers, thrushes, wookpeckers, grouse, belted kingfish, osprey, spotted owls, marbeled murrelet.  To learn more about places and birds, check out this site about birds and birdwalking trails in Del Norte County.   Oh, and while you're wandering the forests, see if you can check off some birds from this bird list.

Going east of Crescent City you'll find Six Rivers National Forest, and Jedediah Smith State Park.   These forests are noted for their enormous redwoods, ferns, wildlife and more.

If you would like only a short hike, some of the favorite locations for a short hike would be:

  • Simpson-Reed Grove - A 1 mile hike at the Walker Road exit on Hwy 199. This hike takes you through an enormous stand of towering redwoods.  This stand, with a tall canopy, cascading water, softly babbling creek, and random fallen trees sets up a wonderful walking environment.  More, the environment invites lush tropical ferns, hemlock trees, huckle berries, red-legged frogs, rough-skinned newts, and other amphibians that depend on the mosture.  The hike is level, inviting and you'll enjoy the sights and tranquility.
  • Stout Grove - A 0.6 mile hike.  Stout Grove claims to be the most scenic stand of redwoods you'll find.   Not the large grove, or the tallest, but grand.  The grove is not hard to get to, but, is up a rather long dirt road out of either Crescent City or Hiouchi.  To get there from Crescent city, head up Howland Hill Rd, and wind upt the road into the hills.  Once there, you enjoy the serenity of the redwoods and hiking in all directions.   (Be cautious as you make the drive. The dirt road is narrow and you will meet cars coming the opposite direction up this narrow road.  Be polite as you make the drive and share the road.)

For more information about the best hikes, long or short, forest information, books, maps and more, visit the National Park Service Crescent City Information Center at:

1111 Second St
Crescent City, CA
707-465-7335

Open:
Winter: 9am to 4pm
Spring-Fall: 9am to 5pm

If you're driving up Hwy 199, passing through Hiouchi and Gasquet, there are other great locations to stop for forest information, books, maps, and more about the local forests.  They include:

Hiouchi Information Center

2100 US Hwy 199
Hiouchi, CA
707-458-3294

Open:
Summer: 9am to 5pm

Jedediah Smith Visitor Center

1440 US Hwy 199,
Hiouchi, CA
707-458-3496

Open:
Summer: 9am to 5pm

Gasquet Ranger Station

10600 Hwy 199,
Gasquet, CA
707-457-3131

However, don't stop with going east of Crescent City,  going south you'll find enormous redwoods too.  Why go south? The difference between heading east and heading south ... heading south you can experience the Redwoods meeting the sea.   Heading south, you pass Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, Praire Creek Redwoods State Park and more.

If you would like a short hike, some of the favorite locations would be:

  • Last Chance Trail to Enderts Beach - A 1 mile trip from high in the redwoods at Crescent Beach Outlook at the end of Enderts Road, to the Enderts beach.   It is the last chance to connect with, and walk to, the beach along the much longer California Coastal Trail. It's a wonderful chance to enjoy the old-growth redwoods, a walk-in campground, and beach in one short trip.  You'll love the hike through the trees, may see waterfalls, enjoy the smell of the trail and find a beautiful secluded beach to explore at the bottom.
  • False Klamath - Hike as long as you like, starting at the mouth of the Wilson Creek.   Walk north, or walk south.  Walk along the beach, walk along the creek.   This is a beautiful starting point that can take you as far south as the Klamath River or north to Enderts beach.   You'll see redwoods, ocean, tidepools, Sitka and Alder forests.   Enjoy the seastacks, murres, cormorants, and more. 
  • Hidden Beach Trail - A 2.7 mile trip from the Klamath Outlook parking area on Requa Road down to Hidden Beach.  During the trip you'll smell the fresh air, see the ocean, redwoods, Mouth of the Klamath, Sitka and Alder forest ... and love every minite of the hike.

Again, if you would like more information about both longer and shorter hikes, visit the Crescent City Information Center for all sorts of great information about the redwoods of Del Norte County ... or search for 'hiking del norte county.'

To reserve a campsite in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, check at Reserve America.

If you would like to know more about hiking of the redwoods, try visiting http://www.redwoodhikes.com/JedSmith/JedSmith.html

If you would like to do some hiking along the coast, visit http://www.redwoodhikes.com/DelNorte/DelNorte.html

Del Norte County does allow hunting and fishing.   If you like these sports, visit http://www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/index.html for the needed hunting and fishing licence.