Boy Scout Tree (Jed Smith Redwoods State Park)

Rating (Out of 5): 4.5

Location: Near Crescent City, Calif.

Distance: 5.5 miles round-trip

Difficulty: moderate

Camping: No

Quick hit: Although the lesser-known of the two best hikes in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Boys Scout Tree Trail is the longest and, if you have the time, the best. Stout Grove, located just down the road, draws more people, but for people really looking to spend some time among some of the world's most magic trees, this is the trail.

The trees are largest during the trails' first few miles. After a few miles, there's a junction for Boy Scout Tree itself, a monster where two trees have grown together to form one massive trunk. The trail ends at Fern Falls.

Directions: From Grants Pass, follow Redwood Highway 199 for 70 miles south into California. Take a left on South Fork Road (427) and cross a bridge over the Smith River. Follow South Fork Road for 1.5 miles and take a right onto Douglas Park Road, following pointers to Stout Grove. Continue on Douglas Park road until it becomes Howland Hill Road, a rough, dirt road that runs into Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park. Continue a few miles past Stout Grove to a turnout on the right side of the road and the trailhead.

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