Redwood National Park: Smith River

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Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!

Redwood National and State Parks➤

Redwood National and State Parks protect the world’s tallest trees. The park is unique in that it is a spread out confederation of state and national lands along the Northern California coast. The National Park Service, along with California’s Sate Park System, administer the sites together.

The 139,000 acre complex preserves prairies, rivers and coastline as well as the ancient redwood groves. While we visited Redwood National Park, we had the chance to see several of the different areas of the park.

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Kayaking the Smith River➤

The Smith River is the last major undammed river in California. It flows through the Redwoods and Jedidiah Smith State Park. Jedidiah Smith explored the West while working for the fur trade in the early 1800s.

We met our guides from Redwood Rides at a local service station. They drove us to a point upstream so we could paddle with the current for our half-day tour. Our group had mixed athletic abilities, so this was the perfect excursion for us. Our excellent guide showed us how to paddle more efficiently, how to navigate the small rapids and no one capsized!

Our guide talked about the surrounding geology and nature as we enjoyed this serene and scenic journey. No motorboats are allowed on the Smith River, so it really was peaceful. We encountered only a handful of people swimming, fishing, and tubing along the way.

About halfway into the ride, we pulled up on a beach. We hiked less than 1/2 mile with the guide into the Stout Grove in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. It was amazing to walk amongst some of the oldest living things on earth, without the crowds of more popular parks like Muir Woods. Pictures can’t do this place justice (especially since all I had with me was a waterproof point and shoot.) After this peaceful respite, we got back into our kayaks and paddled back to the parking lot.

Redwood Posts➤

  • Smith River
  • Coastal Areas
  • Prairie Creek State Park
  • Battery Point Lighthouse
  • Ocean World

Location: 17 West 4th Avenue, Crescent City, CA 95531
Designation: State and National Park
Date designated/established: October 2, 1968
Date of my visit: August 20, 2016

14 thoughts on “Redwood National Park: Smith River

  1. We need to visit there for sure. My wife and I were only able to take a short walk in the Muir Woods and while that was fantastic your photos look amazing. Next stop for us is the Appalachian Trail this October. We are so blessed to have places like this.

  2. Floating the Smith river was an annual tradition in my family when I was a kid. We did it every summer. When I was about 13, I got to paddle my own inflatable kayak with my cousin riding. Such awesome memories! It’s one of the most beautiful places on earth!

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