Walk amid some of the finest redwood scenery on the planet and then visit a waterfall via this natural path.
The Boy Scout Tree Trail cuts through a breathtaking forest in the Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park. A hike along this scenic track is an enjoyable activity for all the family and a great stopover on the Howland Hill Road. Follow the 5.6-mile (9-kilometer) long Boy Scout Tree Trail for up-close encounters with an unspoiled old-growth forest and centuries-old trees that grow over 300 feet (91 meters) tall.
Start the trail by walking through a lowland redwood forest, where trees rise up from a carpet of verdant ferns. You’ll cross a stream, climb ridges and navigate switchbacks. Note the spooky silence, something especially noticeable on calm, windless days. Pass through woodland areas with open canopies that allow sunbeams to enter and illuminate that foliage.
After about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) you’ll reach the Boy Scout Tree. This monstrous tree gets its name from its double trunk, which resembles the two-finger salute of a Boy Scout. Have fun measuring yourself up against this and the trail’s other gigantic redwoods. Remember to bring a camera to take photos of the forest’s extraterrestrial appearance.
A short walk from the Boy Scout Tree is Fern Falls, a modest waterfall and the end of the trail. The return journey presents the chance to view the redwoods from an alternative angle.
The trailhead is roughly a 25-minute drive from both Crescent City and the riverside village of Hiouchi. Park at the pullouts, which have space for about a dozen cars. The drive in on Howland Hill Road is spectacular and weaves around primeval forest. Close to the trailhead is access to the Mill Creek Trail and Nickerson Ranch Trail.
Visit the Boy Scout Tree Trail from sunrise to sunset. Try to come on a sunny day to experience the best of the forest’s colors and start early to avoid crowds. Make sure to wear appropriate footwear and remember to bring water with you.