Larry & Lee Ann's Journey travel blog

Today we followed the Smith River on our way to Stout Grove...

The level is down compared to years past, but still pretty...

I especially like all of the growth near the river's edge...

Entering the Jedediah Smith State Park...

An interesting mix of foliage here...

Crossing the bridge, we walked to take it all in...

Check out the size of this baby!

My honey, standing inside one of these big boys...

I can't describe how surreal it is here, wonderful!

We spent over 3 hours here, could have stayed all day!

Larry liked this grouping...

Just a stump...

Stopped for a short hike...

Can't you just picture a HUGE dinosaur chasing me down this path?...

Larry gathered this mushroom so we could ask Don what kind it...

What an awesome drive!

On a walk once again...

It's amazing how they survive, even with large cavities in them!

Almost at the end of our journey, boo hoo!

A nice end to our day was finding and watching these beauties...

They were leary of us, started to run!

He came back to round up the stragglers, so we decided to...

Last shot for today, thanks for coming along!


Today we visited Stout Grove, considered by many to be one of the world's most scenic stand of redwoods. It's not all that large, and it doesn't have the biggest trees, but for sheer photogenic beauty nothing beats this extraordinary grove on a sunny afternoon.

Located on a small floodplain at the junction of two rivers, the Stout Grove has an openness and cathedral-like majesty combined with a lush, lawn-like ground cover. This grove also contains the Stout Tree, which is the bulkiest known coast redwood. It is 340 feet tall and 16 feet in diameter at chest height. And the tallest redwood trees here are equal in height to a 35 story skyscraper. Maybe this is what Merriam-Webster had in mind when it granted official-English-word status to "ginormous" in its 2007 college dictionary edition! The redwoods are densely packed, especially at the west end of the grove. A perfect, plush layer of ferns and redwood sorrel carpets the ground.

Each time we visit, we like to begin our journey on the north end of Howland Hills Road. It is a well-traveled, one-way, narrow dirt vehicle road. Along the way, you will occasionally meet another car coming from the opposite direction. Not a problem, just carefully pulled aside in one of the many 'turnouts' so the other vehicle can pass. Apparently built and/or improved by Chinese laborers in the early 1900's, this road was once used by logging vehicles. Before that it was part of the stagecoach route to Oregon. Today when we reached the end of our journey, we turned around and went back through the grove from the opposite direction. And my advice is, begin your journey from the north end off Hwy 199, South Bank Road, ending your journey just a few miles outside of Crescent City for the best views. Just my humble opinion...

It was a beautiful day. Plenty of sunshine, although the temperature was a cool 49 degrees. This meant our walks were short, but still wonderful. The grove has a remarkably hushed and serene environment. The sounds were damped out by the thick, spongy layer of needles on the ground. The terrain looks prehistoric. We both commented that it looked like the kind of environment dinosaurs would have lived in. Remember the third Star Wars movie, Return of the Jedi, when the Ewoks were driving the jet sleds among the big trees? Yep, those scenes were filmed here.

Bottom line, make sure Stout Grove is high on your 'must see' list while in this area. You won't be sorry....



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