On maps, Howland Hill Road appears to be a simple trail. But this easy route is a stunningly beautiful, meandering drive through large groves of moss-hung coast redwoods in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. The single-track road is graded dirt for most of its length, and the surface is often wet and slippery with fallen leaves. The quiet drive is surprisingly beautiful on a wet day, when mist lends it an eerie feel. Take care when it is wet—the trail can be extremely slippery. The trail climbs steeply from the edge of Crescent City, entering Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and then winding among the large trees. Turnouts allow for safe parking at most of the hiking trails, which lead farther into the groves of giants. Special Attractions: Small winding road through giant coast redwoods in the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park; Access to the Smith River and a number of hiking trails; Excellent photo opportunities along the road. High-clearance 4WDs are preferred, but any high-clearance vehicle is acceptable. Expect a rough road surface; mud and sand are possible but will be easily passable. You may encounter rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, a loose road surface, and shelf roads, though these will be wide enough for passing or will have adequate pull-offs.
© 2006 Peter Massey & Jeanne Wilson/Adler Publishing . All Rights Reserved.