A Cathedral of Giant Trees

Crescent City is a small town on the very north tip of California, in fact the last one before you enter into Oregon. Its name comes from the crescent shaped sandy beach where the town is located. Today it’s a popular destination for the whale watching opportunities. It is also home to the iconic Battery Point Lighthouse, built in 1855 and only accessible at low tide. Naturally we had to take a hike out their to admire this picture perfect lighthouse and the fantastic views of the rugged and treacherous coast line. We were hoping to spot whales too of course, but had no such luck. Either way, it is a lovely spot and I wish I could travel back in time and be a lighthouse keeper, if only for a week!

If you’re anything like me, you’ll absolutely love the hike along The Boy Scout Tree Trail.

After our visit to Battery Point, we made our way towards Jedediah Smith Redwood SP and took a the scenic route on Howland Hill Road. An unpaved very narrow road, winding through ancient Redwood forest, lined with giant trees, with Mill Creek at your side. This road is not suitable to large vehicles or those with a caravan in tow, you might see yourself get stuck between some giant redwood’s – no joke! The road is very narrow, with pull outs for meeting cars every 200 m or so, it is not a very busy route, as many people whizz by on either Highway 101 or 199, unaware of what they are missing. But this makes it all the better for the people who like to take the time for the path less travelled. This is where you will find The Boy Scout Tree Trail and Stout Grove, the latter is where some of the most famous scenes in movie history was filmed – Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

We parked up next to The Boy Scout Trail, which has space for a maximum of 6 cars. This trail is the best and longest, undisturbed hike in any of the Redwood Forests. The sign at the car park says it’s 2.8 miles to The Boy Scout Tree, however this is only one way and not strictly correct, a return hike is something around 6 miles and it is considered a half day hike. Unknowing of this when we started, we didn’t have enough water, nor time to make it there and back. But it was still an amazing hike.

As we started our walk into the forest I felt an unusual sense of calm come over me, the air was different here to the places we had visited the previous day, there are few smells I like more than that of an ancient, deep pine tree forest, on a sunny spring day! The ground between the giant Redwoods were smothered in lush green ferns, the trail was a soft and bouncy carpet of needles, weaving in and out between giants, making you climb under fallen over trees and following the trail up and down and over small creeks. As we got deeper in to the forest, the trees grew taller and larger and after walking for an hour without meeting another soul, we noticed how quiet it was in here, not even the sound of a bird. The surroundings are so serene and peaceful here, like a cathedral of ancient giant trees and it sends your mind to a jurassic time or that of Star Wars.

After we waved good bye to the last of the magnificent friendly giants, we headed back to the coast and north on Hwy 101 and entered Oregon. The Californian coast changes quite a bit as you travel along it, the further north you get the more rugged it gets. And as you enter Oregon, it just gets better and better and its full of spruce, so I felt right at home!

We stopped off for the night in a quaint little drive through town called Gold Beach, took into a cute little classic Motel, headed to the beach to try catch the sunset.

It was notoriously hard to get good photo’s in the Redwoods, our camera or skills rather, did not do the forest surroundings justice.

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