The northernmost of the great redwood groves, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park covers nearly 10,000 acres of virgin forest along the banks of the Smith River. Stretching east of US-101, and most easily accessible from US-199, the park offers over 20 miles of usually uncrowded hiking trails through the pristine wilderness; it is considered by many the most perfect of all the redwood forests. One of the most enjoyable trails leads through Stout Grove, past tall trees and a number of summertime swimming holes along the Smith River.
There’s also a good campground (800/444-7275) with hot showers. For fans of roadside kitsch, there’s one unique spot along US-101 in the hamlet of Smith River, 15 miles north of Crescent City: Ship Ashore Resort (707/487-3141), a gift shop, restaurant, campground, and motel along US-101, marked by a grounded but still handsome 1920s yacht, inside which is a gift shop.