In July our family spent a week in Medford for a Little League state tournament. It was 100 degrees in Medford every day, and I was cranky about the hot temps. After the first 4 days of baseball, we had a day off. My baseball player went rafting on the Rogue River with his teammates. My husband was getting in 8 hours of work each day, so I took my two younger kids and my niece to visit some big redwoods (Sequioa sempervirens).
I’m so glad I discovered these redwoods in Portland. If I hadn’t seem them, I doubt that my thoughts would have turned toward making use of a free day to explore more redwoods in relatively close proximity.
Without the kids along I would have driven to some Oregon redwoods, but the only route from where I was meant driving south to Crescent City, CA and then back north on Hwy 101 to the Chetco River in Brookings area. It was closer to make our stop at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park in California, a straight shot from Grants Pass on Hwy 199, The Redwood Highway. My sister-in-law recommended Stout Grove, so off we went.
After two hours of driving with patient children who did their best to keep themselves entertained, we were all glad to arrive at our destination.
Although Stout Grove has it’s own access and parking area, we found it easiest and faster to get there via the campground. It’s an $8 day use fee, and a short walk across a summer footbridge over the Smith River, especially fun for the kids. (Note the long sleeves — at least 25 degrees cooler than Medford, so who cares about mosquitoes!)
Part of the reason I have delayed posting about this visit for so long is that I’m not too pleased with the tree photos I took. I don’t know how to work with these light conditions. But capturing these trees in all their glory and magnitude must certainly be a challenge even for good photographers.
Yes, majestic and colossal are worn out words but at over 300 feet tall, how else to describe these trees?
The other visitors I noticed moved down the trails with an appropriately quiet and reverent spirit. However, the 3 children in my company explored this magical space with exuberance.
Playground or sanctuary, it is wonderfully appealing to all. I look forward to seeing more of this region in the future.
PS If you love beef jerky, make sure to allow for a stop at Taylor’s in Cave Junction.