Boy Scout Tree

  • Level: Easy (Beginner Level: Challenging)
  • Length: 5.8 miles
  • Elevation: 600 ft. gain
  • Type: out and back
  • Open: check with forest service in winter

Brie and I went to the Redwoods for our anniversary and my thirty-fourth birthday. The night before we did this trail, it was pouring terribly. I asked the sky for a birthday miracle of at least no rain for our hike, though of course, we’d take whatever we got. We were not going to miss an opportunity to hike in the Redwoods! By the grace of whatever, we woke up under a perfectly clear, blue, sunny sky.

The trailhead was about a thirty minute drive on 101-S from our campground through beautiful coastal farmland. We turned onto a road for maybe a mile or two and BAM! It was as if we entered The Veil. Also known as a back entrance to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Redwood drama, light beams, perfectly illuminated spiderwebs and the greenest ferns carpeted all around us. It was the off season and there was hardly anyone around. We drove up to the trailhead for the Boy Scout Tree Trail, knowing we were about to do something so special. If you ever need to feel like a speck of dust in the Universe, inconsequential but still somehow a part of everything, go to the Redwoods. The mystery of those trees… some of them are literally thousands of years old.


The trail was fantastic, one of the best I’ve been on. Nice rolling inclines and declines and it appeared as though the trees got bigger and bigger the further in we went. We hiked to the Boy Scout Tree, which is actually two trees that grew together to make a massive trunk, and then just a half mile further to our turnaround point, Fern Falls, a gentle twenty-foot fan tumbling into a small creek.

The rebirth of Brie Jones. Redwood vagina!!!

Boy Scout Tree and Brie

Note: the Boy Scout Tree is slightly off the trail. Pay close attention to directions. If you do this trail, follow it up with a visit to Stout Grove, one of the crowning jewels of Jedediah Smith Redwoods SP. It isn’t the largest grove of Redwoods, nor does it even have the biggest trees, but it’s so incredibly beautiful and super accessible.


From the trailhead:

After about two miles, you’ll come to a third railed footbridge (count the railed bridges as you go). Continue on for about 300 yards, until you come to a scramble trail uphill to the right about 60 feet to the, labeled, Boy Scout Tree. The scramble path was unsigned when I was there, but it was obvious. You can turn around here for a 4.8-mile hike, or continue on (back on the main trail) another 0.5-mile to Fern Falls for your turnaround point.

FernFallsRedwoodsFern Falls

FirstTrilliumRedwoodsFirst Trillium spotting of the seasons and in the motherfucking REDWOODS!

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