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Smith River California to Crescent City California ~ Ocean Pictures ~ Redwoods Forest

Updated on September 14, 2016

Sunset in Smith River, California

Sunset in Smith River as viewed from our balcony.
Sunset in Smith River as viewed from our balcony. | Source

Ship Ashore Resort

This was our destination to rest our heads after our jet boat ride on the Rogue River in Grants Pass, Oregon. This next leg of my mother's, niece's and my trip would have us seeing some of northern California at Smith River, California and down to Crescent City, California where we would take in additional sites like the majestic redwoods forest. Ocean pics were taken as well as forested ones.

Come along and join us on this leg of our journey!

It took much longer than anticipated to drive from Grants Pass to Smith River because of many curves in the road and speeds of only 25 miles per hour. Because of having reservations we pushed on and shortly after arriving enjoyed a magnificent sunset over the Pacific ocean.

The Ship Ashore Resort in Smith River is situated overlooking the water, so we had a terrific and unobstructed view of the setting sun.

Seagulls on our balcony railing.
Seagulls on our balcony railing. | Source

Sunset Pacific

This Ship Ashore Resort has a prime spot with regard to the Smith River and Pacific Ocean. The views are terrific and I made use of my camera to record the brilliant sunset over the water.

Seagulls are in abundance and the waitress at the restaurant invited us to take the remaining bread from the basket that was served at our table during dinner to feed the seagulls that perched on our balcony railing.

Obviously the seagulls are used to being regaled with extra bread like this!

Beautiful sunset in Smith River, California


Hand-feeding seagulls

My niece feeding the seagulls.
My niece feeding the seagulls. | Source

Seagull pictures

We paid the price for this largess!

The next morning at the crack of dawn we had noisy and boisterous seagulls squawking and begging for another helping of bread.

No need for an alarm clock!!!

My niece had fun obliging the seagull's desires. They kept us entertained with their antics until we needed to get on with our planned activities for the day.

Seagulls eating out of our hands

The seagulls ate right out of our hands.
The seagulls ate right out of our hands. | Source

Location of Ship Ashore Resort

A markerShip Ashore Resort -
12370 Hwy 101, Smith River, CA 95567, USA
get directions

Smith River, northern California

Smith River California

Most all of our two week vacation that year was spent in Oregon.

Smith River is a very small unincorporated town in the very northwestern tip of California just below the State of Oregon.

The primary reason that we came to this area was because my mother wanted to see some of the famous tall redwood trees and experience their grandeur in person. Thus it was worked into our sightseeing plans.

It would be the first time for my niece to see them as well.

Battery Point Lighthouse

Crescent City California

We headed south to Crescent City, California which is only 12 miles or so ( 19 km ) from Smith River.

After an easy drive our first stop was to visit the Battery Point Lighthouse.

Normally one can walk right up to it but when the tide rolls in the path is obliterated.

Unfortunately for us, it was high tide so we could only view it from a distance.

It was one of the first lighthouses built along the California coast so has great historical significance.

Had we been able to walk over to it, we could have toured the interior and have seen period furnishings.

As it was, we had to just look at it from a distance.

Battery Point Lighthouse in background

Lighthouse is in the background hidden behind that tree.
Lighthouse is in the background hidden behind that tree. | Source
High tide cutting off access to the Battery Point Lighthouse.
High tide cutting off access to the Battery Point Lighthouse. | Source

Crescent City, California Beach

Ocean Pics

Getting ocean pictures of this rugged coastline in northern California is easy.

Crescent City juts out into the Pacific and it makes for some pretty spectacular scenery.

That location has also caused problems for the local residents.

Tsunami prone, this part of the United States has been hit with large damaging ocean waves causing great destruction and even deaths.

As recent as the devastating 9.0 earthquake in Japan on March 11, 2011, damage was done to property and a death was reported as well when about 8 feet of water came crashing ashore.

Fortunately for us the weather was agreeable and we simply enjoyed the ocean views picking up a few interesting rocks as souvenirs along the way.

Crescent City, California shoreline

Rocky shoreline at Crescent City, California.
Rocky shoreline at Crescent City, California. | Source

Crescent City Beautiful Places

It is easy to see from the map below how Crescent City juts out into the ocean making it more vulnerable to tsunami's than other areas.

Crescent City, California

A markerCrescent City, California -
Crescent City, CA, USA
get directions

Sea Lions at Crescent City California

A walk among the Giants

Redwoods Forest

Crescent City is the gateway to some of the giant redwood trees of California.

My mother, niece and I found a picnic table in the Lady Bird Johnson Grove and enjoyed a lunch of some Indian style smoked salmon jerky that we had purchased locally to add to our other more typical picnic offerings.

We had some interested blue jays that were willing to gather any crumbs left behind.

It was then time to see and marvel at the spectacular redwood trees.

Redwoods forest

Redwoods and ferns
Redwoods and ferns | Source

Redwoods: The Tallest Trees

Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park in California
Redwood National Park in California | Source

Giant Redwood trees California

The Lady Bird Johnson Grove is a part of the National Park.

In addition to the Redwood National Park, there are a number of State Parks which have these coastal redwoods growing in various places along the California coastline.

These redwoods which are the tallest living things on our planet...some thousands of years old!...have amazingly shallow roots. Many are no more than about 10 feet in depth but do spread out for great distances.

Most of the mature trees are anywhere between 300 to 350 feet tall!

They have massive trunks and can survive fires that have occurred over the centuries. In fact, hollowed out trunks of trees that are still alive have been used for shelter for both people and animals.

Redwood National Park photo

My niece in the Redwood National Park
My niece in the Redwood National Park | Source

Scenery in Redwoods National Park

Look at the size of the ferns in the Redwood forest!
Look at the size of the ferns in the Redwood forest! | Source
My mother and niece in the Redwoods
My mother and niece in the Redwoods | Source

The trees we were viewing, the coastal redwoods ( sequoia sempervivens ) are not to be confused with the giant sequoias ( sequoiadendron giganteum ) that grow in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range in Eastern California. The latter while not necessarily as tall, grow even wider girths and are truly massive trees. In the past, cars were allowed to drive through the middle of these hollowed out trees.

Those were the trees that my mother was actually thinking of and wanting to see because of hearing about them from her parents who had traveled and experienced them many years prior. But she mistakenly said redwoods instead of sequoias when I was planning the trip.

Not to worry!

She was amazed and loved what she saw while walking through the Redwood National Park.

But then who wouldn't be awed! It certainly makes one feel insignificant and small when realizing that these trees were here before Christ and others walked the earth!

Differences and similarities between Redwood and Sequoia Trees...

Redwoods & Sequoias
Which tend to be taller? 
Which are larger overall in mass? 
Grow along the Calif. coast? 
Grow in the Sierra Nevada Mtn.'s of California?
Have been harvested for lumber?
Resistant to fire and insects?
Some of them protected in National Parks?
Can live up to several thousand of years old?

Scenic Northern California Redwoods and large elk herd

Look at the size of that redwood tree!


Have you visited this area in California?

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Hope that you learned a bit about this most northwestern tip of California from Smith River to Crescent City if you were unfamiliar with it. The coastline and Battery Point Lighthouse is interesting and the Redwood National Park is magnificent. Getting to see all of this made for one very special day of our vacation trip!

Redwood National Park

A markerRedwood National Park -
Redwood National Park, 1111 2nd St, Crescent City, CA 95531-4123, USA
get directions

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© 2011 Peggy Woods

Comments are most welcome!

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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello justmesuzanne,

      Thanks for the votes up and share. Sorry for the late response to this. I have been busy writing on another site as well as maintaining this one.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas

      Lovely! Voted up, beautiful and shared! :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Deborah,

      So happy to hear that you liked this look at parts north of the Napa Valley in California. I really enjoyed that trip with my mother and niece many years ago. Thanks for your comment.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      I've never been farther north in California than Napa County. Thanks for taking me along on your journey. Your photos are beautiful!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rajan,

      So happy to be able to introduce you to these scenic seacoast areas in California. Yes...the redwoods are magnificent! Thanks for your comment and the rest.

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