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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Stout Grove, CA

no permit
130 8 0
Guide 8 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CA > Northern
5 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 1 mile
Trailhead Elevation 115 feet
Elevation Gain 49 feet
Accumulated Gain 76 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 30min
Kokopelli Seeds 1.38
Interest Historic & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
9  2017-08-11 Steph_and_Blake
109  2012-05-16
Oregon Tales 2012
12  2011-06-09 blueberry1222
Author blueberry1222
author avatar Guides 11
Routes 0
Photos 277
Trips 13 map ( 40 miles )
Age 46 Female Gender
Location Tempe, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Elk Valley Reservation
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Aug, Sep, Jul, Jun → 4 PM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:04am - 6:14pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Walk Amongst Ancient Trees
by blueberry1222

Likely In-Season!
Once upon a time, huge swaths of California were covered with Earth's tallest living organisms. Generations of old growth redwoods existed for thousands of years, undisturbed, basking in the cool coastal fogs and clean ocean air. The industrial age induced modern man to the ancient trees, and man shook the forests' limbs with a hack saw. Over 90% of the forests that industrial man met are now completely gone from this world, and that fact makes the visit to the diminutive Stout Grove all the more poignant. It is this little 1.0 mile trail that bridges the gap of the world once inhabited by ancient forests as it stands in contrast with the modern era.

To get to the trail head, it is necessary to take the Howland Hill Road, which, as I discovered, is apparently closed for the greater portion of the spring. One need not fear. Park your car at the mockingly closed road gate and walk 0.5 miles to the River Trail / Stout Grove Trail sign.

The first 0.5 miles follows the Smith River Trail, which is your introduction to the upcoming explosion of redwood trees. The redwoods are interspersed with various other moss laden trees, making the walk to Stout Grove charming. The Smith River gurgles in the background, yet the forest cover obscures any decent views of it. It is soothing to just know that it is there and makes its presence heard. The river trail drops you off the the loop for Stout Grove, and you can choose to to left or right.

These redwoods greet your presence with a hushed silence. This forest is very quiet. The hiker is thus invited to embark on a most somber and contemplative trail.

The silence is often broken by talkative ravens that are heard, but not seen for the forest canopy reaches higher than one's eyes can reach. The other noise that is heard is the creaking sounds of the tall trees swaying and rubbing against each other, again, so high, that no one can actually see the event happening. Waist high ferns carpet the forest floor. Fallen trees strewn across the landscape that one can see the base and has to hike a distance to see where the top of the giant tree ends. The trees are not so much wide and they are just overwhelmingly tall. As you walk, slowly, the cool ocean air fills the space you breathe. There is a freshness to this forest. There is a knowledge that these trees represent time immortal. This forest is old.

There are not many old growth forests left in America, so when you come across one, no matter how puny the trail might be, it is a road that one has to take. These old trees impart a knowledge, a religion, that young forests lack. Their quiet voices are our teachers. One must go to this forest to learn.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2011-06-13 blueberry1222
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Review
    Stout Grove
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Oregon Tales 2012
    Oregon Tales 2012

    9 days
    2882 miles
    155 gallons of gasoline
    558 digital images
    1 relatively trouble-free drive
    No dogs
    Multiple family gatherings
    Hannah's wedding in Medford Oregon

    The Plan => Drive to Hannah's wedding in Medford OR traveling Phoenix to Los Angeles to Sacramento to Medford with return route via the Pacific Coast Highway.

    I've always been a fastball hitter, but learned early that you will see a diet of change-ups and other off-speed stuff until you prove that you can hit those too. Guess we proved we could hit the off-speed stuff during our "Oregon Trail 2010" adventure (check out => ), so "Oregon Tales 2012" seemed to consist of BP fastballs right down the middle...

    DAY 1 - Tuesday 5/15
    Ahwatukee AZ to Glendale AZ
    72 miles return
    0 hrs 45 min 1-way per Google Maps

    Hiking and other outdoor adventuring seems to have taken a backseat due to Coyotes' season tickets (and their unexpected playoff run), some focused business assignments with China and Latin America, and finance managing with Hannah's upcoming wedding. With an impending road trip to Oregon blocking the calendar through Memorial Day, I get lucky with home date scheduling attending the Coyotes/Kings home opening set Sunday and Tuesday. With the Yotes butts thoroughly kicked at both games, I'm left wondering if I've witnessed my last NHL games in the Valley...

    DAY 2 - Wednesday 5/16
    Ahwatukee AZ to Sacramento CA
    774 miles
    12 hrs 39 min per Google Maps
    Marriott Courtyard Sacramento Airport, 2101 River Plaza Drive, Sacramento CA, 95833

    Pack the F-150 (including hiking boots) for an early morning start on the road to Sacramento via Los Angeles. We seem to be off to an auspicious start as I pull onto the I-10 greeted by an electronic sign indicating "CRASH AT SR143, I-10 CLOSED". I can see a sea of red lights ahead, so we veer off at Warner Road and double-back towards Maricopa and Gila Bend to by-pass the traffic jam. Traffic is light all the way to Los Angeles including the I-210 northern "by-pass". In fact, we don't encounter any LA traffic until we're out of town on the I-5 coming to a dead stop at Tejon Pass near the town of Gorman. With traffic only inching along, I pull off at Gorman School Road to partake in the local McDonalds. Once refreshed, I see no improvement in the I-5 traffic jam, but notice a few tractor trailer rigs hopping on the Peace Valley side road to Lebec. Following the rigs, we hop back onto the I-5 at Lebec sans traffic! We arrive at the Marriott Courtyard in Sacramento (check out => ... t-natomas/ ) 9-ish that night, just in time to catch the kitchen before it closed for the evening...

    DAY 3 - Thursday 5/17
    Sacramento CA to Medford OR
    309 miles
    5 hrs 14 min per Google Maps
    Candlewood Suites, 3548 Heathrow Way, Medford OR, 97504

    Fueled with Starbucks coffee, Lynn and I are back on the road travelling the I-5 towards Oregon. As we exit Redding, the Shasta-Trinity Mountains treat us to a steady rain. I slip the F-150 into 4WD on the fly and it becomes "weather, what weather?" as we maintain our steady cruise control speed. As we cross the California/Oregon border and descend into the Rogue Valley, blue skies return at a perfect 80degF temperature. Check into our hotel mid-afternoon (check out => ... cw-_-mfrbr ). We soon meet up with Dominic (Hannah's husband-to-be) and Hannah at the Candlewood Suites. They both flew in from South Bend IN earlier in the week making the final wedding preparations. Hannah and Lynn head out to do some last minute shopping while Dom and I go to sample the purported "Best Wings in Oregon" at Flapper's Wild West Wings (check out => ... gs-Medford ).

    DAY 4 - Friday 5/18
    Medford OR to various local destinations
    75 miles
    n/a per Google Maps
    Candlewood Suites, 3548 Heathrow Way, Medford OR, 97504

    Rehearsal day as multiple family relatives begin to arrive in Medford OR. Pick up my younger daughters, Sarah and Tobyn, at the Medford Airport after a connecting flight snow delay in Salt Lake City UT. My parents arrive having driven their rental car from Portland OR after a long flight from Toronto Canada. My cousin Drew and his family, Janice and Cassie, also arrive after a long drive from Vancouver Canada. Various friends of the bride and groom (including their undergrad NAU crowd) trickle in from various locations throughout the country. Bridal Shower that afternoon (I get to skip that), and rehearsal 5-ish at the Applegate River Lodge (check out => ). Pay some wedding bills, and pick-up some eats at Fred Meyer for the Rehearsal Dinner that evening hosted by Dom's sister Beverly. Everything went smoothly - calm before the wedding storm?

    DAY 5 - Saturday 5/19
    Medford OR to Applegate OR
    75 miles
    23 miles (1-way), 35 min per Google Maps
    Applegate River Lodge, 15100 Highway 238, Applegate OR, 97530

    Wedding day starts with guests arriving 11-ish at the Applegate River Lodge to help with the preparations in advance of the 3:30pm ceremony. With both Hannah and Dominic pursuing their chemistry doctorate degrees at Notre Dame University, there is definitely a "chemistry" theme to the wedding. Preparation, ceremony, reception, food, drink, and weather all pulled off without a bump in the road!

    DAY 6 - Sunday 5/20
    Medford OR to Crater Lake OR
    152 miles
    76 miles (1-way), 1 hr 45 min per Google Maps
    Crater Lake Lodge, 565 Rim Drive, Crater Lake OR, 97625

    Wedding day-after starts with a breakfast buffet before dropping off Sarah and Tobyn at Medford Airport for their flights home (both have to work on Monday). Our main objective today is some sight-seeing at Crater Lake (check out => ) and the Rogue River Gorge (check out => ... ridge.html ) with my parents. Once again that National Parks Pass comes in handy. I knew that Crater Lake usually has snow, but didn't realize it averages 44 feet of snowfall each year! I'll have to log the treks on HikeArizona when I get the chance ( and ).
    After our all-day trek, the family gets together for a late dinner at the nearby Red Lobster.

    DAY 7 - Monday 5/21
    Medford OR to Crescent City CA to Bodega Bay CA
    432 miles
    8 hrs 26 min per Google Maps
    Bodega Harbour Inn, 1345 Bodega Avenue, Bodega Bay CA, 94923

    Early morning "good-byes" to my parents (catching plane to Toronto), the Babbini newlyweds (catching plane to South Bend), my cousins (driving back to Vancouver) as Lynn and I hit the road to explore the giant redwoods and the seashore along the Pacific Coast Highway. As we approach the Oregon/California border a text arrives from Hannah - the counter-offer they made on a house near South Bend was accepted (no honeymoon for the Babbini's - they're buying a house). First stop is Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park (check out => ) where once again that National Parks Pass comes in handy. The redwood groves and rain forest conditions make me feel like I'm on the set of a Jurassic Park sequel (actually having a toy dinosaur could have made for some interesting photo ops - note to self for next time). Best area by far IMO are the loop trails (Ellsworth Loop Trail, Leiffer Loop Trail, etc.) off Walker Road. Stout Grove along the Smith River comes in a close second. I'll have to log the mini-treks on HikeArizona when I get the chance ( ). Lunch in Crescent City CA, where I learned the harbour took one of the bigger blows from the March 2011 Japan tsunami (check out => ... o-sea.html ). We stop at Klamath Cove to check out the beach followed by some rainy mini-treks in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park (check out => ). Surprised by the multiple elk encounters by the coastline - my brain just couldn't reconcile seeing elk and ocean in the same field of view! The highway headed inland following the Eel River Valley before we reconnected with Highway 1. Classic northern California views complete with fog and mist - our approach to the Village of Elk has been permanently etched into my brain. We arrive 9-ish into Bodega Bay greeted by multiple birds perched on the overhead wires. I check for Alfred Hitchcock lurking around the corner at our Bodega Harbour Inn basecamp (check out => and ... bodega-bay )...

    DAY 8 - Tuesday 5/22
    Bodega Bay CA to Golden Gate Bridge to Big Sur to Avila Beach CA
    331 miles
    7 hrs 16 min per Google Maps
    Avila Lighthouse Suites, 550 Front St, Avila Beach CA, 93424

    Lynn and I explore Bodega Harbour (a place where time seems to have stood still since the 1950's) before hitting the road to explore the Pacific Coast Highway - Muir Beach, Golden Gate Bridge, Big Sur coastline to Avila Beach. We encounter an unexpected gem when we stop at the Elephant Seal Rookery near San Simeon (check out => ). After sunset, check into our comfortable "digs" 9-ish at the Avila Lighthouse Suites (check out => ). We head over to Mr. Rick's (check out => ) to grab some eats and catch the end of the Coyotes/Kings game. Strike one (kitchen closed at 9pm), strike two (only IPA's on tap), strike three (OT goal by the Kings finished the Yotes season) - time for an evening stroll on the beach...

    DAY 9 - Wednesday 5/23
    Avila Beach CA to Joshua Tree NP to Ahwatukee AZ
    623 miles
    11 hrs 39 min per Google Maps
    Avila Lighthouse Suites, 550 Front St, Avila Beach CA, 93424

    Lynn and I explore the tidal pools along Avila before hitting the road. A stop at Joshua Tree NP (check out => ) before arriving home late that evening...

    And that's our Oregon Tale 2012!

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Crescent City, drive east on Highway 199. Continue past the Jedediah Smith campground entrance, the Hiouchi Information Center, and the town of Hiouchi. Immediately after crossing the Myrtle Creek bridge, turn right and cross the Smith River on a second bridge. Pass the Forks Launch Facility and continue across Craigs Creek on another bridge. Immediately after this bridge, bear right at a 3-way intersection. Cross a short covered bridge and continue through a residential area. The paved road surface gives way to dirt as you enter the redwoods. Continue for another mile and a half until you reach a paved road to your right. Turn right onto this road to reach the Stout Grove parking area.

    The grove can also be reached by driving Howland Hill Road from the south, a much longer (5 mile) but also much more scenic drive on a narrow dirt road.
    page created by blueberry1222 on Jun 13 2011 3:58 pm
    help comment issue

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