Jedediah Smith River, Redwood NP, California
Established on October 2, 1968, Redwood NP is located in the northwest corner of California on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The park was created to protect some of the last remaining groves of ancient redwood trees. The trees are now found only in California and Oregon. The trees are special because they grow slowly, can live for hundreds of years, and they are the tallest living organisms on Earth (over 300 feet tall). Logging destroyed many of the trees during the Gold Rush. Apart from the redwood groves, there are also open prairies where you might see elk and many miles of coastline with beaches and tide pools to explore.
Jedediah Smith River is one of the many large rivers found throughout North America. These rivers are known for clean water, abundant fishing, and adjacent wetlands. As small streams and creeks merge in the mountains, rivers form. As with the smaller freshwater streams, rivers are also subject to seasonal water level. They often flood in the winter and spring while running low in late summer. This panorama was taken in mid-summer when the river levels were low. You can see the rocky banks that are normally underwater when water levels rise.
Smith River begins in the Siskiyou Mountains of Northwest California. It is California's last major free-flowing river, having no dams along its route to the Pacific Ocean. You can easily find plentiful steelhead and salmon in the river along with smaller species of fish. The banks of the river attract local animals including many amphibians, elk, bobcats, deer, and even bears.
Image Credit: Andrew Rader Studios