- Year round
The Salmon River is located in one of the most beautiful, remote, and rugged areas in Northern California. It is truly a wild and scenic river, and the fish tend to run a bit larger here than on other nearby rivers. Eight to ten pound steelhead are not uncommon in the Salmon River.
There are, however, two things to remember about this river: The terrain is very rugged and remote, and the roads are mostly single lane cliff hangers with limited "pull-outs” for passing. We would like to caution visitors to the area that other vehicles (like logging trucks) needing the same roadway may require that you back up a long distance to the last pull-out. This can be a challenging experience considering vertical drops to the river hundreds of feet below.
There are two Forest Service campgrounds along the Salmon River road between Forks of the Salmon and Somes Bar. Above Forks of the Salmon, the North Fork and the South Fork both have campgrounds along the road. The campground map or fishing map may be helpful in locating more information on specific areas.
A valid California state fishing license is needed to fish within the National Forest. Licenses are sold at sporting good and other retail stores. For information on fishing times & limits a current state fishing regulation guide is generally available free at these same locations. For more information contact California Department of Fish & Game.
The Salmon River has limited fishing access due to steep terrain; however, roads parallel the river for most of its length. The Salmon River Canyon can be reached from Highway 96 on the west near Somes Bar (along the Bigfoot Scenic Byway); and from Highway 3 in the Scott Valley on the east .
Along Highway 3, Etna, CA is the gateway to the North Fork of the Salmon River and the town of Callahan, CA marks the turnoff for the South Fork.