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Smith River

Contact Info
Six Rivers National Forest
10600 Highway 199
PO Box 228
Gasquet, CA 95543



The Smith is the largest wild and scenic river in the United States that has been left undammed. Located in Del Norte County, the northernmost water system of the state makes its way through the 305,337-acre spread of the Smith River National Recreation Area. The NRA affords a myriad of recreational opportunities including fishing, boating, swimming, kayaking and canoeing.

The area averages about 100 inches of rain per year, which explains the powerful flows of the river. These flows scour away and expose the unique features of the serpentine bedrock which embraces the mighty Smith's wild waters. The free-flowing river has been known to rise or fall as much as six feet in a day and is admired for its exquisite emerald green color.

The river system maintains almost 200 miles of hospitable salmon and steelhead habitat that offer an abundance of fishing opportunities. Known for its Chinook salmon (King Salmon), steelhead and coastal cutthroat trout runs, the river boasts the state record for the largest steelhead caught weighing in at whopping 27 lbs. 4 oz. and the second largest Chinook at 86 lbs.


Chinook Salmon
Coho Salmon
Cutthroat Trout
Rainbow Trout
Steelhead Trout


Additional Details:

Though the Smith''s waters are turbulent in the winter and spring, kayaking and rafting can be enjoyed year round on the South Fork. The middle and North Forks are usually navigable in the winter, spring and fall. The Smith hosts class I to class V rapids, making rafting fun for all levels of experience.


Map + Directions

Basic Directions

South Fork Road River Trails

Slant Bridge Boat Ramp - Mile marker .25 South Fork Road. Affords Middle Fork River accesses, restrooms and boat launching capabilities.

Second Bridge/Forks - Mile marker .25 South Fork Road. Great beach, Restrooms, and access to the Middle and South Fork confluence.

Redwood Flat - Mile marker 12.3 South Fork Road.

Steven Bridge - Mile marker 13.0 South Fork Road

Goose Creek - Mile marker 13.6 South Fork Road.

Highway 199 River Trails

Mouth of Myrtle Creek - Mile marker 7.2 Hwy 199.

Scratcher Mine - Mile marker 9.1 Hwy 199.

Hardscrabble Creek - Mile marker 11.1 Hwy 199.

Mary Adams Peacock Bridge - Mile marker 11.9 Hwy 199. A portable toilet is provided in the summer for your convenience.

Panther Flat Picnic Area - Mile marker 16.75 Hwy 199. Picnic tables, water.

Madrone Camp - Mile marker 19.2 Hwy 199. Portable summer toilets.

Sand Hole - Mile marker 20.9 Hwy 199. Portable summer toilet.

Patrick Creek Picnic Area - Mile marker 22.0 Hwy 199. Large recreation area with flush toilets and water.

Eagle Eye Mine - Mile marker 23.1 Hwy 199. Summer only fishing.

Cedar Rustic - Mile marker 23.5 Hwy 199. Seasonal fishing.

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