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Smith River National Recreation Area
Hwy 101 to Hwy 198, California's North Coast

USDA Forest Service
Management Unit:
Six Rivers National Forest
10600 Hwy 199 N.
Gasquet, CA 95543

  • Mens / Womens Restrooms
  • Tent Camping
  • Site Fee
  • Food Service
  • Picnic Area
  • River Access
  • Gas Station
  • Swimming
  • Wildlife Viewing Area
  • Ranger Station
The Smith River National Recreation Area is one of the twelve Congressionally-designated national recreation areas (NRAs) in the United States. The Smith River is located within the Six Rivers National Forest and is managed by the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. The 303,337-acre Smith River NRA was created to protect the area's special scenic value, natural diversity, cultural and historical attributes, wilderness, wildlife, fisheries, and the Smith River watershed with its clean waters. The Forest Service has been designated as the steward of the NRA to provide recreational opportunities and to manage this diverse area for all its valuable resources.

The Smith River NRA is the heart of one of the largest wild and scenic river systems (315 miles) in the United States. The Smith River watershed exhibits a rich ecological diversity. Over 176 miles of anadromous fish habitat, over 300 species of wildlife, and 7 distinct plant communities contribute to the lush natural environment of the Smith River National Recreation Area.

The namesake of the NRA, the river, and the scenic Byway, was Jedediah Smith, the famous mountain man who crossed this area in 1828. However, long before the arrival of early European explorers, the shores of the Smith River were home to the Tolowa Indians. In the 1930's the fine work of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) resulted in many facilities being built which added even more to this area's cultural history. Mining and timber harvesting has played an important role in the development of Del Norte County over the last 100 years.

Within the borders of the Smith River NRA, a variety of receational opportunities exist. Whitewater rafting, wilderness hiking, birdwatching, nature study, world-class steelhead fishing, hunting, camping, and touring the Smith River Scenic Byway are just a few of the any recreational adventures that await you.

How to Get There:
The Smith River NRA is located in the northwestern corner of California. U.S. Highway 199, a national scenic byway, heads northeast from Crescent City (and US Hwy. 101) to Grants Pass, Oregon (and Interstate 5). It passes through the heart of the Smith River NRA.


Fee(s) Charged: Yes
Fee For Camping


Other Important Information:
Scenic Byway

Beginning at the junction of U.S. 101, the Smith River Scenic Byway on U.S. Hwy. 199 passes through the Redwood National Park and Jedediah Smith State park before weaving the remainder of its 27 miles through the Smith River NRA. Just east of Hiouchi, the scenic byway meets the Smith River providing inspiring views of the Middle Fork. Roadside stops are provided along the scenic byway.


Ride a horse, bike, or hike over 65 miles of the Smith River NRA's designated trails. Trail lengths vary from .08 - 16 miles. Doe Flat Trail, a challenging 5 miles to Devil's Punchbowl, has campsites and parking at the trailhead. The historic South Kelsey Trail crosses the pristine Siskiyou Wilderness, and the 0.8 mile High Dome Trail leads to a high mountain meadow.

NRA Vehicle Access

Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association
1699 HWY 273, Anderson, CA 96007 | (P) 530-365-7500 | (F) 530-365-1258