US Whitewater > California > Smith River - South Fork



California whitewater, Smith River - South Fork

Del Norte county, Big Flat Campground to confluence with Middle Fork section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS III-V     13 miles
If you have paddled the Smith yet do it. The South Fork Gorge is a great class 4 section that's about a mile. It's committing and hard to road scout. If you boat this stretch for the first time without someone who is familiar with the run I suggest scouting at least the 3 major horizon line. There is a macking hole on river right and at certain flows a great boof on the left. Says Nor-cal boater

If you've been whitewater rafting and kayaking
    outside California you might find the rivers here a bit more challenging, so keep in mind that many of the sections here are not safe for beginners. The Big Flat Campground to confluence with Middle Fork stretch of Smith
River - South Fork in California is 13 miles long and is a class III-V section of whitewater according to American Whitewater. The starting location is a reasonable drive from Crescent City North, please print out a copy of the road map further down the page so you won’t get lost. The nature scenery of Del Norte County and the cool fresh water are reasons enough to come here and paddle. The nearby hotels are a bit away from the river, but  
you'd better reserve in advance because these hotels fill up quick. Great exercise and spending some quality time in nature have people coming from far and near. There are plenty of other sections in this river system that can be paddled as well. Whether you're whitewater rafting or kayaking there are not so many other good spots for that around here. If you're a camper you can camp at one of the great campgrounds nearby. This stretch has enough mileage for an overnight trip, so why not pack your camp stove too. The Coast Ranges scenery is wonderful.

Briefly about the general area:
Hiking along the Paradise Trail is glorious fun, and nothing beats kicking back at Wilson Creek Beach.

Smith River - South Fork, Big Flat Campground to confluence with Middle Fork road map
Printable road map with the put-in and take-out locations clearly marked.


Detailed Map

Stats for this river stretch

Local weather forecast

These outdoors activities are available near Smith River - South Fork.
 Whitewater Near Smith River - South Fork:
Smith River - South Fork, Del Norte County, 5 miles away
      Class III-V - 13 miles long (Big Flat Campground to confluence with Middle Fork)
Goose Creek, Del Norte County, 8 miles away
      Class V - 5.6 miles long (Saddle Road to South Fork Smith confluence)
Hurdygurdy Creek, Del Norte County, 11 miles away
      Class V - 7.7 miles long (Bear Basin Road to Big Flat Road)
Smith River - North Fork, Del Norte County, 12 miles away
      Class III-V - 13 miles long (Low Divide Road to Gasquet)
Smith River - Middle Fork, Del Norte County, 18 miles away
      Class II-V - 22 miles long (6 Miles Above Patrick Creek to South Fork Road)
Trace Creek, Siskiyou County, 26 miles away
      Class IV-V - 7 miles long (Bear Pen Creek to Klamath River)
 Ski Areas Near Smith River - South Fork:
Mt. Ashland, Oregon , 90 miles away, 1195 foot drop, 4 lifts, 23 runs
 Marinas Near Smith River - South Fork:
Crescent City Harbor District, Crescent City , 13 miles away
 Beaches Near Smith River - South Fork:
Wilson Creek Beach, Del Norte , 10 miles away
Crescent Beach, Del Norte , 11 miles away
Pebble Beach, Del Norte , 16 miles away
Kellogg Road Beach, Del Norte , 17 miles away
Gold Bluffs Beach, Humboldt , 19 miles away
 Hotels Near Smith River - South Fork:
Holiday Inn Express KLAMATH - REDWOOD NTL PK AREA, Klamath , 11 miles away
Super 8 Crescent City, Crescent City , 13 miles away
Ocean View Inn And Suites, Crescent City , 13 miles away
Best Western Plus Northwoods Inn, Crescent City , 13 miles away
Quality Inn & Suites Redwood Coast, Crescent City , 13 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Smith River - South Fork:
Redwood National Park - Little Bald Hills Horse Camp, Crescent City, 4 miles away
Hiouchi Hamlet RV Resort, Crescent City, 6 miles away
Big Flat Campground, Del Norte County, 6 miles away
 Trails Near Smith River - South Fork:
Paradise Trail, Del Norte , 0 miles away, 7.6 hiking miles, 1561 feet elevation difference
French Hill Trail, Del Norte , 5 miles away, 2.2 hiking miles, 2021 feet elevation difference
Elk Camp Ridge Trail, Del Norte , 12 miles away, 8.7 hiking miles, 2616 feet elevation difference
Summit Valley Trail, Del Norte , 13 miles away,  14.8 hiking miles, 3955 feet elevation difference
Packsaddle Trail, Curry , 15 miles away, 2.4 hiking miles, 1548 feet elevation difference
Hope Creek Trail, Humboldt , 16 miles away, 2.6 hiking miles, 500 feet elevation difference
Crea Trail, Humboldt , 18 miles away, 3.1 hiking miles, 688 feet elevation difference
 Public Lands Near Smith River - South Fork:
Redwood National and State Parks, Crescent City - CA , 12 miles away
Oregon Caves National Monument, Cave Junction - OR , 33 miles away
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California , 8 miles away
Six Rivers National Forest, California , 9 miles away
Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California , 10 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Smith River - South Fork:
Del Norte Golf Course, Crescent City , 9 miles away
Kings Valley Golf Course, Crescent City , 11 miles away
Elk Valley Rancheria, Crescent City , 14 miles away
 Lakes Near Smith River - South Fork
Dry Lake, Del Norte , 8 miles away

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Some content, including Reach Name, Class, Coordinates, and Length, comes from American Whitewater with permission.