Smith River National Recreation Area is located within the Six Rivers National Forest in northwestern California. This 305,337-acre National Recreation Area (NRA) was designated by Congress in November 1990 to protect the area’s special scenic value, natural diversity, cultural and historical attributes, wilderness, wildlife, fisheries, and the Smith River watershed’s clean waters. The Forest Service has been designated as the steward of this National Recreation Area to provide recreational opportunities and to manage this diverse area for all of its natural resources.
Six Rivers National Forest is named for the six major rivers that run within its boundaries: the Smith, Klamath, Trinity, Mad, Van Duzen, and Eel. Smith River is the only major undammed, naturally flowing river remaining in California. The rivers provide many recreational opportunities. While rafting and kayaking are popular water-based recreational activities, the resilient watersheds of the nearly one million acres of forest are perhaps best known for providing some of the best anadromous, or salmon, fishing opportunities in California.
In addition to river recreation, popular activities in the Six Rivers include camping, hiking, backpacking, and picnicking. Within a six-hour drive north of the Bay Area, you can experience the solitude of hiking in the wilderness on over 100 miles of trails and enjoy camping in developed campgrounds or the solitude of camping in the backcountry.
Gasquet Ranger Station is the only U.S. Forest Service site in our conservancy and is a must-see for Smokey Bear fans. Some of the featured products include Smokey Bear plush, mugs, magnets, hats, pins, and t-shirts for kids and adults alike.