Craig’s Creek Trail (Smith River NRA)

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Trail Distance: 3.7 miles
Time Estimate: 4 hr +
Elevation Gain: 200 feet
Leash Rule: On Leash
Difficulty: Easy
Parking: Free
Route Type: Out-and-back
Restroom: No
Description

From the high vantage points along the Craig's Creek Trail in the Six Rivers National Forest in far northern California, rich green branches stretch across your view and frame the rolling river beyond. Mountains fold over one another into the distance as far as you can see. The river whooshes and hisses, creeks gurgling over fern-laden stones on their way to meet it. All the water has carved this peaceful canyon into a perfect place for you and your pup to come get away from it all.

To get here, follow U. S. Route 199 (Redwood Highway) northeast from Crescent City or southwest from Oregon to Route 427 (South Fork Road). You'll find the trailhead just half a mile down the road. There isn't a formal parking lot or toilets at the trailhead, just some gravel pull-outs. However, there are toilets and parking at the Forks River Access boat launch area just a few hundred feet north on South Fork Road.

This is a secluded and wild place, but it's also rich with human history. In the 1800s, gold and platinum miners and their horses (and dogs) ambled along this river trail in hopes of finding treasure. Did they notice the treasure all around them? You'll begin your hike where the air is thick with the scents of Douglas fir, redwood, tan oak, and knob cone pine. As you continue, you'll descend through live oak and alder. Rhododendron and other wildflowers burst into bloom in the summer.

This mostly shaded hike is perfect on hot summer days. Near the trail's end, you'll be reminded again of the people who once trod here: a derelict donkey engine has sat here for over a century. The trail ends at a swimming hole where you and your pup can take a quick splash or spend the rest of the afternoon getting waterlogged.

You'll head home from your hike knowing you and your pup found treasure here that you'll keep in your heart always.

Trail Features
Forest, Mountains, River
Wildflowers, Scenic
Cautions & Considerations
Poison oak is abundant along this trail. Step with caution.
Address
Craig's Creek Trailhead, S Fork Rd
Crescent City, CA 95531
Hours
Mon Open 24 Hours
Tue Open 24 Hours
Wed Open 24 Hours
Thu Open 24 Hours
Fri Open 24 Hours
Sat Open 24 Hours
Sun Open 24 Hours
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Address
Craig's Creek Trailhead, S Fork Rd
Crescent City, CA 95531
Hours
Mon Open 24 Hours
Tue Open 24 Hours
Wed Open 24 Hours
Thu Open 24 Hours
Fri Open 24 Hours
Sat Open 24 Hours
Sun Open 24 Hours