Description - Whitewater rapids on the Smith River, redwoods, rhododendrons, ferns and diverse geological landforms and ecosystems highlight the Smith River Scenic Byway in the North Coast Region. This U.S. Forest Service route travels 27 miles along Highway 199 and continues into Oregon.
- The Smith River Scenic Byway presents spectacular views of rugged canyons, turbulent rapids, and the confluence of the Middle and South Forks of the Smith River. There are hiking and biking trails at different locations along the byway. A short and easy walk where one can view interesting plant life is the Darlingtonia Trail. Here visitors can observe a thriving community of California Pitcher Plants (Darlingtonia californica) growing in their unique bog environment. A good leg-stretcher along a shaded garden-like setting is the 2.8-mile French Hill Trail. This scenic byway also enables visitors to enjoy several historic and picturesque recreation sites such as Patrick Creek Campground. Located next to the confluence of Patrick Creek and the Middle Fork of the Smith River, campers can enjoy 13 shady sites beneath the tall canopy of Douglas-firs. Historians will appreciate many of the amenities that were built by the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps.
Recreation - The Smith River Scenic Byway is known for it's natural, recreational and scenic attractions.
Climate - Summers in this region are generally mild. Fog is often encountered near the coastline, with sunny, warmer weather more common inland in the foothills. Winters are generally cool with considerable precipitation. Wear layers of clothing to accommodate cool to warm temperatures and good walking shoes. Rain protection should be included at any time of year.
This byway is located in the North Coast Region of California. It begins near Crescent City at the junction of U.S. Highway 101 and U.S. Highway 199. Follow US 199 northeast past Gasquet and along the Smith River to the California / Oregon state border.
Directions from :