Klamath National Wild & Scenic River

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

The Klamath River was designated a Recreational River within the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System in 1981. The Klamath River enters California from Oregon just north of the Goosenest Ranger District. Heading west it is impounded by two dams forming Copco Lake and Iron Gate Reservoir. Nine miles further west it turns south and follows Interstate 5 for a few miles before again turning west and entering the Happy Camp/Oak Knoll Ranger District. The next 85 miles provide many opportunities for recreation and scenic vistas before the river enters the Six Rivers National Forest. This is a high-use recreation zone. Human waste must be packed out.  A scat machine is available in Happy Camp for disposing of collected human waste.

Our interactive river map will help you plan your river trip. It includes information on put-ins and take-puts, rapids, and potential camping sites. You will need to download Google Earth to view the map. You can also book a river trip with one of our permitted outfitters.

If you are planning a river trip you can use this trip documentation card to document your float with the Forest Service. The card may be turned in at a nearby district office or trip card boxes available at put-ins.

At a Glance

Fees Fees are required at Tree of Heaven, Sarah Totten, and Curly Jack campgrounds.
Permit Info: A current California Campfire Permit is required to use a camp stove, barbecue or have a campfire outside of developed areas. Local fire restrictions supersede the campfire permit. Inquire at the Ranger Station before having a fire. If you plan to use the services of a guide or outfitter, a special use permit may be required. See the list of Guides and Outfitters who are permitted on the Klamath National Forest.
Open Season: January
Usage: Light
Restrictions: This is a high use recreation zone. Human waste must be packed out. Do not bury human waste anywhere along the river corridor. Restrictions along the river vary at each site. Use this website to plan your starting, stopping and rest points along the river. Please use developed campsites whenever possible and plan ahead for the disposal of human waste. Pack out all trash and use Leave No Trace Principles for your travels on the river. Dogs on leash in developed areas and parking lots. Camping limit 14 days.
Closest Towns: There are several towns along the length of the river. Yreka, Seiad and Happy Camp are all full service communities with food, lodging and gas available. Several smaller towns offer stores, phones and food.
Operated By: US Forest Service

General Information

Directions:

Recreational opportunities begin just 4 miles west of I-5 on Hwy 96 at the forest boundary near Ash Creek Bridge and the Ash Creek River Access.


Parking:

Parking at river access areas varies. Some areas will not accommodate trailers or RV's.  Most parking is on sand or gravel.  Make sure there is room for your type of vehicle before entering these areas.  Always check for low hanging branches of trees.


Activities


Camping & Cabins

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Campground Camping

There are four campgrounds with access to the Klamath River:  Tree of Heaven, Sarah Totten, Fort Goff and Curley Jack.  Sarah Totten and Curley Jack also offer Group Camping.  There are no hook-ups for RV's, no showers and all toilets are vault style.  All four have drinking water and garbage collection in the summer.  A bulletin Board at the camp entrance will explain the procedures for paying fees and campground rules and regulations.  Sarah Totten, Tree of Heaven and Curley Jack have some barrier free facilities to accommodate a person in a wheelchair.

Open Season: May-October
Fees: camping fees vary
Reservation info: Reservations for family campsites are not accepted. All sites are first come, first served.  The Group Camps are by reservation only at www.recreation.gov or 1-877-444-6777

RV Camping

RV camping is popular both at developed campgrounds and dispersed throughout the forest.  There are no RV hook-ups at Forest Service areas on the Klamath National Forest.  Several RV parks are available with hook-ups in the communities along the river. 

Open Season: January-December
Reservation info: Reservations are not accepted. All developed campsites are first come, first served.
Permit: A current California Campfire Permit is required to use a camp stove, barbecue or have a campfire outside of developed areas. Local fire restrictions supersede the campfire permit. Inquire at the Ranger Station before having a fire.

Group Camping

Group Camping along the Klamath River is available by reservation only at Sarah Totten Campground and Curly Jack Campground.   
 

Fees: fees vary
Reservation info: Group sites may be reserved at www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777.

Dispersed Camping

Dispersed Camping is permitted throughout the forest and is popular at many Klamath River Access points.  Parking is limited or non-existent at some areas making camping impossible.  Some areas are restricted to day use only--no overnight camping.  Be sure to check the bulletin boards for camping information.

Open Season: January-December
Permit: A current California Campfire Permit is required to use a camp stove, barbecue or have a campfire outside of developed areas. Local fire restrictions supersede the campfire permit. Inquire at the Ranger Station before having a fire.

Areas for Dispersed Camping at Klamath National Wild & Scenic River


Fishing

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Hiking

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Nature Viewing

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Outdoor Learning

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Picnicking

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Scenic Driving

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Water Activities

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