Area Status: Open
North Fork Campground is a quiet, semi-shaded, remote campground bordered by the North Fork of the Smith River. This is a perfect place to “get away from it all” and to stay before rafting the Wild North Fork. The campground is also popular with four-wheel-drive groups who enjoy driving the jeep trails and back roads of the area.
The landscape surrounding the campground is dramatically steep and rocky. The vegetation is sparse due to the serpentine soil which stunts plant growth. The Biscuit Fire swept through the area in 2002, burning much of the vegetation in the surrounding area.
Spring and early summer bring beautiful wildflowers to the area including the fragrant western azalea and beautiful blue brodiaeas. The campground is near the North Fork Smith River Botanical Area, which harbors many rare plants adapted to the serpentine soil.
Access to the North Fork of the Smith River is ¼ mile west of the campground at the North Fork Picnic Area. There are some nice pools but the water is very chilly and the shoreline is very cobbled. It is a good place to sit on a rock and soak your feet on a hot day.
At a Glance
24 hours per day, 7 days per week, year-round
No reservations available. Self-register at the entrance on a first-come, first-served basis.
||Tent camping,Picnic tables,Toilets,Parking
$8.00, $5.00 Extra Vehicle Charge
A pass is not required. Passes Honored on the Smith River NRA:
Interagency Senior Pass: A lifetime pass for citizens or permanent residents of the U.S., age 62 or older. There is a one-time $10 fee.
Interagency Access Pass: A lifetime pass free to citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. who have a permanent disability, regardless of age.
Golden Age Passports and Golden Access Passports: No longer issued but still honored.
Holders of the above passes receive a 50% discount on camping fees on the Smith River NRA and Six Rivers National Forest. The passes also cover access to and use of many other Federal recreation sites that charge entrance or standard amenity fees.
Obtain passes at national forest or grassland offices; or by mail through USGS—inquire at 1-888-275-8747 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit the USGS store at http://store.usgs.gov/pass/index.html.
It is a 2-hour drive over rocky gravel roads to reach the campground. High clearance is not required but large motorhomes are not advised.
From the Visitor Center travel west on Highway 199 for 2.6 miles; turn right onto Forest Road 17N49 and travel 7.7 miles; turn right onto County Road 305 (Low Divide Road) and travel east 15 miles to Forest Road 18N28 which is just past the North Fork Bridge. Follow 18N28 to the Campground.
The campground can also be accessed off of Highway 197 (North Bank Road) via County Road 305 (Low Divide Road) or from Highway 101 near the town of Smith River via County Road 308 (Rowdy Creek Road).
There is no drinking water or garbage pickup.