Panther Flat Campground

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Campsite 29 at Panther Flat shown in dappled shade of trees with picnic table and fire ring/barbeque

Panther Flat is the largest and most popular campground in the Smith River NRA. It is located on a flat about 50 feet above the Middle Fork of Smith River. Highway 199 borders the south side. Trees shade the campground and lush huckleberry bushes fill in the area between sites.

There are no views of the river from any of the campsites. Campers must take a short (three minute) trail or drive to the Panther Flat Picnic Area for river viewing and access. The picnic area is a no-fee, day-use only area with, grills, water, a horseshoe pit, and eight picnic tables (one is double-length). It has a lovely view of the Smith River and some world class fishing. Two short paths lead from the picnic area to swimming holes; one has a small sandy beach.

Campsite 29 at Panther Flat shown in dappled shade of trees with picnic table and fire ring/barbeque A pool of beautiful clear blue water on the Smith River at Panther Flat Campground and Picnic Area. Blue-green water bordered by rocks, sand, and trees.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Open all year.
Operational Hours: 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, year-round.
Reservations: Reservations are not required, but recommended in summer, especially on weekends and holidays. Reservations available by calling 877-844-6777 or visiting
Area Amenities: Tent camping,Camping trailer,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking
Fees Family campsites accommodate up to eight people per site, with a maximum of two vehicles. The fee is $15 per site per night. This fee includes one vehicle; a $5 fee is charged for the second vehicle. A vehicle is: a motor-home towing another vehicle, a single car or motorcycle, or a vehicle towing a trailer.
Best Season: May through October
Busiest Season: Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
Closest Towns: Hospital, Crescent City, 33 minutes
Water: Drinking water available.
Restroom: Flush toilets.
Passes: 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 $80 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; or visit the USGS store at

General Information

General Notes:

From the Visitor Center in Gasquet, California turn left on Highway 199 and go 2½ miles east.

General Notes:

Reservations are not required but recommended on summer weekends and holidays; the campground fills up frequently during these times.

Walk-in campers can self-register at the entrance.

Trails: There are no hiking trails out of the campground. An interpretive botanical trail featuring the Darlingtonia, a carnivorous plant, is located one mile east of the campground. Trails within a one-hour drive include Stony Creek, Myrtle Creek, Elk Camp Ridge, High Dome, French Hill, Patrick Creek, Craig’s Creek, Paradise, Little Bald Hills, Doe Flat, Buck Lake, Island Lake, and Devil’s Punchbowl. Consult the hiking section of this web site for details of these and other NRA trails:

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

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Picnic tables Picnic tables and campfire rings with grills
Drinking water Potable water at taps
Toilets Flush toilets and coin-operated showers
Parking Asphalt surface parking spurs
Tent camping Yes
Camping trailer Yes, 40-foot maximum trailer length
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