North Fork Campground

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

North Fork Campground loop road with information board in view; campsite with picnic table to right.

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 within 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 river access (also known as Brown's Flat and Major Moore's). There are some nice pools but the water is very chilly and the shoreline is very cobbled except for a small patch of sand at the upstream end. It is a good place to sit on a rock and soak your feet on a hot day.

Click on the "Photos and Multimedia" link on the right sidebar to view a photo of the North Fork river access.

View of North Fork Smith River looking with rocky slide area in background and trees on hill above.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Open all year, except 2020 opening on May 29. Remote location.
Operational Hours: 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, year-round (2020 opening May 29)
Reservations: No reservations available. Self-register at the entrance on a first-come, first-served basis.
Area Amenities: Tent camping,Picnic tables,Toilets,Parking
Fees $8 per night, $5 extra vehicle charge
Open Season: 5/29/2020
Water: No water.
Restroom: None.
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 $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; or visit the USGS store at

General Information


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).

General Notes:

There is no drinking water or garbage pickup.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

Hide detail HIDE

Campground Camping

No. of Sites 5

RV Camping

Although the campground can accomodate trailers up to 22 feet in lengh, road access will be tricky. It is a 2-hour drive over winding, rocky gravel roads to reach the campground. Large motorhomes are not advised. High clearance is not required.


Show detail SHOW

Water Activities

Show detail SHOW


Picnic tables Picnic tables and fire rings
Toilets Vault; no showers
Parking Gravel; There is limited parking outside of the campsites.
Tent camping Yes
Areas & Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 


Focus on finding a national forest map.

Our Maps