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Elk Camp Ridge Trail

Elk Camp Ridge Trail

Elk Camp Ridge Trail

Elk Camp Ridge Trail

Location: Smith River National Recreation Area, Del Norte County, CA
Miles: 16.4 miles (8.2 for half-trail)
Difficulty: moderate
Duration: 7 hours

Users: Dogs, horses, and bikes permitted. No wheelchair access.

Features: originally part of the pack trail between Crescent City and the gold mines in southern Oregon, views of peaks (Preston Peak – the highest peak), views of Smith River Canyon, free campfire permits available

The trail surface of Elk Camp Ridge is mostly red clay with lots of rocks and has several steep, bumpy climbs. If you take your mountain bike with you, it is recommended to be ridden in the downhill direction, but occasionally the opposite direction can be an option and might end up turning into hike-a-bikes. 

Parts of the trail that were burned over in the Panther Fire of 1996 and the Biscuit Fire of 2002 serve as a history mark which may add to the experience. Although it was last maintained in 2011, the scenic view of high mountain peaks, the Pacific Ocean, and the North and Middle Forks of the Smith River will always be its main attraction.

Top 3 Adventure Hacks

1) Take a photo

It’s always a good idea to bring your camera and take a photo of the panoramic view!

2) Stay hydrated

The heat in this area sometimes turns up a notch. Make sure you’re always hydrated.

3) Bring essential tools

Always remember to bring a whistle, compass, and flashlight when you hike. You never know when you need it. It’s always best when you’re prepared!

I'm David Aston, Founding Nomad of AdventureHacks, Inc. My mission is to inspire adventure on the ground, in the water and through the air. If I also happen to inspire you to purchase gear, my team and I plant a tree in its native environment for every order.