South Kelsey Trail
Location : Smith River National Recreation Area, Del Norte County, CA
Miles: 9 miles
Difficulty: easy – moderate
Duration: all day (or 2 days)
Users: Dogs and horses permitted. Bikes permitted only to wilderness boundary. No wheelchair access.
Features: Original mule-train route built by Chinese laborers in the mid-19th Century, South Fork Smith River, Horse Creek, camps along the river, Buck Creek shelter, trail extensions to Baldy Peak and Harrington Lake
One of the best-known trails, in Del Norte County, is the South Kelsey Trail. The trail starts off between Horse and Buck Creeks and follows the South Fork Smith River for seven miles, affording numerous river accesses for trout fishing. The trail also extends to Baldy Peak and Harrington Lake.
The Buck Creek will welcome you with a small waterfall that fills the pool where you can swim around and ease yourself at nearby fishing spots. There is an option for biking but only in the Siskiyou Wilderness area. If this agenda won’t fit a day, an overnight log shelter is available. All this with low visitor use and lots of solitude.
Top 3 Adventure Hacks
1) Prepare your camping gear essentials
- An Ultralight Tent that you can easily bring anywhere.
- Bring also an Ultralight inflatable Sleeping pad to get comfortable.
2) Pack some snacks
Always remember to pack something to munch on when hiking. If you’re planning on camping overnight, pack these vegan backpacking soup and chili pouches!
3) Always stay hydrated
We can’t stress this enough. Always have your liquids ready when you’re thirsty.