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Summit Valley Trail

Summit Valley Trail

Summit Valley Trail

Summit Valley Trail

Location: Smith River National Recreation Area, Del Norte County, CA
Miles: 16.2 miles (or 8.1 miles and take the shuttle back)
Difficulty: difficult
Duration: 2 days (or all day and take the shuttle back)
Users: Dogs and horses permitted. Bikes permitted only to the wilderness boundary. No wheelchair access.

Features: Smith River, steep trail, views of Siskiyous and Mt. Shasta, the first mile is an old jeep trail, canyon, campsites along the river at the junction with South Kelsey Trail (8.1 miles in)

Shuttle: Pick up shuttle from the South Kelsey Trailhead near Elkhorn Bar

summit valley trail northern california

This trail has quite a distance, for about 16.2 miles, so having company during the hike might be nice or it might be just a great time for self relaxation. It might take a day to reach the end of the trail and another one to get back. For the convenience of the visitors, they offer a shuttle back near Elkhorn Bar from the South Kelsey Trailhead.

People who have visited the trail shared that, on the ride to the trail, they’ve encountered some animals. If you are fond of wildlife then we suggest that you start off early for a higher chance of seeing them. Besides the animals, you will surely enjoy the magnificent sunrise at the trailhead and a bonus is you can leisurely hike your way through and enjoy the charming wildflowers that grow beside the trail.

The Marvelous views of Siskiyous and Mt. Shasta will surely be worth the hike. There is also a river at the junction with South Kelsey Trail (8.1 miles in) where people can rest or camp on.

Top 3 Adventure Hacks

summit valley trail sunrise

1) Best to bring a companion

This trail is a long one, so having a companion will be more engaging and help keep spirits high.

2) See the sunrise

Start early and watch the sunrise! Nothing beats a beautiful sunrise when you start your hike.

3) Go camping!

If your agenda doesn’t fit a day, why not go camping by the river?

If you are by yourself this 1 man tent is all you need.

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.