A U.S. National Forest in California’s northwest corner, Six Rivers National Forest was established in 1947 and is made up of more than a million acres of land, stretching from the California/Oregon border for about 140 miles to the south. Included within the Six Rivers National Forest are multiple ecosystems spread over almost 140,000 acres of old-growth forest and its name comes from the rivers that pass though or near its boundaries.. Four California counties boast parts of the National Forest.
Within the Six Rivers National Forest are 366 miles of rivers, making it an ideal location for those looking to spend time involved in water activities, like fishing, kayaking, and white water rafting. Five designated wilderness areas can be found in the National Forest as well. There is quite a range in elevation within the Six Rivers National Forest, from sea level to nearly 7,000 feet, and you can find significant stands of conifers (in the northern part of the National Forest) and grassy glades to the south.
When looking for a place where you can enjoy a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities, consider Six Rivers National Forest, where you will find plenty to do in gorgeous surroundings.
From Eureka, take US-101 N for 7.2 miles to exit 716A for CA-299 toward Weaverville/Reading. Continue on CA-299 for 37.6 miles until reaching CA-96 E. Turn left onto CA-96 E, which is a paved, two lane road. Proceed for 12.3 miles until reaching Tish Tang Rd., where you will make a sharp right.
With two lanes, Tish Tang Rd is not a straight line; be prepared to make multiple turns while remaining on it. Continue for 3.2 miles, at which you will follow the road to the left. After five miles, take a slight right in order to continue on Tish Tang Rd. Proceed on Tish Tang Rd for 1.8 miles, after which you will turn right to follow the road. After 1.8 miles, make a left turn and continue for 2.4 miles to Tish Tang A Ridge, where you will make a left and continue for 1.2 miles until the road requires a right turn to continue along it.
After 3.1 miles, you will reach Forest Rte 7N09. Continue on Rte 7N09 for 2.3 miles until you arrive at Six Rivers National Forest. It is important to remember that the elevation in Six Rivers National Forest varies to just under 7,000 feet. At higher elevations during the winter months, roads may more challenging to drive on due to ice and/or snow.
Parking is available within Six Rivers National Forest.
Public transportation is not available to Six Rivers National Forest.
Fish Lake Campground, located within the Six Rivers National Forest, can be found 20 miles south of Orleans and 12 miles north of the small town of Weitchpec. Campsites are set within a hardwood and conifer forest, with many fir and cedar trees. A boat ramp (only non-motorized boats allowed) is present at the campground and Fish Lake is a great place to fish for bluegill, trout, and bass.
Within the campground are 24 sites that are able to accommodate tents and RV’s that are up to 20 feet long, some of which can be reserved and some that are first-come, first-served. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring, and vault toilets and tap water are available. The campground does not have hook-ups available.
About two miles west of the small town of Willow Creek is Boise Creek Campground. The campground is located within the Six Rivers National Forest along the Trinity River. The Trinity River is an excellent place to fish for salmon and steelhead; a trail that is about a half-mile from the campground leads to a creek and a swimming hole.
There are 17 sites at the campground, surrounded by Pacific madrone, Douglas-fir and California bay trees. RVs and trailers of up to 35 feet can be accommodated. Reservations can be made at certain times of the year, while at other times sites are first-come, first-served. Sites have a picnic table and fire ring and while no hook-ups are available, there are pit toilets and tap water at the campground.
Located about three miles from the Salmon River’s junction with the Klamath River, Oak Bottom Campground offers 26 sites that can accommodate tents as well as RVs and trailers that are up to 25 feet long. The campground offers shade by madrone and Douglas fir trees and one of the sites is a double site.
Some sites are able to be reserved while others are first-come, first-served. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring with grill. Vault toilets and tap water are available at the campground. Campers will find plenty to do not far from their campsite; rafting and kayaking are popular in the spring, swimming and tubing are ideal for mid to late summer months and fishing for steelhead is ideal in the fall and the winter.
A lot of the recreation available within Six Rivers National Forest revolves around the area’s rivers. White Water Rafting is a popular activity within the National Forest, with a number of guided rafting opportunities available for adventurers of all experience levels.
Choose a more mellow adventure of Class I and II rapids, or for those with significant rafting experience, embark on a run with Class III and Class IV rapids. When you aren’t focused on the rapids, you can breathe in the fresh air and enjoy gorgeous surroundings.
When visiting Six Rivers National Forest, another way to enjoy the river is to spend some time fishing. During the fall and early winter, fishing for salmon and steelhead within the National Forest is thought to be the best in California.
Fish the Klamath River, for example, where you can catch Chinook (king salmon), coho (Silver Salmon) and steelhead. After casting a line, as you wait for a bite, you can relax and take in amazing scenery. There are plenty of places to fish within the Six Rivers National Forest and the activity will give you lots of opportunity to spend time outdoors.
Within the Six Rivers National Forest, you will find hundreds of miles of trails for hiking. Trails range from flat, smooth well-maintained paths to much more challenging terrain with significant elevation gain. With so many options, there will be a trail for everyone, regardless of experience/ability level and desire for a challenge!
Those who enjoy backpacking will find plenty of opportunities within the Six Rivers National Forest to experience solitude and spend time in places that not many people explore!
Fans of mountain biking will find plenty of opportunities for riding within the Six Rivers National Forest. There are hundreds of miles of trails and roads that can be explored by bike; trails are, for the most part, hilly and rocky and weave through forests of pine trees as well as open spaces.
Exploring the forest by bike is an ideal way to take in its beauty and diversity! Choose a trail that is a fit for your ability and start pedaling!
Humboldt Redwoods State Park can be found along the Avenue of the Giants, a popular route to view towering redwood trees. The park includes 53,000 acres of land, 17,000 of which feature old-growth coastal redwoods that are the largest in the world. The trees are thousands of years old and include the Rockefeller Tree, which is 362 feet tall and 13 feet six inches wide.
There are other well-known trees to visit, including the Shrine Drive Thru Tree, and plenty of trails to walk along to explore the amazing giants!
Eureka is a town that is located close to Six Rivers National Forest and running through it is the Redwood Highway, which offers a scenic drive through northern California. The road runs for 230 miles up to California’s border with Oregon. The drive passes through many redwood groves as well as state parks and unique communities. You will also catch views of the ocean and opportunities for spending time on the beach.