The Upper South Fork Gorge requires a short hike in to run the approximately 1 mile gorge.
Access to the river down a 700’ trail. Site includes parking for 15 vehicles and a vault toilet.
A named drop in the upper portion of the run where a large midstream boulder splits the flow.
This is a nice intermediate access point that makes a good put-in. The site has a 460’ trail to the water, parking for 20 vehicles, and vault toilet. Site characteristics include a sand/cobble beach, large pool, and primitive camp.
A fairly straightforward rapid just past Coon Creek which enters from river right. A large boulder is near the bottom of the drop on river right.
One of several class III drops in this section.
The biggest drop on the run until you enter the South Fork Gorge. It can be easily scouted on the right. Standard lines avoid the hole on river right.
The river is accessed by a 400’ trail to the water. The site includes parking for 20 vehicles and a vault toilet. Downstream from this point the rivers the South Fork Gorge with the most challenging class IV/V rapids on the run. Some use this as a put-in for the short run through the gorge or take-out for runs that begin upstream.
The Slalom Course is a fun boulder garden section that gives you a little quick warm up before entering the gorge.
The drop marking the entrance to the gorge is run down the right and consists of a fun double drop sequence.
Good Luck! is generally considered the most demanding drop in the gorge. Scouting can be done from up high on river right or down near river level on river left. A hole develops toward river right midway through the drop.
A fun rapid with alternate lines depending on flows. A good scout is available from river left.
A fun slot move down the right or follow the main flow down the left being sure to avoid the holes and getting hung up on the wall.
The final major rapid in the gorge drops off a horizon line through a fun flume that then slams into the bedrock wall on river left and then back to river right if flows are higher.
A whitewater guidebook to the Pacific Coast of the United States from the Rogue River to the Salinas Valley in California.
The gauge is for the main Smith River. Flows on the South Fork will be approximately 33% of the flow represented on this gauge.
NOAA Flow Prediction page estimates flow on the main fork for the next 4 days.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Cruising down the South Fork
South Fork Smith Trip
South Fork Smith
Rapids on the South Fork
Steven Memorial Bridge Access
Coon Creek Rapid
Access Trail for South Fork Gorge Take-out
Boulder Creek Rapid
Steven Memorial Bridge Facilities
Sand Camp Access Sign
Facilities at Craigs Beach
Craigs Beach Sign
South Fork Bridge
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