Craigs Creek

Trail follows the river from above

First of all, remember if you’re coming from the foggy coast that it can get hot just a few miles inland. So bring plenty of water if you’re ready for a hike that offers great river views and a scenic, secluded swimming hole/picnic spot at the turnaround point.

The trailhead for Craigs Creek is on South Fork Road just before the second bridge in from U.S. Highway 199. You can park along the road or continue around the corner and follow the signs.

Not more than 50 feet from the bridge-side trailhead is a short side-trail to the right. It leads to a ledge from which to view the Smith River below. But get back on that main trail, because there are plenty of good water views on Craigs Creek.


  • THE HIKE: A 7.4-mile round-trip from the bridge over the South Fork of the Smith River to its confluence with Craigs Creek. 
  • HIGHLIGHTS: A variety of trees, including old-growth redwoods and madrones. Great views looking down at the South Fork of the Smith, and later, Craigs Creek.
  • SWEAT LEVEL: There are several long uphill and downhill stretches. Keep in mind the afternoon heat, and the fact that the return trip is more ascent than descent. 
  • GETTING THERE: From U.S.Highway 199, turn south on South Fork Road, cross the first bridge, and then park just before the second bridge. The trailhead is across the road. There’s more parking available around the corner.

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