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This steep trail begins on the banks of the Smith River and climbs 2,000 feet in elevation to reach picturesque Island Lake, an excellent trout fishing lake.

This trail begins on the west side of the South Fork Smith River. After crossing the river, this steep trail travels through old growth fir trees, climbing about 2,000 feet in the next four miles. Water is scarce from the time you leave the river until you reach the lake. Picturesque Island Lake rewards the experienced hiker an excellent trout fishing opportunity.

The trailhead is located 1.5 hours drive from the Smith River National Recreation Area visitor center, 19 miles northeast of Crescent City. Island Lake trail is open only during the summer months.

Directions: From Crescent City, Take Hwy. 101 to the junction with Hwy. 199. Go east on 199 ten miles past the Visitor Center to mile post 24.85. Turn right at Forest Service Road 16 (also called FS 17No5), and stay on the paved road for about ten miles to the intersection with Forest Service Road 16N02, turn right and continue 2.6 miles. Turn left on 16N28 and continue 1.8 miles. This road is very rough, use of high clearance vehicle is recommended. The road may be impassable with heavy rain or snowfall.

Elevation: 3,800 feet

Ending Elevation: 5,000 feet

Distance: 4.1 miles

Difficulty: Strenuous

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Six Rivers National Forest, California

Visitor Information

The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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