Six Rivers National Forest
The Gasquet Ranger District has many miles of hiking trails to choose from, ranging from easy one-day hikes to the more challenging treks into the Siskiyou Wilderness.
In addition to the following trails, the Gasquet Ranger District encompasses Smith River National Recreation Area and its trail system.
Wildlife and plant life are plentiful. Some of the wildlife you may encounter includes gray squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, and black tailed deer. There is also an abundance of bird life on the District. These include Blue Jays, Sparrows, Red-Tailed Hawks, Quail, Owls, and an occasional Golden or Bald Eagle.
The plant life you may see includes huckleberry, manzanita, alder, three species of oak, three species of fir, and Incense and Port Orford cedar. There are also numerous species of wildflowers.
SAFETY AND TRAIL MANNERS
Be prepared for changing weather conditions, especially in the spring and early summer. Trees, flowers, wild animals, and other historic and natural features are yours to see, enjoy, and protect—so they will be around for others to enjoy. If you plan to build a fire, please obtain a free campfire permit from the Forest Service office in Gasquet or the California Department of Forestry, Fire Protection office in Crescent City.
Summit Valley Trail
Trail Length: 8 Miles
Elevation at Trailhead: 4,000 Feet
Junction of South Kelsey: 1,000 Feet
Use Level: Light
Topo Maps: Ship Mtn. N.E. 722-1C, Ship Mtn. S.E. 722-4C
ACCESS: Leaving Gasquet proceed southwest on U.S. 199 for approx. 7 miles to South Fork Road (County Road 427). Then proceed for approx. 12 miles to Forest Service Road 15N01 (G.O. road). Turn right onto F.S. Road 15N01 and proceed to M.P. 14.93. The trailhead will be on the left hand side of the road. This trail can also be accessed from the South Kelsey trail approx. 3 miles from the trailhead.
DESCRIPTION: You will follow an old jeep road for the first mile. You then leave the jeep road and get onto the Summit Valley Trail, which will take you through some small mountain meadows that are beautiful with blooming wildflowers in the late spring and early summer. The trail then takes you into Summit Valley, which is an approx. 3-acre meadow. Once you climb out of the meadow you will come to a junction in the trail. The trail to the right is approx. 1/4-mile long and will take you to the old Summit Valley lookout site. This is an excellent vista point with a view to the east of the rugged Siskiyou Backbone and the Siskiyou wilderness. To the west you can see the Pacific Ocean. Once back on the main trail it is a long slow descent to the junction with the South Kelsey Trail at Elkhorn Bar.
Island Lake Hiking Trail
Island Lake: 5.2 Miles
Elevation: 3800-4900 Feet
Difficulty: Most Difficult
Use Level: Light
ACCESS: From Gasquet proceed northeast on U.S. 199 to Little Jones Creek Road (F.S. Road no. 17N05). Proceed on 17N05 for approx. 10 miles to F.S. Road 16M02. Turn right on 16N02 and proceed for approx. 2 miles to F.S. Road 16N28. Turn left on to 16N28 and proceed to the end of the road and you will be at the Island Lake trailhead.
DESCRIPTION: After leaving the trailhead you head downhill for approx. 1 mile with an elev. loss of 800 ft. to the South Fork of the Smith River. After fording the river, the trail climbs steeply for approx. 4 miles and an elev. gain of 2,000 ft. through mixed hardwood and conifer stands. Once you leave the river water is scarce until you reach the lake. Plants and wildlife are plentiful and once you reach the lake the fishing is usually very good.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Gasquet Ranger Station
P.O. Box 220
Gasquet, CA 95543
Telephone: (707) 457-3131
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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