RCR Activities & Events

Work Parties


Connect With Nature & Friends

Help us to care for Rock Creek Ranch and the Smith watershed!

Spring work parties focus on the orchard and the veggie garden. Summer work parties focus on projects such as weeding, watering, removing invasive exotics, and work in the garden. The work can be physically challenging, and all are welcome to participate.

For more information and to be included in email work-party announcements, please contact volunteer@smithriveralliance.org.

September 10, 2016
Smith National Recreation Area Clean-up

Meet at Forks boat ramp at 9AM.

RSVP: 707-601-3381 or email:  srafishcount@gmail.com

Work Day Schedule

Arrive at 10 AM; it is good to work before it gets too hot.
Work until noon.
Lunch is at 12:15 PM.
Resume work on projects until 3 PM.
Swim after the work is done!

Please RSVP to volunteer@smithriveralliance.org.

Fish Count

2016 Fish Count

South Fork Smith River — July 29 – 31, 2016

The Smith River Alliance invites all swimmers and wild fish enthusiasts to participate in this year’s Fish Count, July 29 – 31. Help track the abundance of California’s healthiest population of coastal cutthroat trout! We will also be on the lookout for the rare summer steelhead and spring Chinook salmon, as well as suckers, rainbow trout, lamprey, and herps. Snorkeling within the canyon walls and clear blue waters of the Smith River, volunteers will experience wild fish in their native habitat.

This event contributes to annual monitoring of summer adult populations  in the Smith River. Training and leadership will be provided. Data collection is coordinated with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Forest Service.

Training and coordination will take place at Rock Creek Ranch, ideally situated on the South Fork Smith River. Camping is available to participants beginning the afternoon of FridayJuly 29 and ending the morning of Sunday, July 31. The nearest motel and store is located in Hiouchi, 10 miles away. Children are welcome, but only good swimmers older than 18 may participate in the count. Please leave your pets at home.

Friday Training: An “entry-level” river snorkeling and fish identification workshop will be held on Friday from 1:00-5:00 pm. This training is fun and is REQUIRED for all new participants who want to collect data on Saturday. Experienced fish snorkelers are encouraged to help with the workshop and improve their skills. PLEASE REFER TO THE ATTACHED MATERIALS PRIOR TO ARRIVAL. Participants are welcome to arrive anytime after12:00 to get acquainted with the Ranch and set up your camp.

Saturday Schedule:

8:00 am – Breakfast and Check-In

8:30 am – Instructions and Team Assignments

8:45 am – Safety and Equipment checks

9:15 am – Depart Rock Creek Ranch in carpools 

5:00 pm – All data and equipment returned

6:00 pm – Potluck begins

What to Bring: Mask and snorkel, full body wetsuit (5m is best), dive hood, gloves, booties, and flexible fins for those with experience using them. The SRA has a gear cache to supplement, and materials can also be rented in Crescent City or Arcata. 

Special Note: Pacific Outfitters in Arcata/Eureka has offered a group discount to divers with our group. Please let them know you are with the Smith River Alliance.

Small durable pack with lunch, water bottle, and sunscreen. Bring camping gear, and most importantly, musical instruments, stories, and talents!

Food: Bring high energy snacks, potluck items for Friday and Saturday, and lunch for each day. BYOB/ice. A full kitchen and BBQ will be available each day. The Hiouchi Hamlet (~25 minutes away) is the closest store so come prepared.

Directions: From Hwy 199 turn onto South Fork Rd. After crossing the South Fork turn left (upriver/east) onto South Fork Rd. Continue for 7.9 miles. Rock Creek Ranch is located on the left side of the road after Oak St., Pine St., and Fir St. The driveway will be marketed.

Please RSVP to Marisa Parish @ mmparish@gmail.com

Like us on Facebook, too! More information and details will be provided to confirmed divers as we get closer.

Volunteers are needed for surveys, kitchen prep/cleanup, and shuttles. Novices are welcome but must have strong open water skills!

See you in the water!

Summer Outings

Summer 2016 Community Outings

Mother’s Day Botanical Walk – Sunday, May 8, 2016 

  • Meet at 1 pm at Smith River NRA visitor center in Gasquet
  • Hike the Darlingtonia Trail and a short portion of French Hill Trail
  • Bring hiking shoes, hiking poles if desired, and plant patience!

Enjoy learning about the rare and endemic plants and spring wildflowers of the Smith River NRA during this guided walk with regional ecologist Stephanie Klein.  We will first visit Darlingtonia Trail to see the amazing carnivorous plant, the darlingtonia (or California pitcher plant), that is well-known for its adaptation to our region’s serpentine soils.  Participants will learn how to identify other plants and wildflowers on this short trail as well as during a short walk on nearby French Hill Trail.

Trip leader Stephanie Klein is an ecologist who has been involved with the restoration of various habitats for rare, threatened and endangered species in northwest California, including relic oak woodlands, serpentine grasslands, coastal dunes, wetlands, streams and riparian habitats.

For more info, call Adam Spencer at 707-951-6559.


Birding by Ear on Myrtle Creek Trail – Saturday, May 14, 2016

  • Meet at 9 am at Myrtle Creek/Beach parking lot, at the intersection of US Highway 199 and South Fork Road
  • Hike the two-mile Myrtle Creek trail  
  • Bring hiking shoes and binoculars if you have them.  

Learn how to identify the calls of birds that create the joyous morning bird chorus.  If you don’t have binoculars, that’s OK, as you’ll learn how to identify birds by sound. We will stop regularly to listen and observe common birds of the Smith River NRA along this leisurely two-mile walk on the historic Myrtle Creek Trail.  The trail slowly ascends from redwood forest, up through lush riparian vegetation, and into knobcone pine forest.  The diverse habitats between redwood and mixed hardwood-conifer forests are due to the fact that Myrtle Creek rests on a boundary between two major soil types which differ in their effects on the vegetation, and thus on bird species as well.  

Bird biologist and naturalist Andrew Orahoske will lead this walk.

For more info, call Adam Spencer at 707-951-6559.


Stony Creek Botanical walk – Saturday, May 28, 2016

  • Meet at 9:30 am at Smith River NRA visitor center in Gasquet
  • Hike the 2.5-mile Stony Creek Trail.  Trail for last 0.25 mile is rocky and patience is recommended.
  • Bring hiking shoes, hiking poles if desired, and a bag/picnic lunch 

The Stony Creek trail provides an amazing botanical experience showcasing two of Del Norte’s endemic carnivorous plants, the Darlingtonia or California pitcher plant, and the butterwort. The heavy metal-rich serpentine soils of the North Fork Smith River, which we’ll traverse on the Stony Creek Trail, have fostered a community of rare plants that find new ways to thrive in the nutrient poor soils — like eating insects.  The vast diversity of plant life seen on the Stony Creek Trail provides different plant spectacles for every visit.

The Stony Creek hike will be led by Al Collinet, an enthusiastic amateur botanist, who leads hikes in the Wild Rivers Coast region for Brookings-based Muscle Busters.

For more info, call Adam Spencer at 707-951-6559.

Immersion Camps

Immersion Camps

The Smith River Alliance offers an Immersion Camp experience that provides an opportunity to:

  • Immerse yourself in the experience of snorkeling the Smith River
  • Learn about stream ecology with hands-on exercises
  • Become an expert in identifying different types of trout and salmon
  • Enjoy team-building activities at Rock Creek Ranch
  • Learn how to participate in annual fish surveys

Camp Opportunities

We will work with individual groups to tailor the Smith River Immersion Camp experience to the calendar and timing needs of interested groups.

SRA can customize the immersion program for agencies, centers and many types of groups, abilities and goals. Call us to start the process of designing your session.

For more information about Immersion Camp, contact Smith River Alliance at 707-458-3586.

Hiking Trails

Hit the Trails!

See our Smith River Trail Guide.