Emerald green, wild and free. This is the Smith River, one of the longest rivers in the National Scenic Rivers System and the only major river in California to remain un-dammed. Over 300 miles of this river are federally protected, forming an important part of the Smith River National Recreation Area. The US Forest Service is responsible for overseeing the diverse region as the Smith River and its tributaries make their way through the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and Redwoods National Park to the Pacific Ocean.
The National Recreation Area is more than 450 square miles of land set aside to preserve great forests, rare fauna, wilderness landscapes, pristine mountain lakes and immense, deep canyons. The presence of old growth trees serves to keep the river banks of the river and its tributaries shaded and cool, a key element to protecting native, cold-water fisheries. The area is well known for its abundance of steelhead trout and salmon.