Hipcamp host Carole M.,
Hosted by
Carole has self-certified that Hipcamp’s COVID-19 Safety Standards have been implemented at this listing. See what’s being done here.

 I will open up again June 1st. Feel free to book ahead for next summer as others have already done. July is mostly booked already. This year I was fully booked every day so it was hard for some of you to stay longer than one day. Cheers! Hope to see you next spring/summer.

Imagine looking out into the crystal clear waters of the Wild and Scenic Smith River tha


 I will open up again June 1st. Feel free to book ahead for next summer as others have already done. July is mostly booked already. This year I was fully booked every day so it was hard for some of you to stay longer than one day. Cheers! Hope to see you next spring/summer.

Imagine looking out into the crystal clear waters of the Wild and Scenic Smith River that appear emerald green from afar. This is because of the rare green serpentine rocks below that cast their magical color. Think of watching the native osprey diving for fish, merganser ducks and their ducklings taking shelter on the sandbar, otter swimming below to hunt fish and crawdads, kingfishers chattering as they fly upriver, blue and white heron standing as sentinels on the rocks, and occasionally bald eagles perching on the snags across the river. These are right at your doorstep as you take the trail down to the river for a brisk morning plunge or later to enjoy sitting in the sun. The sound of small waterfalls cascade nearby to lull your senses into relaxation. The rock and cement trail lined with fern, thimble berry, native azaleas, stream orchids, and myrtlewood, take you to a cement pad where a ladder into the river awaits your use. You can dive in and swim over to the sandbar or to the nearby cliffs and try your hand at jumping off the highest rocks. Air mattresses for floating and lounge chairs are set up for your use as well. Or if you'd rather use your own kayak or paddle board, feel free to do so. When bathing in the Smith, please only use biodegradable soap to help keep the Smith pristine. There is liquid soap for your use at the river. According to siskiyouland.org

"The Smith River is the wildest and cleanest river in the country outside of Alaska — indeed, it is one of the cleanest rivers in the world. — The Smith is the only major undammed river in California. –The Smith River watershed contains a higher percentage of unlogged, original ancient forest ecosystem than any other river in California."

If you would prefer to wander the grounds, there are meandering paths that let you enjoy the beautiful flowers and landscaped yard where something is always blooming. A lawn in front is perfect for bocce ball, "washoe," or croquet, which the host will provide upon request. Next to the tent site is a large redwood picnic table and a fire pit for roasting hot dogs, marshmallows, or cooking. A new Weber BBQ is on site as well.

Nearby you can bicycle, hike, or you can drive to the beach, just 22 miles away. Both Crescent City and Brookings are close by. The redwoods are literally down the road, where you can hike many trails and see one of the largest redwood trees on record at Stout Grove. If you are a Star Wars  fan, you will recognize scenes filmed there. You might even see an Ewok spying on you from around a tree! The local Forest Service Station in Gasquet, just up the road from the host's site, has lots of maps and free advice of what to do and where to  go, just ask the host. She knows most of the best local spots.

If you'd like to float on air mattresses or inner tubes, you can arrange with the host for a small fee, to take you up to the Forks of the Smith where you can enter the river and float down to the house. It is about a half hour float, but it gets rocky in mid summer and isn't recommended for kids. A longer float will take you down river to the Mary Adams Peacock Bridge where pick up by the host can be arranged. for a fee as well. Fishing for trout and steelhead can be done from the cement platform or kayak, but please make sure to have a California license. A local hike to Stoney Creek allows you to view the native carnivorous plants, called Darlingtonia or "Pitcher Plant". There are numerous patches of them growing along the stream beds and seeps. Going up the North Fork is a great destination hike as well, which is just up from Stoney Creek. Madam Gasquet's grave site is above the Forks of the Smith, about a mile from the host's home. The view looking down at the forks is spectacular. This is an easy walk. 

There is a large intact male Shiloh Shepherd on site who is very friendly. However if you are afraid of big dogs, this may not be the spot for you. This is his home, though he will not be out wandering into your camp, as he sticks pretty close by the host's side.

There is spotty WIFI outside and main cell service is US Cellular. Verizon and AT&T are "iffy", and T-Mobile does not work at all. There is no land line in the host's home.

If you are interested in any classes in how to make kombucha, rock painting, making smudge sticks , facial scrub, natural coconut/yarrow makeup remover,  or learning to cook Paleo, Keto, or a special BBQ spice rub, let the host know. These can be done for a small extra fee.

Campsite area
Tent or RV site
1 site
Up to 5 guests per site
Up to 1 vehicle
Wheelchair access
RV Information
Campervans and Cars allowed
Vehicles under 20 feet allowed
Pull-in site
Surface type: loose-gravel
Surface levelness: flat
Electrical hookup available
Water hookup available
No Travel trailers, Fifth wheels, Toy haulers, Pop-up campers, Class A RVs, Class B RVs, or Class C RVs
Doesn't accommodate slideouts
Hookups: No sewage and TV connection
Generators not allowed
Campfires allowed
Toilet available
No pets
Potable water available
Kitchen available
Showers available
Picnic table available
Wifi available
Bins available
Have a question? Send Carole a message!
  • Check in: After 2PM
  • Check out: Before 12PM
  • Cancellation policy: Strict
  • On arrival: Meet and greet
  • Minimum nights: 1 night
  • Accepts bookings: 18 months out
  • Response time: Within an hour
  • Response rate: 100%

You know what would make this trip even better?

Take advantage of these offers available to add to your trip to Scenic Smith River Retreat


Extra car

One extra car can be parked at the site with prior okay from the host.

Add to trip

Firewood bundle

Start your trip off right with a bundle of firewood waiting for you at your c...Read more

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Hike up to Stoney Creek

Hike up to Stoney Creek (part of the Smith River Watershed) and view the nati...Read more

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rental of Coleman stove

2 burner Coleman stove with gas provided.

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Painted rocks

Various hand painted mandalas and other pictures. Prices vary according to di...Read more

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Homemade kombucha, usually berry flavored from berries picked in the yard.

Add to trip

Coconut infused herbal facial oil

Coconut oil has been infused with yarrow, lavender, and rose petals from the ...Read more

Add to trip

Honey/lemon zest facial scrub

Honey with lemon, orange or lime zest, sugar, rose hips or hibiscus flowers, ...Read more

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Offered on the Host's property or nearby.


Most hiking trails can be accessed by mountain bike. The "powerline trail" across the river is a fun, but a somewhat strenuous ...Read more


Floating the Smith is a favorite past time starting at the Forks.


Trout, cuthroat, steelhead, and salmon are in the river(depending on the time of year), but please have a California fishing li...Read more


There are numerous trails all around Gasquet. The host can help you or you can visit the local Forest Service Station just up t...Read more

Horseback riding

Horseback riding on the beach in Crescent City is available in the summer.


River access for kayaking, rafting, or paddleboarding is at the swimming hole below.


Surfing rentals are available in Crescent City on South Beach.


Swimming is just a few steps from the tent site. Please have lifevests for children. There is a strong current right at the hou...Read more

Whitewater paddling

Depending on the season and which fork you are wanting to go.

Wildlife watching

Many birds everywhere, occasional deer, bear, cougar, and bobcat.


Natural features you'll find at Scenic Smith River Retreat in California.


Sand bar across the river. Beach in Crescent City, about 22 miles away.


Gasquet is nestled in a small valley surrounded by the Six Rivers National Forest. There are large white fir on the property, a...Read more


Forest service roads abound everywhere that let you explore the Six Rivers National Forest. A Forest Service Station is situate...Read more

River, stream, or creek

The tent site is right on the Wild and Scenic Smith River.It is one of the clearest and cleanest rivers in the United States. ...Read more

Swimming hole

Right at the bottom of the trail with a ladder for easy access. There is a rather deep channel with a deceptive current, so ple...Read more


Easy access to your tent site.

78 Reviews

This listing has no reviews yet.
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Hipcamper Michael

Beautiful homesite & river setting

Michael H.
recommends this listing.
September 20th, 2021

It was so enjoyable meeting Carole, our host. Friendly, congenial, accommodating and pleasantly conversational while also giving us plenty of time to ourselves. Her homesite is a work of art, surrounded by lovely flower gardens and greenery, and many examples of her beautiful rock painting, situated on a small bluff overlooking the Smith River. The water is crystal clear, with rock coloration in the riverbed that gives off a blue-green tint in the sunlight. She has built a stone path and steps down to a ledge at the river to allow swimming or relaxing in chairs. It's a wonderful, restful, quiet place. We look forward to a return visit. Highly recommended.

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Hipcamper Alex

Beautiful quiet garden setting

Alex M.
recommends this listing.
September 18th, 2021

My second stay here and its just as beautiful a spot! I will return next year too! Cant wait!
Thank you carole for sharing your piece of paradise!!

Hipcamper Jennifer
Jennifer H.
recommends this listing.
September 16th, 2021

This was my second visit to this lovely oasis. As always, Carole was very kind, helpful and quick to respond to correspondence. I look forward to visiting again in he future.

Hipcamper Katrina
Katrina M.
recommends this listing.
September 6th, 2021

My family of 4 had a wonderful time enjoying the smith river and Caroles beautiful property. The smith river is so pristine and the landscaping at Caroles house will leave you feeling inspired. Would highly recommend for a relaxing getaway in nature.

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Hipcamper Miles

Delightful river relaxation

Miles P.
recommends this listing.
September 4th, 2021

Friendly host, excellent camping spot with a beautiful view, and a fantastic swimming hole. We absolutely loved our stay and want to come back!

Hipcamper Krista
Krista B.
has mixed feelings towards this listing.
September 1st, 2021

This was our first time using Hipcamp.
The Scenic Smith River Retreat was a fine place. We used this place as a base camp in order to explore other areas. I felt this is particular site could very easily be a destination place (and maybe that is the whole idea of Hipcamp and we were unaware of such idea... ). The host was kind, caring and helpful.

Hipcamper Alex

Restful, beautiful spot overlooking

Alex M.
recommends this listing.
August 31st, 2021

Thank you Carole for sharing such a beautiful spot on the river! And your gorgeous garden with us. It was wonderfully restful, quiet, and serene…. Just what we were looking for!
We will be back! Thank you!

Hipcamper Timothy

Exceptional camping location

Timothy J.
recommends this listing.
August 20th, 2021

Great place and host.

Hipcamper Joanna
Joanna T.
recommends this listing.
August 18th, 2021

Carole was great and we loved camping at this spot! She gave us great tips for local redwoods spots to find. Loved the cold plunge in the river too!

Smith River Retreat
United States
1 Site

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