South Kelsey Trail - S.F. Smith River - California

A new National Recreation Trail called the Coast to Crest Trail is being cleared from Crescent City over the Little Bald Hills Trail to the South Fork Smith River, then upriver along newly constructed trail segments to the upper South Kelsey Trailhead. From here the scenic trail climbs up to Baldy Peak in the Siskiyou Wilderness, and then heads down the West Fork Clear Creek to the Clear Creek Trail, in the direction of Young’s Valley. The trail then crosses the Siskiyou Wilderness to reach Poker Flat, where a new proposed trail will soon connect the Siskiyou and Red Buttes Wilderness areas, crossing over the old Happy Camp Trail near Little Greyback Mountain (CA). The trail then heads south through the Red Buttes to connect with the Pacific Crest Trail using existing trail.

An even longer trail through the Klamath Mountains has been proposed by Michael Kauffmann, author of Conifer Country. The 400 mile-long Bigfoot Trail would pass 32 different species of conifers, crossing 6 Wilderness Areas, one National Park, and one State Park. The trail will begin near the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness and connect with the Pacific Crest and Coast to Crest trails.

A big part of this involves the recently re-constructed South Kelsey Trail, which uses much of the original historic Kelsey Trail. Here are some recent photos of this newly opened trail.

CCC at work.  Yesterday they were on day 7 finishing the South Kelsey Trail - Canthook.

Youth from the California Conservation Corps (CCC) work to build a new section following the original Kelsey Trail. This section goes along Canthook Creek.

Me along South Kelsey Trail - Canthook

Massive old growth trees tower over the Canthook Creek section of new trail.

South Kelsey Trail - Canthook
Reconstructed South Kelset Trail along Canthook Creek.

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