The South Fork Trinity River is one of the largest undammed river systems in California. The river and its tributaries support important populations of threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead and old-growth forest dependent wildlife species. The river and tributaries also offer outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities.
From its source high in the Yolla Bolly Middle Eel Wilderness, the South Fork Trinity River flows north 82 miles to its confluence with the Trinity River. On its long journey north, the South Fork Trinity serves as a natural corridor for fish and wildlife, thus helping to connect islands of ancient forest and wild places that would otherwise grow increasingly isolated in an expanding sea of roads and clear-cuts.
The river provides critical habitat for spring-run Chinook salmon and summer and winter-run steelhead trout. It also flows through one of the most diverse and pristine forests in California – forests that shelter spotted owl, goshawk, bald eagle, fisher, marten and several rare plants.
The natural beauty of the Upper South Fork Trinity River is unsurpassed. The South Fork National Recreation Trail parallels much of this section of the river, allowing visitors to follow in the footsteps of Native Americans, early fur trappers, and miners. This long but easy trail offers expansive views of the river’s many rapids and pools, with a backdrop of pines, firs, and oaks. Two National Forest campgrounds provide excellent base camps to explore the river and trail.
For these reasons, the Forest Service recommended Wild & Scenic River protection for the upper 26 miles of the South Fork Trinity. The upper river also flows through the unprotected Chinquapin roadless area, which deserves wilderness protection. Improved designation status for other sections of the river is also recommended.
Management Agency: U.S. Forest Service ~ Shasta-Trinity & Six Rivers National Forests
Location: Trinity & Humboldt Counties, CA 2nd Congressional District
Watershed: Trinity River
Proposed Wild & Scenic River Miles: 68.5
Outstanding Values: Anadromous fisheries, ecological, recreation