The Wild and Scenic South Fork Trinity River winds its way through lower-elevation hardwoods that include madrone, maple, chinquapin and oak. Further up the slopes, old-growth forests composed of pine, fir and cedar are found. These groves provide habitat for large mammals such as mountain lion and their frequent prey, the Columbian blacktail deer.
Black bear are also abundant in the canyon.
Occasionally, one may observe the endangered spotted owl, as well as goshawks and falcons. Along the river, red-legged frogs and pacific salamander, both threatened species, may be found along with other aquatic wildlife such as the river otter.
This segment of the South Fork provides some of the best spawning grounds on the stream for salmon and steelhead. Plummer Creek, a major tributary of the South Fork, hosts a native steelhead run and provides the Trinity with a valuable source of cool water.
Recreational opportunities are abundant, as the river provides whitewater rafters and kayakers with challenging spring runs and the swimmer refreshing pools for swimming. Trails give hikers access to some of California’s most scenic areas.
The world’s tallest ponderosa pine was recently located in the area. According to the Redding Record Searchlight, “The tree is 240 feet tall, or as tall as a 24-story building; trunk circumference of 290 inches, or almost 8 feet wide and a crown width of 70 feet.”