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South Fork Trinity River

Features: This trail provides access to the proposed South Fork Trinity Wilderness, which straddles a segment of the South Fork Trinity Wild & Scenic River between Forest Glen and Highway 36 in the north and the town of Hyampom to the south. Recently rebuilt by the Watershed Center in Hayfork, the trail offers a great 8-mile round trip hike from the trailhead to French Ranch, with diverse views of the river and its rugged canyon, surrounding forests, and plenty of opportunity to try out multiple swimming holes.

The proposed South Fork Trinity Wilderness is a 27,000 acre area of mixed hardwood and conifer forests, which includes the recently discovered tallest Ponderosa pine in the world. The area provides rich habitat for wildlife, including black bear, deer, goshawk, spotted owl, red-legged frog, Pacific salamander, and river otter. Plummer Creek and other tributaries to the South Fork Trinity that drain the proposed wilderness provide refuge and cold water for the salmon and steelhead that migrate up the river to spawn.

Directions to trailhead: From Highway 3 in Hayfork, drive 22 miles west on the Hyampom Road. About 2 miles before you reach Hyampom, turn south on County Road 316. About 8 miles south, County Road 316 crosses Butter Creek just upstream of its confluence with the South Fork. Continue south about a mile and turn right on a road signed “South Fork Trail.” Continue south about 2 miles on this road to the trailhead. Before your hike, be sure to inquire about the latest status of roads and trails by contacting the Forest Service’s Hayfork Ranger Station to at (530) 628-5227


Weather and road conditions can change in an instant. Always check with the managing agency before embarking on a trip. Always hike with a friend and carry a cell phone for emergencies. Bring plenty of drinking water, food, and clothing for changing weather conditions. Let someone know where you are going and when you intend to be back. Remember, California’s wild places are beautiful but they can also be dangerous to the unprepared and unwary. The California Wilderness Coalition assumes no liability if you intend to visit any of the wild places featured in our materials.