Smith River (formerly, Smith River Corners, Smith's River Valley, Smiths River and Smith's River) is a designated place in Del Norte County, California. It is located 12 miles north-northeast of Crescent City, 3 miles east of the mouth of the Smith River, at an elevation of 52 feet. It is bordered by the Smith River National Recreation Area. Smith River is the headquarters of the Smith River Rancheria, a federally recognized tribe of Tolowa people. The Smith River, its three forks and countless creeks drain a beautiful, rugged terrain. The NRA encompasses more than 450 square miles of densely forested mountains, pristine botanical areas, remote wilderness landscapes, high-mountain lakes and steep, rocky canyons. The river is an important stream for fish, with towering trees along its banks providing shaded conditions necessary for cold-water species. Winter rains provide the whitewater conditions so avidly sought by kayakers. The Smith River abounds with Class IV and V rapids on all three forks and has many miles of steep creeking waters. Its miles of whitewater require a fairly high degree of technical skills by the boater. Once the three forks join to form the mainstem, the land levels out and the last 16 miles to the ocean present less demanding conditions (Class I-II in medium flows). Just past the confluence of the Middle Fork and South Fork, the river leaves the NRA and flows through the Redwood National and State Parks, with stunning views of the giant redwoods and great summer floating in Class I and II waters. The Smith River offers surprises for even the most seasoned boater--some rapids may change little for many years, others are different every year and each season offers something new. Other recreational opportunities include fish watching, steelhead and salmon fishing, swimming or snorkeling in deep natural pools of clear and emerald water, tubing and rafting, hiking along backcountry and wilderness trails, and mountain biking. Sightseeing is popular; wildlife and beautiful flowers are abundant--Pacific dogwoods, azaleas, rhododendrons, ladyslipper orchids, lilies; and in the fall, stunning fall colors.