|Minimum Stay||3 nights|
A gorgeous drive along the South Fork of the Smith River gets you to this luxurious river side house located in an area named 'Big Flat' as it is a big flat area high in the mountains where the inland tribes gathered to meet the coastal tribes. Rich in natural history and scenic beauty, this is the type of place one wants to check in, and 'check out'. Surrounded by the sights and sounds of the river rushing by as well as a multitude of songbirds and miles of majestic wilderness, there is opportunity for swimming, rafting, tubing, hiking, cycling, fishing, kayaking or just laying on the river view deck soaking up the sun in summer or snuggling by the fire in colder months.
The house affords the ability to rough it in great comfort as it has full amenities while being off the grid, we have equipped it with solar power and propane appliances.Due to the solar power system capacity--- microwaves,toasters,hairdriers and other resistance appliances will drain the system.
In addition to the river being on the property there are several small lakes with good fishing that can be driven to. Also there are several lakes that are good backpack trips in the higher mountains.We also have a trail head to the Kelsey trail near the house. The Kelsey trail is part of the Pacific Crest trail.For more information see the Six Rivers National Forest map....many things to do.....if you see a bear just make some noise and he will run away......harmless......just don`t leave tasty smelling food out that would attract them......Jim
remember.....no hairdriers,microwaves,toasters or toaster ovens,waffle irons or electric skillets...we are on a solar system....for lights mainly......
Outdoor lover and river lover.....perfect place for peace and quiet....raised my kids up there in the splendor........kids gone now so we can share with others
jim matthews purchased this house in 1985
something for my family to enjoy .....for life times....very unique and special
clear clean river,waterfalls,fishing,big timber and a bueatiful house make of all native trees in the area....and more....off the grid....no internet
My husband and I spent our 10yr anniversary at the River Retreat with our two German Shepherds. We traveled up I5 to hwy 199, approximately 1hour & 40min before arriving we lost cell service, I highly recommend printing out the directions from the home owner, had we not done that, we wouldn't have found the house. The directions are really hard to follow because nothing is marked. The "mobile" home referenced is actually a modular home.
Once we made it to the house, things got a bit easier! Overall, the house was what we expected minus a few downfalls. The refrigerator was not really sufficient, we ended up keeping most our food in the ice chest because the fridge wasn't cooling quickly. Thank goodness we had plenty of ice!!
We enjoyed listening to the record player (don't use the CD player, we left behind a CD because it wouldn't eject), playing games and sitting next to the fire pit in the evenings. Listening to the river, the crickets and star gazing was amazing. Mosquitos were pretty pesky so don't forget the bug spray (even if you forget, the owners are nice enough to have some on hand). The 1908 Sears catalog was a blast from the past, it was awesome to look through it and see how times have changed. There guest book was fun to read as well. It seems the owners have made improvements based on previous visitors suggestions, that was nice to see!
The trail to the river is pretty steep, make sure to grab a walking stick before heading down. A little narrow and slippery where the fallen leaves have gathered. Once at the river, you must navigate through overgrown bush and river rock. DO NOT FORGET YOUR WATER SHOES!! We made a short trip to Crescent City on our 3rd day to get some. It makes a huge difference. The river is crystal clear and beautiful. Our dogs loved the water. They played fetch all around the front, back and sides of the house as well as in the river nonstop.
The most amazing part of this property is the hidden waterfall. I'm guessing this can only be seen in the late spring, summer and early fall months, otherwise the river is rushing and may be inaccessible. We trekked through the river, over the river rock and behind some bush...there it falls, the most beautiful green lush waterfall! The mere sight of it makes up for all the trivial stuff.
All in all, I would say, if you're looking for that rustic, private, quiet, nature getaway...this is the place! We would definitely come back if given the opportunity.
We loved our family stay here! Very secluded pretty, and spacious, Solar/generator powered cabin with River access down the hill (10 minutes down path)
Very hot durning the day in the summer inside with only fans to cool, but If you spend the day on the river it's so nice in the evenings with a huge wrap around deck and outdoor table to eat at! We swam in the river every evening and played cards in the cabin, such a relaxing spot. There is even a record player! Note: the big overhead fan switch is in the hall closet along the back wall.
There is a really nice swim hole at SAND CAMP a few miles up the road towards the main highway on way back out.
Great experience overall!
My wife and I and our Labrador Libby stayed at the River Retreat for a week in July 2016. We loved it and highly recommend it.
I'm lost without GPS so when I put in the address Jim gave us google directed us there without too much hassle. The GPS has the address a little wrong so the driveway is actually about a half mile past where it says but the driveways are marked with the address so it was easy to find the right place. I recommend arriving during daylight and you'll have no problem. Once you've found the driveway Jim has marked the route with some red tape. The mobile home Jim mentions in his map is a lot more established than we expected which threw us off but it's pretty obvious where to go. As another reviewer noted you don't want to go the stout grove route the first time you arrive but you absolutely have to drive the Howland Hills/Stout Grove route one time during your stay. It's amazing - really my wife and I were blown away by the old growth redwoods and you have to see it to believe it.
The River Retreat
The place is exactly as described. It's off the grid so no internet or cell phone reception, no tv or air conditioning but that's exactly what we wanted. Power is supplied by solar and some generators. We never used the generators during our week there and the solar was enough to power lights and the cool little record player. We grilled out every night and Jim had left us with a full tank of gas. Jim really went to great lengths to make sure we had everything we needed - firewood (it was cold a couple of nights), ice and notes to where everything was.
The cabin was clean and the bed was very comfortable.
The couch is super comfortable and sitting there reading to the sound of the river gurgling by was unforgettable.
Our dog loves the water so we were down there a lot. It's a short walk down a slope to get to the river but its really no problem and there's a metal rope for you to hold on to.
Good Harvest Cafe in Crescent City had great breakfasts - highly recommend. The beach access points along South Fork Rd were well worth visiting.
The visitor center in Crescent City can direct you where to go in Jedidiah and Redwood national parks.
There's whale watching in Klamath but it was too foggy the day we went and we couldn't see anything.
The drive alone is what keeps this from being a 5 star property; all else was just fine--knowing it is a rustic cabin. Beds were very comfortable to sleep on and plenty of them! The amenities in the kitchen and towels were plenty and whimsical--as all are mismatched! This is off the grid, so know you don't have air conditioning and have to be mindful of electric and water usage. Our family of 6 had no problems with water and always had enough for quick hot showers. The ceiling fan was not working during our stay, but opening windows cooled the place down quickly. They have a grill and nice table outside along w a fire pit and plenty of wood onsite. (The deck needs some repairs as some of the floor boards were weak and wiggly). The hike to the water is a steep, slick trail with a metal cable to guide you, but we managed just fine--and beautiful clear water was fun for kids (11-18 years). The drive--I knew from other reviews it was a bit of a drive, but missed the winding, winding, and more winding--and DO NOT take the Stout Grove route if you arrive after dark! 😜(Much longer and gravel single lane at times--map needs to be modified to show accurate travel times and label "best route".) We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and family time. Played games at the kitchen table each night while enjoying the incredible view of the stars. Great property, but know other area attractions will involve a bit of a drive there and back.
Wanting to avoid trying to find "River Retreat" in the dark, we stayed in Crescent City the night before check in on 3/28/16. We stocked up on groceries at the Crescent City Safeway enough for five days before heading up to the road along the south fork of the Smith River. Good thing we were well supplied because it took 35 minutes to get to the cabin from the turnoff just east of Hiouchi. The drive was a delight though with expansive views over the river gorge and mountains beyond. We found the cabin to be a roomy chalet style place which had been built entirely out of redwood and fir by the original owner, a local lumber baron. There is a large deck that cantilevers almost out over the roaring river some thirty feet below. Adding to the sounds is a water fall across the river. Mornings were cold but a fire in the woodstove took off the chill. We were lucky on the weather for this time of the year and we had blue skies and 70+ degrees every day. We hiked nearby doing sections of the Old Kelsey Trail and also drove back in towards Hiouchi to wander through the giant old growth redwoods in Stout Grove. The neighbors were friendly and welcoming a gave us helpful suggestions about local points of interest. We had a relaxed enjoyable time here. This is a wonderful hideaway in the heart of the Smith River wilderness.
This cabin was just what we were looking for. Very cozy and welcoming feel. It had everything we needed. It was secluded, yet close enough to state parks to do short hikes in the redwoods during the day and come back home to make supper. We had a great time grilling out on the deck. Our children loved the "new" toys and splashing around in the river. The owner was very pleasant and helpful.
Here, almost from the moment you arrive, you are immersed in the splendor of nature at her most extravagant. Each path leads to a breathtaking world of contrasts - tiny flowers in the shadow of the world's largest trees, the silent grace of a solitary pelican dippings its wings the pounding surf, morning mists evaporating in the warmth of the sun. Del Norte County is all this and more. Unspoiled and unlike any other place on earth, Del Norte County is an experience in nature, both on her own terms AND in the many ways the natural environment shapes and directs the County's unique lifestyle.The google map is not accurate in showing where the house is.....house is on the Smith river and the 12 acre property actually crosses the river.....river sounds all day and nite....one of my most favorite spots on the planet......you will enjoy if you love nature and clean everything.....and remember we have wild friends around the house.From deer to bears that are very afriad of humans....so if you see one just make some noise and they will run away fast.....may look scary but totally harmless......Jim Matthews...owner
Other Activities: kayaking, rock climbing, horseshoes, shelling. fishing,swiming,beach combing,hiking trails,seeing Redwoods
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly||Event|
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
|Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $12 per night, per additional guest|
|Refundable damage deposit||$300|
rate are $12 per person per day for more than 2 people