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Beautiful 2 story house on Smith River- Private Beach, Trails,& More!

Bedrooms 3
Space 1,600 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

3 Bedrooms + Sleeping Porch - 2 Baths - (Sleeps 9-13)

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 hairdriers,microwaves,toasters or toaster ovens,waffle irons or electric skillets...we are on a solar system....for lights mainly......

More Details

Property Manager
jim matthews
Member since: 2008
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
August 13, 2017

About jim matthews

Outdoor lover and river lover.....perfect place for peace and quiet....raised my kids up there in the gone now so we can share with others

jim matthews purchased this house in 1985

Why jim matthews chose North Coast California

something for my family to enjoy .....for life times....very unique and special

What makes this house unique

clear clean river,waterfalls,fishing,big timber and a bueatiful house make of all native trees in the area....and the internet


Crescent City House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1600 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 13
  • pets considered ...
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Beach ...
  • Lake ...
  • Mountain ...
  • Mountain View
  • Near The Ocean ...
  • Resort ...
  • River ...
  • Rural
  • Ski in/Ski out ...
  • Village ...
  • Water View
  • Waterfront ...
  • Waterfront ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Basic Soaps
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Filtered Water
  • Fireplace ...
  • Firewood
  • Garage ...
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Area
  • Living Room ...
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking Off Street
  • Secure Parking
  • Solar Panels
  • Telephone ...
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Water Tank
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster ...
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 13 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower , custom native wood construction
    Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , panneled with local Myrtle wood
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 13
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 3 - 1 queen , 7 twin/ single
    Bedroom 2 - 1 double
  • Crib available.
  • Books
  • Books for Kids
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games
  • Games for Kids
  • Music Library
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys
  • Video Games ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Balcony
  • Barbecue
  • Beach Chairs
  • Beach Towels
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Golf ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Patio
  • Shed
  • Small Cooler
  • Unscreened Porch / Veranda
  • Wood Deck
  • 5 garden chairs
  • 4 beach chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Private Pool ...
  • bay/sound
  • caves
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • marina
  • museums
  • rain forests
  • restaurants
  • waterfalls
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
Local Services & Businesses:
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • pier fishing
  • rafting
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • spelunking
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • water tubing
  • whitewater rafting
  • wind-surfing
Catering Available. Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer.


Excellent! 4.7/5 -
(17 traveler reviews)

70% Complete
29% Complete
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Beautiful 2 story house on Smith River- Private Beach, Trails,& More!
average rating of 4.7058825 based on 17 reviews

As good as the last time!

  • 5 of 5

This is the second time in three years we stayed here. This off the grid cabin is very isolated and perfect for adventurous families. The only time we saw or heard anyone was on the drive back to main road. The kids love it here. The private path down to the river was well used for swimming and fishing. There are also multiple great swimming holes between the cabin and the small town of Hiouchi. The river can be cold in June but great fun once you are used to it. Last time we did the Devil's Punchbowl hike (one day round trip), this time we settled for the much easier Boy Scout trail hike in Stout Grove. So much available from one cabin!

  • Submitted: Jun 27, 2017
  • Stayed: Jun 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: thank you Todd.....Jim Matthews
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Great Cabin

  • 5 of 5

My wife and I spent our Thanksgiving at this wonderful cabin and a part of us has not left.

  • Submitted: Dec 31, 2016
  • Stayed: Nov 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Yuba city

Great hidden hideaway in the forest

  • 4 of 5

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.

  • Submitted: Sep 21, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Beautiful stay in spacious solar wood cabin with beautiful view and giant glass windows

  • 4 of 5

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!

  • Submitted: Aug 13, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Perfect off the grid, relaxing, private cabin

  • 5 of 5

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.

Getting there.

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.

  • Submitted: Jul 17, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks so much for your review. Hope to have you here again and maybe next time we can meet.Been a great experience! Jim
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Great house and setting, just know driving is involved!

  • 4 of 5

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.

  • Submitted: Jul 5, 2016
  • Stayed: Jun 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks and nice having you at my special place.....being that far out is why it is like it is and sorry regarding the map thing. Jim
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Nearest Airport
30 Miles
Crescent city Airport
Nearest Barpub
20 Miles
del norte golf course
Nearest Golf
20 Miles
del norte golf course
Nearest Motorway
18 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
30 Miles
ship ashore in Smith River Ca.,Hiouchi cafe closer
Nearest Ski
150 Miles
ashland oregon
Nearest Beach
30 Miles
pacific ocean
Car: necessary

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 on the Smith river and the 12 acre property actually crosses the river.....river sounds all day and of my most favorite spots on the 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 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


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $100
Additional Guest Fee $12 per person per night
Pet Fee $10
Damage Deposit $300

rate are $12 per person per day for more than 2 people

Manager's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the manager or check their rental agreement when booking the property.

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