Flat Camp is a creek access point on Hurdy Gurdy Creek in California’s Six Rivers National Forest, while it is not officially a campground, it is often fully occupied by groups as a large, single, campsite. Flat Camp is a pretty large, open clearing under a thick canopy of trees, which let very little light through. The campsite is directly across from Big Flat Campground, a developed and organized campground. Flat Camp is primitive and offers no amenities, other than direct access to the creek.

Flat Camp – Bottom Line

Flat Camp is a great group campsite, with enough room for at least 20 people, however be prepared for a relatively steep, bumpy, dirt road to get in and out of Flat Camp; a vehicle with a little bit of ground clearance is recommended. The rough road to the campsite, plus the remoteness of the location contribute to only moderate use at Flat Camp.

If Big Flat Campground was closer to a more populated are it would be an average campground, but this National Forest Campground is pretty remote, about 26 miles into the wilderness from the closest town, making it a pretty cool destination. What also makes it a cool destination is that the campground is only moderately used, especially early and late into the camping season, giving you access to some great campsites that overlook the quick-moving Hurdy Gurdy Creek. Since the north-western coast of California is often cooler and overcast, we were concerned that Big Flat would be the same way; it was not. Once we got away from the coast, into the mountains, and following along the Smith River, it was clear, sunny, and warm.

The bottom line on Flat Camp is if you can get this first-come, first-served spot, take it. It is a very relaxing spot along the creek with access to hiking. Additionally, there are plenty of Smith River access points along county road 427, which leads to Flat Camp.

Flat Camp Features

Campground Type: Primitive, Dispersed
Number of Campsites: 1 Campsite
Cost: Free
Use Level: Medium-High
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Fire Rings: None
Drinking Water: None
Toilets: None
Showers: None
Trash/Dumpsters: None
Hiking Access: Yes
Beach/Lake Access: Creekside access
RV/Trailer Length: N/A
RV/Trailer Amenities: None
Cell Phone Service: None
Wifi: None
Operating Season: N/A

Getting There

Geo Coordinates: 41.687292, -123.913231
Nearest City/Town: Crescent City, California
Elevation: 800 Feet
Location: Del Norte County, California
Paved Road Access: None
Proximity to Stores: 26 Miles to Crescent City

From Crescent City turn right onto US Highway 199 and drive 11.5 miles to South Fork Road (County Road 427), turn right. The sign will also read Howland Hill Scenic Drive, Stout Grove, and Myrtle Beach. Go ½ mile and bear left at the “Y” intersection to stay on South Fork Road. Continue for 13.75 miles and turn left on Forest Road 15N58. The road sneaks up on you, there will be a small sign near the ground on your left that says “Flat Camp”, if you go over Hurdy Gurdy Creek, you have gone too far. Proceed on the dirt road for a quarter mile, the road ends at the campsite.


Phone: (707) 442-1721 Facebook:
Web:   Twitter:
Reservations: Not Accepted

When To Go

Summer – The weather in the summer is great, but be prepared if the campsite is occupied, you may have to settle for Big Flat Campground across Hurdy Gurdy Creek.

The location could not be found.

What To Do

Hiking – Mountain Biking – South Kelsey Trail runs through neighboring Big Flat Campground 

Image Credits: Justin Wilson

Previous articleRequest Your Free NextCampsite Stickers!
Next articleJedediah Smith Campground
Justin is an IT Professional, focused on cloud, mobile, and infrastructure management and security with his consulting business, as well as chief bottle washer for this website. In addition to NextCampsite.com, Justin also runs and writes for the technology infrastructure-focused blog OddJobsInTech.com, and the mobile device-focused blog EnterpriseMobileDevice.com.