THE SMITH (HIOUCHI) RIVER
The ALFA VEDIC BOTANICAL GARDENS are auspiciously situated on a a private stretch of the remote south fork of the Smith River, also known as the the Hiouchi (Blue Water) by the area’s original inhabitants. This unspoiled ecosystem is home to black bear, panther, mink, black-tailed deer, elk, river otter, peregrine falcons, bald eagles, and forests boasting more biomass per square foot than any other area on earth, including the Amazonian rain forests. The emerald-green Smith River flows freely and remains unmarred by a single dam along its entirety.
The Smith River, its three forks and countless creeks drain a beautiful, rugged terrain of more than 450-square-miles. The river is an important stream for native trout, salmon and steelehead, as it’s cold waters course through steep, rocky canyons, and densely forested mountains until reaching the towering trees of Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and Redwoods National Park, and on to the Pacific Ocean.
Spring and early summer sees the whitewater conditions so avidly sought by kayakers, with Class IV and V rapids on all three forks, and equal miles of steep tributaries. Fish watching, steelhead and salmon fishing, swimming in deep natural pools of crystalline water, hiking back country and wilderness trails, and mountain biking are available for non-kayakers, while sightseeing is spectacular amidst wildlife, beautiful flowers, giant ferns and dramatic seascapes.
The fertile soil of the Smith River watershed has never been touched by the effects of industry, or corporate farming. A long growing season with toasty days and cool nights is ideal for the many Chinese, Ayurvedic and traditional European medicinal specimens that we grow here at the beautiful AV Botanical Gardens.