Chronic angiotensin II (Ang II) infusion, in rats fed high salt, engages the sympathetic nervous system to increase venomotor tone. The splanchnic sympathetic nervous system is the most important regulator of venous tone, indicating that splanchnic sympathetic nervous system activity may be increased in Ang II salt hypertension. We hypothesized that celiac ganglionectomy (CGx), to selectively disrupt sympathetic innervation to the splanchnic circulation, would attenuate arterial pressure (AP), and venous tone increases in Ang II salt hypertension. Rats fed 2% or 0.4% NaCl were instrumented to allow AP measurement by radiotelemetry at the same time as surgical CGx or sham operation. Ang II was delivered by minipump (150 ng/kg per minute) for 14 days. CGx reduced AP independent of salt diet during control. CGx markedly attenuated Ang II hypertension in rats on 2% NaCl but had little effect in rats fed 0.4% NaCl. To test the possibility that CGx exerted its effects via renal denervation, rats were subjected to the same protocol but received selective bilateral renal denervation. Renal denervation decreased AP during control but had no protective effect on Ang II hypertension and actually tended to exacerbate the pressor response. Finally, separate groups of rats underwent CGx or sham operation and were instrumented to allow repeated measures of mean circulatory filling pressure, an index of venous tone. In addition to attenuating Ang II salt hypertension, CGx completely prevented Ang II salt-induced increases in mean circulatory filling pressure and substantially attenuated depressor responses to acute ganglion blockade. We conclude that, in the presence of high salt, Ang II activates the splanchnic sympathetic nervous system to increase venomotor tone and AP.