Upper Lake OHV Area - North

The 67th most popular off-highway vehicle trail in California.

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East of Ukiah and north of Upper Lake in the Mendocino National Forest, the Upper Lake OHV Area has miles of trails open to OHV use. The northern half of the riding area has 33 miles of trails and roads open. The routes pass through beautiful scenery and challenging terrain. The basin is closed annually from May 18 through September 8 to OHV use (see trail map). During this closure you are welcome to truck your bikes out of the basin and ride the trails. Many of the trails in this area are 4WD trails. The boundary runs generally North from Scott Dam along Road 20N01 to Coyote Rock then easterly along the southern base of Boardman Ridge to Big Squaw Valley, then southwest to the US Forest Service Summer Home Tract, then southeast to Thistle Glade, then westerly to Rice Fork Summer Homes, then southwest to Split Rock, then northeast to Scott Dam.

Directions: From I-5 or Highway 101, proceed on Highway 20 towards Clear Lake. Closest access is through either Upper Lake or Potter Valley, and both are northeast of Clear Lake. Both routes include several miles of gravel road before reaching the lake and these roads should be traveled cautiously, especially in inclement weather.

Access through Upper Lake: In Upper Lake, CA, at the intersection of State Highway 20 and Main St., take Main St. 0.9 miles to Elk Mountain Rd. (a.k.a. County Rd 301 and Forest Rd M1). Turn left onto Elk Mountain Rd. and proceed approximately 20 miles until you reach the Lake Pillsbury Basin. This route is generally easier to follow, but is higher in elevation and so is closed at times due to storms/snow.

Access through Potter Valley: From Highway 20, about 2 miles east of Lake Mendocino, turn north towards Potter Valley on Mendocino Co Rd 249. Proceed approximately 6 miles to the town of Potter Valley and turn right on 249 to the north. Continue approximately 4 miles as the road crosses the valley, winds up and over a ridge, dropping into the Eel River drainage. As you descend, take the paved, right hand fork in the road. Continue downhill about 1 mile, stay on the paved road, and bear right and cross the Eel River Bridge. Turn right after crossing the bridge and the paved road soon turns into a gravel road. Follow this gravel road for approximately 10 miles. It starts as Mendocino Co Rd 240 and turns into Lake County Rd 301. You encounter pavement again before you cross the Soda Creek Bridge. You can turn left or right on this paved road. Different portions of the basin are accessed off this road.

Upper Lake - North Trails

Trail# Miles Level Trail Name

60 4.1 Ericson Ridge

61 1.3 Coyote Rock

62 1.0 Oak Flat

63 3.0 Browns Gulch

64 3.4 Powder House

65 4.0 Powder House

66 1.3 Refuge

67 2.8 Rattlesnake

68 2.8 Cabbage Patch

69 8.4 Windy Point

Overall, Upper Lake OHV Area - North is the 67th most popular OHV & 4wd jeep trail of all 100 OHV routes in California. Several of the better ohv/4wd trails are nearby Upper Lake OHV Area - North including Upper Lake OHV Area - South, Cow Mountain - South, Fort Bragg - Sherwood Road and Fish Rock Road.


Local Contact(s):  Mendocino National Forest (707) 275-1430 or (707) 275-2361

Recommended Book:  "Guide To Northern California 4WD Trails" from Charles Wells

Best Season:  Sep - Apr.

Base Camp:  NFS Upper Lake Middle Creek Campground

Reference Source:  click here http://www.fs.usda.gov/mendocino/

Date Published:  12/31/2015

Date Updated:  8/15/2016

ID:  19077

Upper Lake OHV Area - North OHV Driving Map


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