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Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness

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Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness
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General Information

Description - The Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness provides the experience of deep mountain forests and swift rivers. The 111,824 acres of this Wilderness cross forest boundaries. This area may also be entered from the Six Rivers and Shasta Trinity Forests.

Situated throughout the entrance points of the Wilderness are the Soldier Ridge Trailhead, the Georges Valley Trailhead, the Rock Cabin Trailhead, the Green Springs Trailhead and the Asa Bean/Foster Glade Trailhead. From these you can access the Travelers Home National Recreational Trail, Hell Hole Canyon and Skinny Dip Trail. These trails are great for day hikes as well as overnighter.

Attractions - The Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness offers several trailheads from which to start. The trail system in the Wilderness is quite extensive and trips are possible from most trailheads, minimizing the need to double back on you trip.

An extensive trail network allows visitors the options of trailhead loops or of heading deeper into the Wilderness to explore its interior trails. May through June is the best time to visit this wilderness, although some of the higher elevation trails may not be clear of snow until mid summer. The Yolla Bollys are rugged mountains. The steepness of the land between the peaks makes hiking a true wilderness experience. The trails are strenuous and not used by large numbers of visitors. There are several small lakes - some have fish and several creeks and rivers have a native rainbow trout population.

Recreation - Horseback riding, hiking, fishing, and backpacking are enjoyed on this wilderness area.

Climate - The climate on the Mendocino is greatly influenced by elevation. As throughout California, most of the precipitation comes between November and April. This comes in the form of rain at the lower elevations and some wet, heavy snow in the higher elevations. April through October are normally dry, with warm to hot temperatures at the low elevations and moderate temperatures in the higher elevations.

Location - Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness is located in the northern region of the Mendocino National Forest, approximately 20 miles northeast of Covelo.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: John Griffith (Ukiah, CA)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Oh my god! Why haven't you been there yet? We set out from Green Springs toward Last Camp on what I've been calling the Ridge trail. You'd think I'd know the trail's name for sure since I worked on it. I think it's the Ridge trail. If not, it should be called that. Most of it is on the ridgeline. We worked on the section north of Last Camp -- my California Conservation Corps crew and I that is... We loved it! Unlike most places we work, there were no ticks, poison oak or scorpions! The views.. what can I say? I love California. We woke up to Mt. Shasta and went to sleep as the last bit of sun lit up the rocky crags that peaked up over us. OK, so I'll answer the recommended questions. The toughest part about the Yolla Bolly Wilderness is leaving it. The Biggest reward was getting to stay there for ten days. The trail is pretty easy to follow and once you get to Last Camp there are plenty of springs and creeks -- not to mention a small waterfall perfect for showering. My suggestion for the next guy or gal is to make sure to plan this trip. It is phenomenal! Thanks to all the folks who worked to preserve this for us!

Filed By: Matt Perry (Arcata, ca)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Came in from waterspout trailhead (South of Ruth lake, FS road 27NO2). Hiked along North Fork of Middle Eel. Had planned on hiking/camping up on the ridges but it was brutally hot (104 degrees the day I left) and water was scare even in the valleys. Mostly explored the river... saw 3 female black bear and 2 rattlers. Great experience.. I'm coming back in the spring when the weather and water situation are better.

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: 4 of us camped just outside of the Eel River Station, along FH7 (HW162). Very desolate and remote. We saw nobody. Hot and dry in the hills. Was look more for camping along the river itself. Were not successful. But, given a bit more time and better map, I suspect we could find the type of place we were looking for. Great swimming holes off Indian Dick Road.

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: NOT RECOMMENDED FOR THE NOVICE CAMPER!!! I have been coming here for years, but have the proper equipment, knowledge, and most importantly, the familiarity with this area at all different seasons of the year. I have learned what to do and more what not to do.The weather can be extreme (I have personally experienced snow, rain, hail, fog, and very hot conditions, all in the course of a week!)The roads are all dirt upon entering Mendocino National Forest, and often strewn with rocks. Watch your tires and trannys!! There is no drinking water or bathrooms available. There is abundant wildlife, wonderful to view and appreciate from a distance, but the up close and personal experience is definitely something you DONT want. This IS a WILDERNESS area, after all. All that said, this is a beautiful place with some spectacular scenery. Enjoy, if you dare!

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: On 5/18/2001 I camped at Ides Cove Trailhead and did a day hike to the top of Mt Lim, the highest point in the wilderness at 8092 feet. All snow fields could be skirted easily, as this was a low-snow year. The climb up was nothing technical, but all up! It was a little hazy at the top but I could still make out Lassen and Shasta in the distance. If you want to go make sure it is a clear day, other wise stick to a trail. Also the roads going in were in excellent shape! Enjoy

More Information

Additional Information:
Covelo Ranger District - Covelo Ranger District offers a wide variety of recreational activities to participate in. In the District are miles of hiking trails, horseback riding trails and campgrounds. This District provides and excellent access point for the Yolla Bolly Wilderness.
Grindstone Ranger District - The Grindstone Ranger District is the conglomeration of the former Stonyford Ranger District and Corning Ranger District. This District encompasses most of the eastern half of the Mendocino National Forest. The Grindstone Ranger District offers many opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, camping and horseback riding.
Mendocino National Forest - The Mendocino National Forest straddles the eastern spur of the Coastal Mountain Range in northwestern California. The Forest encompasses about one million acres of mountains and canyons.


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