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Activities | Camp | Camping | Destinations | Mountains | CA National Forests


Motorcycle trail

Mendocino NF has been hit hard by recent wildfires; More so than any other forest in California. Between the Ranch Fire 2018 and August Complex Fire 2020, 98% of the forest's land base burned, so it will be a challenge to avoid a burned area. Many campgrounds, dirt back roads and trails are CLOSED to the public.

However, the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness burned at a lower intensity, so there may be some green in there.

Nearby cities & towns:

ClearLake CA
Cloverdale CA
Corning CA
Covelo CA
Elk Creek CA
Kelseyville CA
Newville CA
Nice CA
Orland CA
Plaskenta CA
Red Bluff CA
Stonyford CA
Ukiah CA
Upper Lake CA
Willits CA
Minimal pavement and plenty forest. Creeks and rivers run throughout this NorCal landscape. Oak hills to alpine peaks, meadows, and a trail system like no other National Forest. Mendocino has seclusion, if you wanna look for it. Horsepackers will enjoy Middle Eel Wilderness. Kayakers can play on Lake Pillsbury. Off roaders can enjoy an extensive network of OHV trails, single track to graded roads. Abundant 4x4 camping. RVers wishing to camp near wine country, backpackers from San Francisco, or local fishermen will all appreciate what Mendocino Forest has to offer.

Mendocino Ranger Stations:
Mendocino Forest
Grindstone District
Willows CA
Upper Lake District
10025 Elk Mountain Road
Upper Lake, CA 95485
Covelo District
78150 Covelo Road
Covelo, CA 95428
Mendocino Forest
gov web site
Paskenta Work Center
13280 Paskenta Road
Paskenta, CA 96074
Elk Creek Workcenter
3286 County Road 308
Elk Creek, CA 95939
Stonyford Workcenter
5171 Stonyford-Elk Creek Road
Stonyford, CA 95979
Lake Red Bluff
Recreation Area
1000 Sale Lane
Red Bluff, CA 96080

hike camping Backpacking Mendocino

  • fire permits are required
  • permits are required for overnight back country camping
  • check with the correct ranger district for all back country camping restrictions

Backpacking & Hiking Trail head parking spots located at:

    Middle Eel Wilderness
  • Soldier Ridge
  • Georges Valley
  • Rock Cabin
  • Asa Bean
  • Foster Glade
  • Stick Lake
  • Smokehouse Ridge
  • Green Springs
  • Elk Lake
  • Ides Cove
  • Ides Cove Horsepackers
    Snow Mountain Wilderness
  • Bloody Rock
  • Skeleton Glade
  • West Crockett
  • Cold Creek
  • Windy Point
  • Bear Wallow
  • Bath House
  • Wolf Creek
  • Deafy Glade
  • Summitt Springs
    Middle Eel River near Covelo CA
  • Blands Cove
  • Hell Hole
  • Travelers Home
  • Pedro
    East Mendocino National Forest
  • Thomes Gorge
  • Lantz Ridge
    Central Mendocino National Forest
  • Grindstone
  • Long Point (Shepard Creek)

Most campground and trailheads accessible June - October. Winter months expect road closures w/ rain, mud and snow. Always check current road and trail conditions with NFS

Sequoia camping Mendocino Campgrounds

mendocino county map

open camping Primitive Camping Mendocino

Outside of the areas 40 developed campgrounds, open dispersed camping is allowed throughout the National Forest in Mendocino. Hundreds of miles of dirt roads lead to streamside camp sites & pristine forests - all awaiting your visit. Howard Lake and Indian Valley Reservoir both have a few primitive camps. A Mendocino Map is highly recommended for finding your way thru these remote back roads, to these prime prime camp sites. There is a 21 day limit for staying in one camp spot. Just rememeber with primitive camping you will need your free fire permit, shovel & water bucket.

Mendocino has several small, secluded campgrounds tucked way back there to make it easy access for those wishing avoid a large campground. There are numerous OHV trails & camps, so steer clear of these if you seek peace & quiet.

The smallest of the Mendocino forest campgrounds are listed below:
  • Atchison Campground (3 sites)
  • Cedar Camp (5 sites)
  • Georges Valley Campground (3 sites)
  • Green Springs Campground (4 sites)
  • Kingsley Glade Campground (4 sites)
  • Mill Creek Camp (5 sites)
  • Penny Pines Campground (5 sites)
  • Soldier Ridge Campground (3 sites)
  • South Fork Campground (4 sites)
  • Sugar Springs Campground (3 sites)
  • Sugarfoot Glade Campground (4 sites)
  • Surveyor Camp (2 sites)
  • Whitlock Campground (4 sites)

Hang Gliding Mendocino

These are not considered beginner flights:
  • Hull Mountain, descend to Gravelly Valley Airstrip.
  • Elk Mountain, descend to Middle Creek Campground.
  • Tool Cache Ridge (SW of Elk Creek) at Ponderosa Point, descend to Diamond M landing strip. (private land, pilots must obtain permission from landowner).

    hike camping Hiking Mendocino

    Clear Lake at Lucerne, CA
    • Eel River
    • Middle Eel Wilderness
    • Snow Mountain Wilderness
    • Pine Mountain Lookout Tower (Rd# 18N69)
    • see trailheads listed above to numerous creeks & peaks

    kern lakes Mendocino Lakes

    Milk Ranch Meadow, Snow Mountain Wilderness, Mendocino National Forest, California


    Mendocino Falls Mendocino Rivers & Creeks

     OHV Camping Mendo Mendo OHV: Off Road Trails & Camps

      Lake Pillsbury:
    • Oak Flat Campground
      Upper Clear Lake:
    • Deer Valley Campground
    • Middle Creek Campground
    • Penny Pines Campground

  • Total Escape California Camping


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