Upper Lake Recreation Area


The Upper Lake Ranger District's OHV area (South) offers over 135 miles of system trails and roads traversing through beautiful scenery and challenging terrain.

The riding area varies in elevation from 1,600 feet at Middle Creek campground/staging area, to over 4,500 feet at Hull Mountain to the north. The trails range in degree of difficulty from novice to advanced.

Due to the nature of the topography on the Upper Lake District Middle Creek Campground is recommended for families with children or beginning riders so they may enjoy the "play area", while adults or intermediate/advanced riders access the trails up out of the East Fork of Middle Creek.

If you seek a family riding experience with easy access to all trails ranging in difficulty level from novice to advanced, Penny Pines or Deer Valley Campgrounds are much more desirable.

The basin is closed annually from May 18 through September 8 to OHV use. During this closure you are welcome to truck your bikes out of the basin and ride the trails (North). There are approximately 33 miles of trail. Many of the trails in this area are 4WD trails.

It is prohibited to operate or use a vehicle (two wheel, three wheel, or four wheel) off a forest developed road in this area. (36 CFR 261.56)

It is prohibited to use any two wheel, three wheel, or four wheel vehicle, not meeting California Vehicle Code (Sections 360 and 4000 (a) CVC), for highway operation on forest developed roads in the above described area. (36 CFR 261.54a)

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.

Low Resolution Map of Upper Lake North OHV Area (pdf 1.08mb)
Low Resolution Map of Upper Lake South OHV Area (pdf 968kb)

At a Glance

Reservations: None Available
Permit Info: Forest Service roads open to Off-Highway Vehicles are considered public roads. All motorcycle riders on public lands in the State of California must wear a safety helmet meeting the standards adopted by the US Department of Transportation.

State law requires all vehicles, including motorcycles to be registered. You must have a current Green or Red Sticker, or Highway License. Highway licensed vehicles must meet all standards for operating on a public highway and be operated in accordance with California state law.

Unlicensed juveniles operating motorcycles and ATVs must be under the supervision of a licensed adult.

Restrictions: Your vehicle must be equipped with a properly installed Forest Service approved spark arrester in good working condition.

For your safety and the safety of others, Off-Highway Vehicles must never be operated in a manner likely to endanger any person or property. Driving at excessive speeds, careless and reckless driving, racing and "wheelies" are not only prohibited, but also dangerous on forest roads and camping areas.

State and Federal law prohibit operating any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This applies equally to the operation on Off-Highway vehicles, including those statutes prohibiting drinking while driving (CVC 23220), and drinking in a motor vehicle (CVC 23221).

Motorcycles and ATVs must meet state sound requirement of 96 dba or lower.

Closest Towns: Gas and Groceries available in Upper Lake, CA.
Nearest Medical - East Lakeport, CA.
Information Center:

Upper Lake Ranger Station

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


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[Graphic]: Map displaying the Mendocino National Forest and surrounding area.

Mendocino National Forest Location Map ยป