Yolla-Bolly Middle-Eel Wilderness

Some areas in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness have been affected by recent wildfires; for more information, please call the Hayfork Ranger Station at (530) 628-5227.

In the Wintun Indian language, "Yo-la" meant "snow covered", and "Bo-li" meant "high peak." The second part of this Wilderness' name refers to the headwaters of the Middle Fork Eel River, which originates in this remote and rugged land.This area was first protected in 1931 when it was classified as a primitive area. Further protection was given when this area became part of the National Wilderness Preservation System, created by the passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964. The Wilderness Act of 1984 added another 2,000 acres to the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness, for a total of about 151,626 acres.

The Wilderness is roughly oval in shape, being about 19 miles long in the north-south direction and 24 miles wide in the east-west direction. The majority of the Wilderness lies in two districts of the Mendocino National Forest (Covelo and Grindstone Ranger Districts). The far northern portion of the Wilderness is in the Yolla Bolla Ranger District of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. To the far west, a part of the Wilderness is in the Mad River Ranger District of the Six Rivers National Forest, and the Bureau of Land Management has a small portion of the Wilderness (also on the western edge).

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Some parts of the wilderness are closed due to the Elkhorn Fire Area closure.  Go to the Alerts page for further information.
Permit Info: No wilderness permit required. Fire restrictions may be in place so check before you go. A California Campfire permit is required to have a campfire (when allowed) or operate a portable gas stove.  To get your free permit visit preventwildfireca.org
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Check with the nearest Ranger Station before going, to obtain current information and weather conditions on the area. Maximum group size is 25 people/25 stock animals. Wilderness travel is limited to foot or horseback - NO gliders, bicycles, motorized vehicles, or mechanized equipment of any kind are allowed within the wilderness areas. Wheelchairs are allowed.
Water: Please filter all natural water sources.
Restroom: Please follow this guidance to dispose of human waste proper
Operated By: South Fork Management Unit, Hayfork Ranger Station


Dispersed Camping

Day Hiking


Between the north and south Yolla Bolly Mountains are the rugged headwaters of the Middle Fork of the Eel River, all part of the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness. The wilderness ranges in elevation from 2,700 feet to 8,000 feet.
Elevation desc 2,700 - 8,000 feet
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Horse Camping

Horse Riding

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Elevation : 
2700 - 8000