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  1. #1
    moreon
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    Camping at Lake Pillsbury, Mendocino Forest; any trails?

    Over Labor Day weekend, we're schlepping the big box truck up to Lake Pillsbury for a camp weekend. I'll be hauling the Caletti and looking for some trails. I found a great ride report on a climb up Hull. Brutal! Yay!

    Anyone willing to chime in with other more mellow trails my wife might enjoy, or any recommendations for cool camp areas or hikes in that area?


  2. #2
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    Been there many times but only in the winter to ski.
    Check out this map.
    http://www.ohvridingspots.com/images..._trail_map.pdf

    ohv trails 63, 65 and 67 should be fun.
    Don't get run over by a drunk redneck!

    Post a TR please.

  3. #3
    Coastal Rider
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    Nice Van!
    I have heard the downhill runs off of Hull Mt are a lot of fun. You will be sharing the trails with a lot of OHV's. I like the north end of the Mendo National Forest. Not a lot of trail but less use. Off trail exploring not advised because of large grows in the area.
    Another idea, come out to the Mendo Coast. Mendocino Coast Cyclists will be putting on a race Sunday of Labor Day weekend. Free camping is about 45 min away in an area with fun trails. These trails are in the upper intermediate endurance and skill range. Logging road loops also may be put together for easier riding. More info on trails, camping, and soon a post for the race at http://mendocinocoastcyclists.blogspot.com
    Enjoy!
    Chris

  4. #4
    moreon
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    Thanks for the link to that great map. Any preferences for campIng areas on the lake? Sunset looks perfectly situated. Are the roads to the camp spots on the lake paved?

    Will do on the trail report.

    Chris, thanks for the race invite. We're in the mood for lake time. We live on the coast in Santa Cruz, and are tired of the longest foggiest coastal winter ever. We need sun and hot.

    P.s. I thought my card entitled me to free entry into the grows??? :-)

  5. #5
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    Not real sure. I only go there in the winter and always camp up on Boardman Ridge.





    Been skiing Hull Mountain for the past 15 years.
    Trip reports for the past 8 years.
    http://www.thebackcountry.net/bb/vie...=138&start=100

  6. #6
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    OHV riding is closed in the Pillsbury Basin until the week following Labor Day weekend (Sept 8.) General hiking trails around the lake. I've never mtn biked out there, but plenty of fishing, wheeling, dirt biking, and drinking.
    A riding buddy meets up with his crew out there every LD W/end and BLOWS IT OUT! I met up with them once, never again. It's definitely a party weekend up there. Ya might want to get up there early friday to make sure you get a spot.

  7. #7
    moreon
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    Quote Originally Posted by velocipus
    OHV riding is closed in the Pillsbury Basin until the week following Labor Day weekend (Sept 8.) General hiking trails around the lake. I've never mtn biked out there, but plenty of fishing, wheeling, dirt biking, and drinking.
    A riding buddy meets up with his crew out there every LD W/end and BLOWS IT OUT! I met up with them once, never again. It's definitely a party weekend up there. Ya might want to get up there early friday to make sure you get a spot.
    We're planning on arriving Thursday night. This will be our "we can't get out to Burningman so we're camping with the family" trip. I doubt it'll be bassnectar or glitchmob at 120dB that I'd typically be dealing with on the playa, but we do want the kids that are with us to be able to sleep.

    Any input at all on where you've camped, and how you liked the sites / how close sites are to the actual lake would be greatly appreciated; its a farkin void out there for info on the camping.

    Here's how I'd typically be camping with the truck that week:


  8. #8
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    Sun!

    Quote Originally Posted by thinkcooper

    Chris, thanks for the race invite. We're in the mood for lake time. We live on the coast in Santa Cruz, and are tired of the longest foggiest coastal winter ever. We need sun and hot.

    P.s. I thought my card entitled me to free entry into the grows??? :-)
    I hear you on wanting some sun! This has been the foggiest it's been here in years! I hear the boat in camps are the best at Pillsbury. I have not camped there since high school and that was crazy! Lake Mendo is on the way and has some easy trails. I have done some work there and know the P.O. is epic. Good luck with the card! Damm Mexican Mafia don't care about no stinking cards!

    Chris

  9. #9
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    There is a nice primitive camping area on PG&E land on the Eel River about a mile downstream from the Lakes Pillsbury spillway. Tons of space, lots of shade, and the river access is top notch!

    You can even drive on down to the beach, and no that's not me!

  10. #10
    moreon
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    Just got off the phone with the Upper Lakes ranger and she had some great advice. Looks like we're locking into this trip. Sunset Point, arriving on Thursday night to secure a spot. The ranger mentioned that the big parties have been curbed pretty well, and that sunset would be their best spot for folks with young kids. She also shared some good words about the condition of the road for our vehicle, the access to emergency gasoline, and even some cell service with a little bit of elevation on the east edge of the lake.

    Thanks all for the input!

  11. #11
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    The local store - The Soda Creek Store - is pretty trippy. Dogs, cats, chickens everywhere.
    Not much besides pricey beer to be bought there, but worth going in and checking it out.
    There are lots of trails to ride on top of Elk Mountain.
    http://fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCU...rdb5145212.pdf

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jibmaster
    The local store - The Soda Creek Store - is pretty trippy. Dogs, cats, chickens everywhere.
    Not much besides pricey beer to be bought there, but worth going in and checking it out.
    There are lots of trails to ride on top of Elk Mountain.
    http://fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCU...rdb5145212.pdf
    Awesome trails! the best dirt biking in N. Cal. Also the busiest OHV area in Norcal on holiday weekends.

    Now that I'm older and more responsible I really do appreciate the ranger presence out there. They are mostly cool, professional, and there to keep the trouble makers in line.

    I saw the two hottest cowgirls I've ever seen at the Soda Creek Store.
    My buddy and his crew camp at Sunset, I can't imagine that they can get away with that kind of partying year after year.

    to OP: I would keep my mt biking/ hiking in the Pillsbury basin, otherwise you'll be dodging dirtbikes all weekend. You all should have a great time.

  13. #13
    moreon
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    Quote Originally Posted by jibmaster
    The local store - The Soda Creek Store - is pretty trippy. Dogs, cats, chickens everywhere.
    Not much besides pricey beer to be bought there, but worth going in and checking it out.
    There are lots of trails to ride on top of Elk Mountain.
    http://fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCU...rdb5145212.pdf

    That map makes me wish I still had my old FJ40.

  14. #14
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    I've ridden motorcycles there for years and always thought a shuttle ride starting at Penny Pines campground and riding Little Sled and Sled Ridge would be fun. It would take you down to the creek and the campground just off the road for pickup. Yea there'd be some motorcycles... Trails 10, 9 ,8 1 at the map above.

    You could also ride out 13, 17, to 37. It ends at a fire road. Go left then left on the main road M10 to get back. After 37 it would be nice sightseeing in the forest but not singletrack-y.

    By "some motorcycles" I don't mean like riding on a motocross track. There might be a group of 2 to 5 or 6 people out on the trail you are on or you might not see anyone. There are lots of trails out there.
    Last edited by KFOG Big Rick; 08-11-2010 at 11:33 AM.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by thinkcooper
    That map makes me wish I still had my old FJ40.
    Such fun jeep exploring out there. Found some CRAZY trails from Indian Valley Reservoir to Pillsbury. All day off road from fire roads to crazy steep double track.

  16. #16
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    The big rock crawl out of the north end of Indian Valley Reservoir? That's a good one!
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by KFOG Big Rick
    I've ridden motorcycles there for years and always thought a shuttle ride starting at Penny Pines campground and riding Little Sled and Sled Ridge would be fun. It would take you down to the creek and the campground just off the road for pickup. Yea there'd be some motorcycles... Trails 10, 9 ,8 1 at the map above.

    You could also ride out 13, 17, to 37. It ends at a fire road. Go left then left on the main road M10 to get back. After 37 it would be nice sightseeing in the forest but not singletrack-y.

    By "some motorcycles" I don't mean like riding on a motocross track. There might be a group of 2 to 5 or 6 people out on the trail you are on or you might not see anyone. There are lots of trails out there.
    I donno... last time I rode out there on a holiday weekend there were mobs of motos and quads. It was awesome to see whole families out on the trails, but there was a lot of passing, waiting, and cautious cornering.

    Now going out there on a weekday after a holiday weekend... You'd have the whole place to yourself. Might be something to think about.

    Jib? Rick? Anyone??? This could be an awesome adventure.

  18. #18
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    You should go to Boggs Demonstration Forest instead, or blame it on Steve.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by velocipus
    Now going out there on a weekday after a holiday weekend... You'd have the whole place to yourself. Might be something to think about.

    Jib? Rick? Anyone??? This could be an awesome adventure.
    Well it's pretty hard for me to get weekdays off. Don't think I have any until well into the Fall but uh... yes! I do have a lot of fun there on my KTM 2 Smoke and my Honda Dual Sport XRL many weekends a year.

    But I've always thought a shuttle ride day from Penny Pines to either Middle Creek or a longer ride to Bartlett Springs would be fun. We dual sport that all the time.
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  20. #20
    moreon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zignzag
    You should go to Boggs Demonstration Forest instead, or blame it on Steve.

    We were thinking on Boggs, but the family insists on a lake. And a point ~midway between Arcata, Santa Cruz and Sacramento so the whole group can all get together. Besides, the last "blame it on steve" Boggs moment was a little chilly.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by KFOG Big Rick
    Well it's pretty hard for me to get weekdays off. Don't think I have any until well into the Fall but uh... yes! I do have a lot of fun there on my KTM 2 Smoke and my Honda Dual Sport XRL many weekends a year.

    But I've always thought a shuttle ride day from Penny Pines to either Middle Creek or a longer ride to Bartlett Springs would be fun. We dual sport that all the time.
    Ya, I'd be pretty bummed if I had to listen to a substitute on my drive home after work.
    Still though, that is an awesome idea. It could be done any Sunday late morning/ early afternoon before the rains. I can imagine the looks as you would get as motos passed by

    Back on topic... Thinkcooper, I believe Pillsbury is a much better choice than Boggs for a family holiday weekend. The lake may or may not get crowded, but it's pretty easy to get away from the crowds and as someone mentioned... there's still a good swim hole or two on the Eel right now.

  22. #22
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    Do keep an eye out for private land while you're up there though. Some of it gets poached pretty often and I know some of the landowners aren't very nice.

    I have friends with property up there so i've been up that way many times. there's a lot of MX riding too starting at the base of where elk mountain road starts to climb up the mountain and then all over up on top.

    As was said camping down by the river is nice. Lots of people do it and nobody really cares what you do down there.

  23. #23
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    If it's hot sun, lake and trails you're after...here's an option you could do on the way to Pillsbury or to camp at next time:

    http://www.mendotrails.org/downloads...ndo_trails.pdf

    It has scenic singletrack.. 15 miles around the lake...or you could do sections with the fam on the Shakota trail (west side).
    As for Pillsbury..I haven't heard much about mtb singletrack, more of longer jeep roads like Hull mtn and other cross/mtb rides...scenic also.

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