California's Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness

The best wildlife stronghold in California.
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The best wildlife stronghold in California.

Experience wilderness in all its holiness-and loneliness-in this 147,070-acre parcel of rugged canyons, lush glades, and sparkling streams. Biologists consider the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness the best wildlife stronghold in the state, due to the stunning lack of human impact.

RECOMMENDED HIKE: The 8.8-mile Ides Cove Loop offers up shady fir forests, flower-studded meadows and endless vistas on a roller-coaster tour of South Yolla Bolly Mountain. Climbs are steep but not long. Numerous routes in the relatively low elevation wilderness (2,000 to 8,000 feet) are ideal for early and late season hiking.

WHERE: The wilderness is located about 200 miles north of San Francisco (4 hours). Follow I-5 to Corning and head west out of town on County Route A9. The Ides Cove trailhead is at the end of Ball Rock Road.

MAPS: The Forest Service sells Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness Map for $4 at the address below. It's worth purchasing the Mendocino National Forest map for directions to the trailhead. USGS quadrangle: South Yolla Bolly Mountain.

CONTACT: Corning Ranger District, Mendocino National Forest, 22000 Corning Rd., Corning, CA 96021; (530) 824-5196.