Posted by: caryandjohn | February 9, 2011

Mendocino National Forest

We have been having very nice weather for February, enjoying a nice warm spell after a rainy December and January. I took the nice weather as an opportunity to take a dual sport ride on my 2001 KLR 650 up to the Mendocino National Forest, about two hours north of San Francisco.

San Francisco - Willows, California, loop ride

San Francisco - Willows, California, loop ride

I left the city on Monday at around 2 p.m. and took 101 north through Santa Rosa to 175 east to Upper Lake, where I got gas and camping food.

From Upper Lake I took Rt 20 south to Bartlett Springs Road.

Looking west over Clear Lake

Looking west over Clear Lake

Bartlett Springs Road, recently graded

Bartlett Springs Road, recently graded

View to the south from the pass on Bartlett Springs Road

View to the south from the pass on Bartlett Springs Road

It was starting to get dark at around 6:30 pm, so I found a campsite near Hough Springs, with plenty of firewood left for me by the last citizen to camp on the banks of the stream …

Nice campfire ...

Nice campfire ...

I spent a snug evening on the banks of Bartlett Creek, near the Goat Mountian Road ford … It was in the low 40s overnight, with lots of stars after the cresent moon set  in the west …

Starbucks and caffine were my objectives in the morning, where I was on the road by 8 a.m., and by heading due east, in Willows by 9:30 a.m.

Lots of snow on Snow Mountain

Lots of snow on Snow Mountain

After my extra large coffee in Willows, I headed west on Rt 162. The photo just above shows the view of the Snow Moutain Wilderness to the southwest of Elk Creek.

Lake Pilsbury, on the west side of the Mendocino National Forest, was my objective. To get there, I was going to take Road 309 fro m Elk Creek, up to Alder Springs.

View to the east from Road 309

View to the east from Road 309

Clear and dry portion of Road 309

Clear and dry portion of Road 309

Ice puddles began to appear as the altitude increased. Both FS-7 and Road 311, from the five way intersect at Alder Springs, had snow on the raod with 1/2 mile of the intersection …

Snow on Road 311 ...

Snow on Road 311 ...

The plan had been to take FS 7 up to the roads leading through Low Gap and on to Lake Pillsbury. That pla n was scratched when snow appeared at the higher elevations … I may have been able to get through, but with ice and snow, and the fact that I was by myself, dictated a change of plans.

Bear Valley

Bear Valley

So I took 162 back east to Elk Creek and Stonyforrd and backtracked to Indian Valley reservoir and along the ridge to the east of the reservoir.

Indian Valley Reservoir and Snow Mountain

Indian Valley Reservoir and Snow Mountain

Sutter Buttes in the distance

Sutter Buttes in the distance

Got gas in Lower Lake and took the Lake Berryessa road to the Knoxville Recreation Area which has some four wheel drive trails.

A Knoxville jeep trail

A Knoxville jeep trail

Looking back up the jeep tral at Knoxville

Looking back up the jeep tral at Knoxville

From Knoxville, I went home via Napa and the Golden Gate Bridge and got home around 6:30 p.m.

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Responses

  1. What a beautiful ride John. Indian Valley Reservoir and Snow Mountain pic was truly beautiful. the weather is trying to break here. It is suppose to get up to6o degrees today. Thake care and don’t let any big bear get you! 🙂 Love, Flo


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