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South Cow Mountain

Thursday, October 16, 2014
Alt Names Ukiah, Talmage, Mill Creek Road, Clear Lake, Mend Lake Road, Lake Mendocino, Buckhorn Campground
Last Known Status Open
DESCRIPTION

This trail system is recommended mainly for experienced riders. The trails range from deep rutted single track with tight switchbacks and mud holes, to extremely sharp rocky sections near the peaks that will tear up your tires a bit.

The access road is narrow and winding, and is not recommended for RVs or long trailers. All trails are looped, and there is a nice swimming hole downstream from where trail 6 meets 24. Maps are available at each of the staging areas, which have loading docks and restrooms.

This area is most crowded in the fall, and the ruts and mud holes get very deep in some places. The surrounding area has 25,000 acres for hiking and mountain biking.

Trail Map...   Directions...   Nearby Trails...  


LOCATION
Nearest City Ukiah, CA
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Street Map
Trail MapGo To Trail Map
From: San Francisco, CA
1) 101 N to Ukiah
2) Just before Ukiah, take Talmage Exit (Route 222) turn right (east) off ramp
3) Travel 1.5 miles
4) Turn right on Eastside Drive
5) Take first left on Mill Creek Road
6) Follow Mill Creek Road all the way up the canyon to the staging area (Follow the signs to South Cow Mountain Recreation Area)
7) Access road is steep, rugged and narrow with tight switchbacks. RVs and trailers not recommended.
TYPE OF AREA
Area Trail
Land BLM
QUALITY
Pros lot of single track, nice staging areas, swimming hole where trail 6 meets 24, maps at staging area, loading docks, looped trails
Cons deep ruts, some very rocky sections, rugged access road, only 10 camp sites, tough to get an RV in. two way trails - very tight
Rating Rating    Very Good    
Recommended Stay 1-2 Days
late sppring when creeks flow
TERRAIN
Square Miles 4
Miles Of Trail 200
Climate Type Forest
Elevation 800 to 4000 ft.
Trail Maintenance Not Marked, Not Rated, Not Maintained
Loose Dirt This trail has some loose dirt.Some
Hard Pack The trail has some hard pack terrain.Some
Sand This trail has no sandy areas.None
Mud The trail has some mud after it rains.Some
Dust The trail has little dust on typical days.Little
Rocks This trail has some rocks.Some upper elevation trails are very rocky
Trees The trail has many trees.Many
Steep Hills This trail has many steep hills.Many
Water Crossings The trail has few water crossings.Few
Small Jumps This trail has some small jumps.Some
Large Jumps This trail has few large jumps.Few
Berms The trail has some berms.Some
Sand/Gravel Pits This BLM land has no sand or gravel pits.None
Single Track This BLM land has many single track trails.Many beware steep climbs with sharp cut-backs
Roads This BLM land has some roads.Some
Intersections This trail has some intersections.Some
Rider Traffic The BLM land has some rider traffic on typical days.Some busy in late spring & fall, slow in summer
Shade This BLM land has many shaded areas.Many
Ranges/Gunfire This BLM land has some shooting ranges or gunfire.Some
Hazards This trail has some hazards.Some (hazards not marked)
very deep ruts (waist high), huge mud holes
Easy Terrain Novice This trail has some beginner terrain.Some
Moderate Terrain Amateur This trail has mostly intermediate level terrain.Mostly
Difficult Terrain Expert This trail has some expert terrain.Some
Comment target practice at N.Cow Mountain, S.Cow Mountain open to hunters all year
MX TRACK Motocross Track
Features Public
Max Engine Size No Maximum
Min Engine Size No Minimum
Comment Practice Track
REGULATIONS
Permit Required Yes CA OHMVR stickers required
Dates Open Year-Round CA OHMVR red sticker vehicles permitted year round
Spark Arrestor Yes A spark arresting silencer or end cap is required for all vehicles.
Noise Limit Yes (96 dB) CA OHMVR noise limits apply (1985/older limit 101 dB, 1986/newer limit 96 dB)
Whip Flags Not Required
Maximum Vehicle Width
Allow Dirt Bikes, Trail Bikes and Motorcycles Motorcycles Permitted CA OHMVR stickers required
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers ATVs Some Areas CA OHMVR stickers required
some trails too narrow, quads prohibited
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTVs / SXS Some Areas CA OHMVR stickers required
Allow 4x4 Jeeps, SUVs and 4 x 4 Trucks with License Plates SUVs / Jeeps (registered) Some Areas
Dune Buggy/Sand Rail
4x4 (unregistered)
Some Areas CA OHMVR stickers required
Two Strokes /
2 Cycle Engines
Certain Times CA OHMVR restrictions apply
Helmets Required Yes helmets required by state law
Bicycles No Restriction Not Recommended
Hiking No Restriction Not Recommended
North Cow Mountain is for non-OHV
Horseback No Restriction Not Recommended
Camping / Overnight RV Parking Camping Some Areas (camp in developed sites only)
Red Mountain Camp
Campfire Restrictions Campfires Some Areas (permitted in developed campsites only)
Night Riding No quiet hours at dusk
Cross Country Prohibited stay on trails
Alcohol No Restriction
Fireworks Prohibited
Firearms Some Areas
Emergency / Law Enforcement Few/Periodic Jeep/SUV Patrol
Insurance *Disclaimer: Be Safe! RiderPlanet recommends insurance for all riders and visitors to the destinations depicted on this website.
FEES
Parking No ($0.00)
Entry No ($0.00)
Riding No ($0.00)
Camping No ($0.00)
KEY SERVICES
First Aid First Aid 5-20 Miles (NW) hospital
Ukiah Valley Medical Center (707) 462-3111
Gasoline Gasoline 5-20 Miles (NW) Chevron/Ukiah (707) 462-9065
Diesel Diesel 5-20 Miles (NW) Chevron/Ukiah (707) 462-9065
Potable Water Water 30+ Miles (NW) potable water
Redwood Empire Fairgrounds Overnight RV Park (707) 462-3884
RV Hookups RV Hookup 30+ Miles (NW) Redwood Empire Fairgrounds Overnight RV Park (707) 462-3884
RV Dump Station RV Disposal 30+ Miles (NW) Redwood Empire Fairgrounds Overnight RV Park (707) 462-3884
Primitive Camping Campground On Site Red Mountain Campground
Convenience Store Conv Store Ukiah, CA Talmage
Swimming Swim Area 1-5 Miles (E) Scotts Creek/Willow Creek
Body of Water Water Body 1-5 Miles (E) Scotts Creek/Willow Creek
Boating Launch Boat Ramp 5-20 Miles (N) Lake Mendocino
CONTACTS
Contact Info BLM - Ukiah Field Office
2550 North State Street
Ukiah, CA 95482
(707) 468-4000
www.blm.gov
Comment Extenstion 1
GPS POINTS

WEATHER FORECAST
COMMENTS

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South Cow Mountain Trail Photo

South Cow Mountain Trail

Keep an eye out for deep ruts.  This trail had ruts so deep that they actually caught the footpegs and stopped this CRF150.
South Cow Mountain Trail Photo

OHV at South Cow Mountain Trail

South Cow Mountain Trail Photo

Honda CRF Motorcycle at South Cow Mountain Trail

Here is another look at some of the ruts we encountered in the woods.  They were a nuisance for the mini bike.
South Cow Mountain Trail Photo

Honda CRF Motorcycle at South Cow Mountain Trail

And here's some dry single track (almost) to round out the mix of terrain.  This place really does have a little of everything.
South Cow Mountain Trail Photo

Honda CRF Motorcycle at South Cow Mountain Trail

The brush tunnels and the tight woods trails were the most fun.
South Cow Mountain Trail Photo

Some terrain at South Cow Mountain Trail

South Cow Mountain Trail Photo

Honda CRF Motorcycle at South Cow Mountain Trail

South Cow Mountain Trail Photo

Honda CRF Motorcycle at South Cow Mountain Trail

So just like that the trails can switch back to narrow woods.  Smooth and twisty.
South Cow Mountain Trail Photo

Some terrain at South Cow Mountain Trail

There were plenty of deeper mud puddles that were fun to go through as well.
South Cow Mountain Trail Photo

Honda CRF Motorcycle at South Cow Mountain Trail

This part of the trail was pretty fun with just the occasional mud puddle.
South Cow Mountain Trail Photo

Honda CRF Dirt Bike at South Cow Mountain Trail

Up near the top of the mountain the trails get pretty rocky.  These small rocks are loose and sharp but most of the trails are not like this.
South Cow Mountain Trail Photo

Honda CRF Dirt Bike crossing the water at South Cow Mountain Trail

Another look at one of the upper trails surrounded by shrubs.  The dirt was great, really soft, and you would think the trail would dry out quicker than it does.
South Cow Mountain Trail Photo

Scenery at South Cow Mountain Trail

This is a typical view from a hilltop where you can see the pond and some of the other trails along one of the two main routes.
South Cow Mountain Trail Photo

Honda CRF Dirt Bike at South Cow Mountain Trail

Here is another example of how some of the trails get pretty rocky toward the top of the ridge.  This trails was just piles of loose sharp rocks so keep your tire pressure up.
South Cow Mountain Trail Photo

Scenery from South Cow Mountain Trail

One of the many scenic views to be had from the ridge tops.  Looking back toward the valley.
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