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Penny Pines

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Alt Names

Elk Mountain, Mendocino National Forest, Upper Lake Ranger District, Lake Pillsbury, Deer Valley Camp, Lake Pillsbury Basin, Middle Creek

Last Known StatusOpen

This trail system has three main staging areas and caters to the more experienced rider who is looking for steeper and more challenging terrain. The Penny Pines & Deer Valley staging areas offer the best camping for access to 135 miles of challenging (many black diamond) trails.

Middlecreek staging area, to the south, has paved access, camping and a day use area with a pee-wee play area, dry river bed play area, and access to a handful of easier trails. Lake Pillsbury (to the north) offers great camping, lake access, and access to 33 miles of jeep trails, but is closed to OHVs from 5/18 - 9/8 annually.

Most trails in the area are marked and rated for difficulty. Drawbacks would be that the campsites fill up quickly on weekends, and there is not really any shade in the day use areas.

Trail Map... Driving Map... Best Nearby Trails...

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Nearest CityUpper Lake, CA
Go Back To California List
Street Map
Trail MapGo To Trail Map
From: Sacramento, CA
1) I-5 N to Williams
2) CA-20 W past Clearlake to town of Upperlake
3) At center of town turn right on Mendenhall Road (north) just after Treasure Cove Pizza
4) Follow signs to Middle Creek campground
5) Entrance on right to Middle Creek camping/staging area or...
6) Continue north on Elk Mountain Road 2 miles to Penny Pines staging area which also has camping.

TYPE OF AREA

AreaTrail
LandNational Forest

RATINGS

Prosmany water crossings, swimming holes, paved entrance & campground, some nice bermed trails with many banked turns with brush tunnels
Consnot enough camp sites, no shade in day use area, not enough moderate/easy terrain
Our RatingRatingExcellent    
Recommended StayFull Day
Comments(Scroll Down For Visitor Reviews & Comments)

TERRAIN

Square Miles50
Miles Of Trail135
Climate TypeForest
Elevation1600 to 4500 ft.
Trail MaintenanceMarked, Rated, Heavily Maintained
Loose DirtThis trail has some loose dirt.Some
Hard PackThe trail has some hard pack terrain.Some
SandThis trail has little sandy areas.Little
MudThe trail has no mud after it rains.None
DustThe trail has some dust on typical days.Some
RocksThis trail has some rocks.Some
TreesThe trail has many trees.Many
Steep HillsThis trail has many steep hills.Many
Water CrossingsThe trail has some water crossings.Somemany crossings just north of middle creek camp
Small JumpsThis trail has some small jumps.Some
Large JumpsThis trail has no large jumps.None
BermsThe trail has some berms.Some
Sand/Gravel PitsThis national forest has no sand or gravel pits.None
Single TrackThis national forest has some single track trails.Some
RoadsThis national forest has some roads.Some
IntersectionsThis trail has some intersections.Some
Rider TrafficThe national forest has few rider traffic on typical days.Few
ShadeThis national forest has many shaded areas.Many
Ranges/GunfireThis national forest has no shooting ranges or gunfire.None
HazardsThis trail has some hazards.Some(hazards not marked)
Beware of cliffs.
some deep water and cliffs
Easy Terrain NoviceThis trail has little beginner terrain.Little
Moderate Terrain AmateurThis trail has some intermediate level terrain.Some
Difficult Terrain ExpertThis trail has mostly expert terrain.Mostly
CommentMost of the novice terrain is at Middle Creek Camp, northern areas can get very challenging.

REGULATIONS

Permit RequiredYesCA OHMVR stickers required
Dates OpenYear-RoundCA OHMVR red sticker vehicles permitted year round
Spark ArrestorYesA spark arresting silencer or end cap is required for all vehicles.
Noise LimitYes (96 dB)CA OHMVR noise limits apply (1985/older limit 101 dB, 1986/newer limit 96 dB)
Whip FlagsNot Required
Maximum Vehicle Width
Allow Dirt Bikes, Trail Bikes and Motorcycles MotorcyclesPermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers ATVsPermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTVs / SXSPermittedCA 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 AreasCA OHMVR stickers required
Two Strokes /
2 Cycle Engines
Certain TimesCA OHMVR restrictions apply
Helmets RequiredYeshelmets required by state law
BicyclesNo RestrictionNot Recommended
HikingNo RestrictionNot Recommended
HorsebackNo RestrictionNot Recommended
Camping / Overnight RV Parking CampingSome Areas(camp in developed sites only)
Campfire Restrictions CampfiresSome Areas(permitted in developed campsites only)
Night RidingNo10 p.m.
Cross CountrySome AreasRiverbed
AlcoholNo Restriction
FireworksProhibited
FirearmsSome Areas
Emergency / Law EnforcementFew/PeriodicDedicated Rangers/Officers
Jeep/SUV Patrol
Insurance*Disclaimer: RiderPlanet strongly recommends that all riders obtain medical insurance and buy motorcycle insurance or ATV insurance before visiting any of the locations depicted on this website.

FEES & PASSES

ParkingNo ($0.00)
EntryNo ($0.00)
RidingNo ($0.00)
CampingYes
Tent: $8.00
RV: $8.00
Addtl. Vehicle: $2.00
Middle Creek Campground Fees (limit two vehicles per site)
CommentDeer Valley and Penny Pines Campgrounds are $6/night, Oak Flat Campground is $10/night

KEY SERVICES

First Aid First Aid5-20 Miles (N)Sutter Lakeside Hospital (707) 262-5000
Gasoline Gasoline5-20 Miles (N)Lake Pillsbury Resort and Marina (707) 743-9935
Diesel Diesel5-20 Miles (S)Highway Quik Market (707) 275-0522
Potable Water WaterOn SiteMiddle Creek Campground
RV Hookups RV Hookup5-20 Miles (N)Lake Pillsbury Resort and Marina (707) 743-9935  **has two RV sites available**
RV Dump Station RV Disposal5-20 Miles (SW)The Narrows Lodge Resort (707) 275-2718 or (800) 476-2776
Primitive Camping CampgroundOn Site
Convenience Store Conv Store5-20 Miles (S)Highway Quik Market (707) 275-0522
Swimming Swim Area5-20 Miles (N)Lake Pillsbury Resort and Marina (707) 743-9935
Body of Water Water Body5-20 Miles (N)Lake Pillsbury
Boating Launch Boat Ramp5-20 Miles (N)Lake Pillsbury Resort and Marina (707) 743-9935

OFFICIAL CONTACTS

Contact InfoMendocino National Forest
(707) 275-1430
CommentTrail Hotline
Contact InfoMendocino National Forest - Upper Lake Ranger District
10025 Elk Mountain Road
Upper Lake, CA 95485
(707) 275-2361
www.fs.usda.gov

RECENT COMMENTS & REVIEWS

Penny Pines Trail Photo

Penny Pines Trail

One of the numerous creek crossings from the early part of the connecting trails near Middlecreek staging area.

Penny Pines Trail Photo

OHV at Penny Pines Trail

Along the trail from Middlecreek.

Penny Pines Trail Photo

Dirt Bike at Penny Pines Trail

Open play area at the Middlecreek staging area.

Penny Pines Trail Photo

OHV crossing some water at Penny Pines Trail

The riverbed.

Penny Pines Trail Photo

Example of terrain at Penny Pines Trail

One of the smoother and easier trails from the upper elevations.

Penny Pines Trail Photo

OHV at Penny Pines Trail

Upper elevation trails.  Almost single track in parts.

Penny Pines Trail Photo

OHV at Penny Pines Trail

Penny Pines Trail Photo

A trail at Penny Pines Trail

Penny Pines Trail Photo

OHV at Penny Pines Trail

Penny Pines Trail Photo

OHV at Penny Pines Trail

One of the trails that is surrounded by low hanging trees, creating a cool "tunnel" effect.

Penny Pines Trail Photo

OHV at Penny Pines Trail

Playing around neer the Middlecreek staging area.

Penny Pines Trail Photo

OHV at Penny Pines Trail

Along the ridgetops on one of the connecting trails from Middlecreek to Penny Pines staging.

Penny Pines Trail Photo

OHV at Penny Pines Trail

Penny Pines Trail Photo

OHV at Penny Pines Trail

Great scenery.

Penny Pines Trail Photo

OHV at Penny Pines Trail

Looks tame here, but these trails gets more fun and challenging the further you go up.

Penny Pines Trail Photo

OHV in the water at Penny Pines Trail

Another shallow crossing near the start of the Middlecreek connecting trails.

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