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Devil's Backbone

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Other Names

Six Rivers National Forest, Mad River Ranger District, Mad River Ridge, Mad River Rock, Van Duzen River, Hale Creek, Ruth Lake

Last Known StatusOpen

This part of the Six Rivers National Forest offers a forest service road that follows a scenic mountain ridge. The road starts out as pavement but eventually turns into hard packed dirt. This route is open to street legal vehicles only, which makes it a good choice for dual sport motorcycles or 4x4s.

The road is about 10 miles long each way but is linear (one way in, one way out). The road starts off from Hwy 36 and heads south, following the Mad River Ridge and ending just a short distance past Mad River Rock.

Other then some short spurs off the main road, there are no real ATV or dirt bike trails in this area. Nearby Pilot Creek offers designated but challenging single track trails for motorcycles.

Trail Map... Nearby ATV Trails...


Permit RequiredYesCA OHMVR stickers required
Dates OpenMay 1 - November 15CA OHMVR red sticker vehicles permitted year round
Other ATV Stickers AcceptedYesResidents of any state not listed must purchase a Nonresident OHV Use Permit. (AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, IA, ID, IN, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, TX, UT, VT, WA, WI, WY)
Spark ArrestorYesA spark arresting exhaust 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 WidthNo Restriction
Allow Dirt Bikes, Trail Bikes and Motorcycles Motorcycles & Dirt BikesPermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
street legal vehicles only
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers ATVsProhibitedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTV & SXSProhibitedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow 4x4 Jeeps, SUVs and 4 x 4 Trucks with License Plates SUVs & Jeeps (registered)Permittedstreet legal vehicles only
Dune Buggy & Sand Rail
4x4 (unregistered)
ProhibitedCA OHMVR stickers required
2 Stroke EnginesNo RestrictionCA OHMVR restrictions apply
MX Helmet RequiredYes
Camping / Overnight RV Parking CampingSome Areas(camp in developed sites only)
Campfire Restrictions Campfires
Night RidingUnknownNot Recommended
Trail BlazingProhibitedkeep vehicle on trail
Rule Enforcement


AreaMotorized Trails
LandNational Forest




Our RatingRatingGood
Recommended StayFull Day
Comments(Scroll Down For Rider Reviews & Comments)


Nearest CityMad River, CA
AddressMad River Rock Lookout, Mad River, CA 95552
Go Back To California List
Trail MapGo To Trail Map
From: Eureka, CA
1) Take US-101 South about 20 miles
2) Turn left (east) on SR-36, continue about 45 miles
3) Turn right (south) onto FS Road 1N03/Mad River Rock Lookout Road, continue about 6 miles toward trailhead.


Contact InfoSix Rivers National Forest - Mad River Ranger District
741 State Highway 36
Bridgeville, CA 95526
(707) 574-6233



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Miles Of Trail10
Climate TypeForest
Elevation3500 to 4000 ft.
Trail MaintenanceMarked, Not Rated, Lightly Maintained
Loose DirtThis trail has little loose dirt.Little
Hard PackThe trail has mostly hard pack terrain.Mostly
SandThis trail has no sandy areas.None
MudThe trail has no mud after it rains.None
DustThe trail has little dust on typical days.Little
RocksThis trail has some rocks.Some
TreesThe trail has almost all trees.All
Steep HillsThis trail has some steep hills.Some
Water CrossingsThe trail has no water crossings.None
Small JumpsThis trail has no small jumps.None
Large JumpsThis trail has no large jumps.None
BermsThe trail has no berms.None
Sand/Gravel PitsThis national forest has no sand or gravel pits.None
Single TrackThis national forest has few single track trails.Few
RoadsThis national forest has almost all roads.All
ShadeThis national forest has almost all shaded areas.All
HazardsThis trail has few hazards.Few(hazards assumed marked but use caution)
Easy Terrain NoviceThis trail has some beginner terrain.Some
Moderate Terrain AmateurThis trail has mostly intermediate level terrain.Mostly
Difficult Terrain ExpertThis trail has little expert terrain.Little



Gasoline GasolineMad River, CA
Diesel DieselMad River, CA
Potable Water WaterMad River, CA
RV Hookups RV HookupMad River, CA
RV Dump Station RV DisposalMad River, CA
Primitive Camping CampgroundMad River, CA
Convenience Store Conv StoreMad River, CA
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