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Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness

General Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws
Photograph taken in  the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness
Wade K. Belew


The United States Congress designated the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness (map) in 1964 and it now has a total of 182,299 acres. All of this wilderness is located in California and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service.


Located between the North and South Yolla Bolly Mountains in the as-rugged-as-it-comes headwater country of the Wild and Scenic Middle Fork of the Eel River, Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness ranges in elevation from about 2,000 feet to 8,000 feet. The river crashes wildly through the Wilderness in a deep canyon for approximately six miles, and, combined with sections of the 48 miles of river outside the Wilderness, forms what is arguably California's finest long white-water run. Chamise and manzanita in the lower elevations give way to dense arrays of pine and fir cloaking numerous ridges. Vast grasslands open many of the steep hillsides. Summer wildflowers dramatically color large mountain meadows. Bear and deer populate the area in relative abundance, and September's hunting season brings the most human visitors. Water, unlike solitude, may be hard to find after midsummer. Most of the Wilderness stands on national forestland, but a section on the western side (7,100 acres) is situated on BLM land. An extensive and often strenuous trail system provides access in short loops and extended routes deep into the Wilderness. Light human use and suitable pathways make this an ideal destination for horsepackers. The Ides Cove Loop Trail rambles for over 10 miles through some of the best that Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel has to offer.

Planning to Visit the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

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