The United States Congress designated the Sanhedrin Wilderness (map
) in 2006 and it now has a total of 10,666 acres
All of this wilderness is located in California
and is managed by the Forest Service.
The "Sanhedrin" was the supreme council of the ancient Hebrews. The pioneers who gazed up at this rugged ridge must have been very impressed indeed to have given it such a dignified Biblical name. But Sanhedrin Mountain is more than just one of the most imposing peaks in Mendocino County. The mountain's ancient forests are so pristine that they provide critical habitat for the continued survival of the northern spotted owl. The area also contains extensive meadows, oak woodlands, chaparral, and "serpentine barrens," places where the nutrient poor blue-green soil is so inhospitable to many plants that only specially adapted species can survive. As a result, the Sanhedrin Wilderness provides habitat for at least five rare and unique plant species, including the Anthony Peak lupine, which grows only in the Mendocino National Forest. The area also includes Impassable Rock, an impressive geologic formation in the northern portion of the area, and an active fault in the southern portion that has created a noticeable gash in the earth. Visitors to the area are greeted by outstanding views in all directions, including the Pacific Ocean, the Bay Area, and even the distant Mount Shasta.