Forums Videos CA Coast Range/ South Yolla Bolly
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    33 Posts

    Even though it was a horrible snow year in California I was still able to score a fun couple days on a solo trip to the seldom visited and even more seldom ridden South Yolla Bolly Mountain in the Mendocino National Forest. I’ve been wanting to ride the place for a few years now after first backpacking there a few years ago, falling in love with it, and seeing the potential for snowboarding.

    Not the most intense/technical riding in this video as I was keeping it conservative, being pretty new to backcountry riding and being pretty far off the beaten path out there. The place does have some pretty technical lines and steep chute/couloir like features to hit if you want them though along with some big open north facing bowls that you can ride about a thousand vertical feet down to a couple lakes below.

    The mountain only tops out at just over 8,000 feet, but it is the the highest point in the Northern Coast Ranges south of the Trinity Alps of the Klamath Mountains and the 10th most prominent peak in California, which makes for some amazing views and some unique perspectives of Northern California landscape. Another cool thing about the place is that it has a rare most southern grove of the cool looking Northern Foxtail Pines that are endemic to northern California where they only really grow on sky island type of terrain. In the video there’s a few clips where I had a good time riding this little bowl area that goes through the grove.

    Anyway had a ton of fun overall on this trip, and went home pretty stoked to accomplish a big goal of mine to ride that area. Also happy to capture some clips and try to share the vibe of the experience through this edit:

    797 Posts

    Another interesting mountain shred. Very cool. I lived for a few years not too far south of there and eyeballed the open terrain atop Yolla Bolly from afar many times. Great to see that terrain up close, personal and shredded here.


    24 Posts

    I like it :thatrocks:

    446 Posts


    I’ve been skiing the Mendocino National Forest exclusively for the past 20 years.
    Been to South Yolla Bolly many times.

    Nice job.

    We should hook up next year. Looking forward to El Nino.

    33 Posts

    Thanks for the kind words! I actually got a ton of the necessary information needed to ride the Mendocino National Forest mountains from your webpage “CCSP Guide to Mendocino Ski Tours | EarnYourTurns”, so thank you very much for taking the time to do all of that! Much of that info was pretty crucial as far as which of the dirt roads to get to some of the places, along with navigating the mountain and would have been a real pain to figure out on my own. All the media you posted got me pretty stoked on the area in general too, since I previously didn’t even really know what was on offer up there.

    I’ve been backpacking and exploring all over that area from Snow Mountain to North Yolla Bolly the last couple years and love the area. Originally from around there and now living in Sonoma County, so it’s not too far of a drive for me. This was my first year actually riding any of it and I had big plans to be up there a lot more, but the drought kind of hindered that. Besides the South Yolla Bolly sessions above I was able to just get one rideable trip to Snow Mountain and one day of touring at Hull mountain. I don’t think Hull ever had enough snow to even be rideable this year. I’m definitely hoping el nino provides because I want to really get after it this next season up there and yeah I’m totally game to link up with you (a little nerve racking being out there alone at times).

    Here’s a couple other little videos of some Snow Mountain trips. The first one doesn’t have much riding in it, but was probably the best conditions up there I had:



    446 Posts

    Oh, good. Glad I could help.
    Welcome to the Coastal Crest Snow Patrol!
    PM me with your address and I’ll send you the stickers.
    Nice riding.

    Yeah, it’s a little eerie going solo in places. Particularly the Yolla Bolly’s.
    There’s a shit ton of bears in that area.
    Never had any issues though.

    Great job on getting the goods this past ‘winter’. It’s hard to tell the conditions.
    I saw snow on the computer at SYB a few times, but the timing never seemed to work out for me.
    It kept looking like it had melted out.
    I should have gone up that first week in May when the gate opened…

    Did you access Hull via Boardman Ridge or Hullaska Ridge?
    I need to contact Ernie at to get that GoogleEarth file back up
    and working.

    446 Posts

    Some more pics:

    Hull Mt.

    33 Posts

    Thanks man! Yeah always see bear tracks at South Yolla Bolly, even saw some directly over the summit last time, but haven’t actually seen one yet. Funny thing about SYB this year is I think they never shut that gate or maybe they did and opened it after they realized it was the mildest winter ever. That video was from towards the end of April and we were up there a few weeks before even. The summit register actually had people signed in from December and later on in the winter, so yeah that was shocking. Kind of pissed me off because I the ranger office from the area told me it was closed.

    Only went up there in April on a whim for the hell of it and was just going to go to Lassen if the gate was closed. Would have been up there more often had I know it was open and pretty sure it had enough snow on the north slopes after those first few storms of 2014. I mean it was still plenty deep the first time I made it up there in April. I have a bunch of pics I took and I’ll post them in the trip report section when I get a chance.

    As far as Hull mountain, it’s ironic again, I was able to take the M1 by boardman ridge the whole way up. Surprised me because I remembered reading on one of your posts that they had closed that route in winter indefinitely. Weird winter it was, but hopefully next year is a banger, and maybe we’ll get extra lucky and they’ll leave the gates open! 😉 I definitely am hoping to get to ride Hull next year a bunch because it looks like some fun terrain and its the closest/easiest access of all the peaks in Coastal Range for me.

    446 Posts

    One year, it rained really hard up by Hull and rutted out the road really bad.
    The same year they put up a weather station near the summit (doesn’t work).
    So they were trying to protect the road by ‘closing’ it in the winter. Just a sign, no gate.
    The land owners need to get up there. None of the rednecks obeyed the closure.
    That’s their playground.

    At SYB, you took the M22 to the gate at Franklin Point? They left that gate open?

    Yeah, the Forest Service doesn’t know much…

    33 Posts

    Oh that makes sense about Hull because I didn’t see a gate. The road was in pretty good shape and I didn’t see a sign saying it was closed, so good for next season I guess. The other route you found involves a bit more of a hike and a little bushwacking right?

    To get to SYB I took the M2 from Paskenta, which I think turns into the M22 at some point. I have taken the M22 on the way back though before. Pretty fun road when it bottoms out in the valley if I remember correctly. But yeah in April the first time I was there this year were still some big drifts on the way in and had to park a mile down from the trailhead on that last little road off the M22.

    1669 Posts

    forgot to post when I saw this a while ago.

    Very cool that you’re getting out there.

    We need a good snow year really bad to make most of these areas worthy. Jib will go no matter what but I’m more picky these days.

    Let’s hook up and ride next season, I’m in Santa Rosa.

    33 Posts

    Sounds good! Definitely looking forward to a hopefully better season…

    446 Posts

    powderjunkie was riding the Coast Range before I knew about it.
    He knows Hull Mt.

    Can Not Wait ’till this next winter…

    This is pure Gold – so close to home

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