NorCal Roadtrips

An Explorer's Guide to Northern California

Hammerhorn Lake
Hammerhorn Lake

Description: A tiny remote natural lake in Mendocino National Forest stocked with rainbow trout. The elevation is 3,500 feet. There is a 9 site campground at lakeside with easy access to the lake itself. The lake is about 5 acres and small boats without motors are allowed; small inflatables being the most suitable. Unfortunately, ( in 2013) the lake is pretty well choked with lily pads, with only about 15% of it being open water. Small boats can fight thru the lily pads fairly easily, however. Swimming is not recommended as the water is full of algae and you need to shower after a swim. There are 2 useless fishing piers where you could not reach open water with a rocket launcher. But its a very pretty spot if you just want to camp and look at the lake.

Location: From Willits on Hwy. 101 drive north 11 miles to the turn to County Road 162. Drive 32 miles to Covelo and beyond where it ends at the national forest boundary. At a well marked intersection at the Eel River Work Station (there is a bar there, adjacent to the Eel River Campground) head north on Forest Road M1 for about 23 miles to FR 21 and turn right for about 1 mile to the campground.

Nearest Town: Covelo

Camping: 9 sites for tents or RV's to 16 feet. No hookups. Picnic tables, fire rings, vault toilets and potable water are available. Some sites have raised BBQ grills. Some sites and restrooms are ADA compliant.

Fishing: For stocked rainbow trout.

Boating: Very small, non-motorized. Small inflatables ideal.


Day Hikes in Area: There is a 1 mile hike around the lake.

Backpacking Hikes in Area: The Yolla-Bolly Wilderness is nearby.

Off-road Opportunities in Area:

Information: Mendocino National Forest, Covelo Ranger District. (707) 983-6118.

Hammerhorn LakeFishing Pier- Hammerhorn LakeHammerhorn Lake TrailSmall Inflatable- The way to Go