NorCal Roadtrips

An Explorer's Guide to Northern California

Lake Pillsbury

Description: A 2,000 surface acre lake at 1,800 feet in the Mendocino National Forest in Lake County with 65 miles of shoreline and many recreational opportunities. Any type of boating is permitted, and there are boat-in campsites. Boat ramps and rentals are available. There is plenty of camping, as noted below. Fishing is for both trout and warm water species. There are two access roads, both mostly unpaved. The area is popular with ATV and trail-bike fans. Before May, there's not much happening and the resort is essentially closed. Clear Lake and Lake Mendocino are nearby.

Location: From Hwy. 101 in Ukiah drive north 5 miles to Hwy. 20, turn east and drive another 5 miles to East Potter Valley Road. Signs lead the way. Access is by unpaved road of about 30 miles that is passable but filled with potholes that you will be dodging for the entire length. The other access road is from Upper Lake (Road M-1) that is partially paved; longer but better.

Nearest Town: Ukiah to the West; Upper Lake to the east.

Camping: Sunset Campground: 54 sites for tents or RV's to 16 feet. Picnic tables, fire grills, drinking water and pit toilets. Reservations not accepted. Open May thru October. Navy Camp: 20 sites for tents or RV's to 16 feet. Same facilities as above. Reservations not accepted. Open Memorial Day thru Labor Day. An overflow campground. Fuller Grove Camp/Group Camp: 30 sites for tents or RV's to 16 feet. A group site for up to 60 people. Same facilities as above. Reservations not accepted for individual sites but required for group sites at 916-386-5164. Pogie Point Campground: 45 sites for tents or RV's to 16 feet. Picnic tables, fire grills, drinking water and pit toilets. Reservations not accepted. Open May thru October.

Fishing: Rainbow trout, black bass, bluegill and sunfish.

Boating: Any. Boat ramps.

Information: Mendocino National Forest, Upper Lake Ranger District. 707-275-2361. PG&E Recreation Desk. 916-386-5164. Lake County Visitor Information Center. 707-274-5652.

Services/supplies: Lake Pillsbury Resort. 707-743-9935.