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Lake Mendocino Loop

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

17.0 mile 27.4 kilometer loop
75% Singletrack
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,611' 491 m
Descent: -1,621' -494 m
High: 988' 301 m
Low: 761' 232 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 33% (18°)

Dogs

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Trail shared by Simon Topp

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A fun loop around Lake Mendocino with some good views and rolling singletrack.

Simon Topp

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

This is the most common loop around Lake Mendocino. The loop includes fun, rolling singletrack along the eastern and western portions of the lake as well as some short, paved connections (including one two-mile long highway stretch at the north end).

The loop is pretty straightforward and takes ~two hours for the average rider. There are fun opportunities at the southeast end to add small bonus loops and explore a little extra singletrack off the Manzanita Trail.

Keep an eye out for equestrians; however, the area generally receives pretty low traffic.

Need to Know

This area gets pretty soggy after it rains, so be sure to give it plenty of time to dry out. Also, equestrians occasionally use the area, so be sure to ride with care and respect the resource.

Description

Start at the Shakota Trail overlook off of Lake Mendocino Drive. From there, head north along the Shakota Trail for approximately three miles before it meets up with Marina Drive and a campground at the northwest corner of the lake. Take Marina Drive out to Highway 20 and put your head down to get through two unpleasant miles of riding on the shoulder.

After two miles heading east on Highway 20, you'll see an off-ramp for Lake Mendocino on the north side of the road. Get off the highway here and ride the pavement through Bushay Campground. This will dead end at gate leading to an old fire road. Continue past the gate onto the fire road.

The Eastside Trail singletrack will head along the entire eastern side of the lake, weaving back and forth over this road. Continue until you see a trail sign off to your right for the Eastside Trail.

Continue on south along the rolling singletrack. You'll cross over the fire road a few times and past a boat-in campground. Shortly after the boat-in campground, you'll hit a creek crossing near the southeast edge of the lake (you'll be getting your feet wet if it's winter time).

Continue along the singletrack and stay to the right keeping an eye out for signs for the Manzanita Trail. Stay on this for a couple miles past a large spillway until you reach Coyote Dam. From here, cross the dam and take the short road climb back to the Shakota Trail overlook.

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Check-Ins

Aug 19, 2019
Kurt S
Very dry, with some hike-a-bike over trees through the 3 - 6 o'clock part of the loop. Fun wayfinding in cool setting. 95% tandem friendly. 16.9mi
May 22, 2018
Mig Montanez
Feb 17, 2018
James Bishop
Fun loop with a few steep climbs! 16.7mi
Jun 17, 2017
Joel.Perkins
Did the trail backwards...walked half a mile holding my bike over my head....got stung by three bees...10/10 would ride again
Mar 9, 2017
Aaron Oswald

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 5 votes

#1964

Overall
  4.2 from 5 votes
5 Star
40%
4 Star
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3 Star
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2 Star
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1 Star
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Ride Rankings

#248

in California

#1,964

Overall
65 Views Last Month
2,118 Since Jan 2, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Beautiful View along the Eastside Trail of Lake Mendocino.
Jan 2, 2017 near Talmage, CA

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