Southeast from Horse Mtn.This is a big forested mountain in the southwest part of the Mendocino National Forest. Horse and its' neighbor Elk Mountain rise above the Middle Creek drainage coming out of the mountains at the northwest end of Clear Lake. There are forest roads leading all the way to the summit which is a clearing surrounded by endless peaks of pine trees in all directions. A few ridges could be seen to the west.
This is a fairly well used recreational mountain for AtVs, dirt bikers and hikers.
There are views to the south over Elk Mtn. to the Clear Lake area somewhere before the summit.
Sunset over Horse Mtn.From the junction of Hwy 20 and Hwy. 29 at Upper Lake take Hwy 20 a half mile east to Mendenhall Ave. Go north on Mendenhall which becomes Elk Mountain Rd. (or 301). Continue on Elk Mtn Rd (paved) for approximately 14 miles until it switchbacks up the side of Elk Mountain all the way to a pass. Continue another couple of miles to Bear Creek Rd. on the left. Take Bear Creek 1.03 miles to Forest Rd. 17N27 going up to the left.
summitIt's about 1.5 winding miles to the summit which I cannot say for sure is passable to all cars. There is also a use trail going up just to the right of 17N27 that is more direct. I parked and took the trail from here.
The hike is approximately 3 miles (shorter from the use trail) and 800' of gain round trip
Horse and Elk from Middle ValleyThis is Mendocino National Forest. No permits needed for day hikes. For more info click on this link
When to Climb
Hull Mtn. from HorseYear around. The mountain could be snowed in in winter and roads blocked. In summer it can get up to 100.
Middle Mtn. left, Horse and Elk (back right) from Poe Mtn..For Mendocino Nat. Forest camping click here.
Current weather and forecastClick here for the current weather and forecast for Upper Lake