This is a ridge that runs southeast gaining elevation for about 5 miles from Clover Valley to Forty Springs Lake above the northeast end of Clear Lake. Hogback Ridge rises steeply behind the town of Nice. It is mostly covered with manzanita brush from the lower northwest end and gradually rises to 3 high points with outstanding views of the vast expanse of the northwest end of Clear Lake. There is a dirt road going along the top. The center high point near the southeast end covered with low manzanita is the ridge summit.
Hogback Ridge looking northwest
From the west: From Hwy. 101, 6 miles north of Ukiah, take Hwy. 20 26 miles just past the town of Nice to Bartlett Springs Road.
From the east: From the junction of Hwy. 53 and Hwy 20 on the east side of Clear Lake take Hwy. 20 16 miles to Bartlett Springs Road.
Take Bartlett Springs Road up about a quarter mile or wherever there is room to park along the side.
Hogback Ridge road up from Bartlett Springs Rd.
This is the longest steep route to the top of Hogback but it goes right up to the right of the 1st summit (2,770").
About a half mile up Bartlett (a winding unpaved rd.) from Hwy 20 there is a locked gate to climb over to an old fire road that continues all the way to the top in about 1 1/2 miles. There is a first turn off before this gate that leads to a private residence with a no trespassing locked gate. After about .1 mile on the fire road you may want to cut straight up this steep hillside about .2 miles (400' el. gain) until it reaches a switchback on the route road to avoid the private residence.
At the top go around the old remains of a barbed wire fence and continue northwest to the 3 high points.
The 1st is 2,770', the 2nd is 2,979' and the 3rd is 2,881'.
It is about 5.5 miles and 2,000' gain round trip over all.
Alternative approaches: There are fire roads from Bush St. and one from Klein St. up on the southwest slope out of the high neighborhoods of Nice that involve only 3/4 mile and less than 1,000' gain one way up to the left of the northwest summit (2,881'). I did not check out access or parking from these starting points.
You could also approach from Hillcrest Drive starting at lake level (1,345') just past the town of Upper Lake near the northwest end of Hogback Ridge which involves a 10 mile elevation round trip and over 2,000 'gain to all the high points and back.
Descending Hogback Ridge looking northwest
There is one old no trespassing sign at the ridge top on a gate with busted down barbed wire you can walk right around. It faces the descent back down. Other than that there are no posted restrictions. My feeling was I was not likely to encounter any other form of opposition or anyone else for that matter along the ridge and didn't.
When to Climb
Northwest from Hogback Ridge
Hogback Ridge summit
Year around. Keep in mind this ridge is high enough to receive several inches to over a foot of snow in winter.
Clear Lake from Hogback Ridge
The only camping is at Clear Lake State Park near the town of Kelseyville on the south side of Clear Lake. Click here for that campground.
Current weather and forecast
Oak on Hogback Ridge
For the current weather a forecast for Nice click here.