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moulton
12-03-2006, 10:38 PM
I'm planing to go up to North cow Mountain in a few weeks with some friends and do some camping and some shooting at the range. is there anything I should know? range fee? camping fee? campfire permit? and what is the road condition like going up there, I will be driving a 4WD suv and my friend a 2WD suv will we make it up there alright?

Sarkoon
12-04-2006, 5:38 PM
I've actually never been to Cow Mountain yet, but I was also planning on going in a few weeks so I've been doing a lot of research. Here's what I've learned so far:

There are no fees of any kind. The 6 campsites on North Cow Mountain (Mayacmas Campground) are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and you do not need any permit to camp there. The campsites have picnic tables and barbeque stands, and I believe there's some kind of permanent outhouse building nearby. It's only if you camp somewhere else away from these improved sites that you will need a campfire permit.

I have no idea what the road conditions are like. After you get back from your visit please post here again to let the rest of us know how they are.

My sources:
http://www.blm.gov/ca/ukiah/cowmtn.html
http://www.shastacascade.org/blm/clearlak/ncow.htm
http://www.blm.gov/ca/pdfs/ukiah_pdfs/North_Cow_Mtn.pdf

Sarkoon
01-08-2007, 4:42 PM
I made my first trip up to Cow Mountain this weekend, and it was fantastic. It was a bit colder than I would have liked on Saturday, but I suppose it was because of that that we had the entire campsite area and surrounding hills to ourselves. It warmed up nicely on Sunday though.

The hiking trails were absolutely amazing. I highly recommend hiking south from the campsite restroom down into the valley and along the stream. It was gorgeous down there.

The road conditions to the campsite area we remarkably good. A little muddy in places, but the front wheel drive car i was in did just fine. The roads were mostly flat and well groomed, except the road to the shooting range was worse than the one to the campsite.

On sunday the range was pretty popular, lots of people having fun. Looked like a nice place to hang out.

We didn't see a park ranger until we were packing up to leave. He circled around once and then left. Didn't stop to chat.

On our way out we saw a bunch more rangers. It looked like they were detaining someone with a SKS - we just heard something like "but i already told you it's not mine. I'm borrowing it from my friend." as we drove by.

But overall we had a great time up there and will be going again soon for sure.

halifax
01-08-2007, 7:29 PM
I made my first trip up to Cow Mountain this weekend, and it was fantastic. It was a bit colder than I would have liked on Saturday, but I suppose it was because of that that we had the entire campsite area and surrounding hills to ourselves. It warmed up nicely on Sunday though.

The hiking trails were absolutely amazing. I highly recommend hiking south from the campsite restroom down into the valley and along the stream. It was gorgeous down there.

The road conditions to the campsite area we remarkably good. A little muddy in places, but the front wheel drive car i was in did just fine. The roads were mostly flat and well groomed, except the road to the shooting range was worse than the one to the campsite.

On sunday the range was pretty popular, lots of people having fun. Looked like a nice place to hang out.

We didn't see a park ranger until we were packing up to leave. He circled around once and then left. Didn't stop to chat.

On our way out we saw a bunch more rangers. It looked like they were detaining someone with a SKS - we just heard something like "but i already told you it's not mine. I'm borrowing it from my friend." as we drove by.

But overall we had a great time up there and will be going again soon for sure.

I've not been up there myself, but I saw in the Ukiah Daily Journal someone complaining that the range was a pig sty. Any truth to that?

Sarkoon
01-08-2007, 7:57 PM
I've not been up there myself, but I saw in the Ukiah Daily Journal someone complaining that the range was a pig sty. Any truth to that?

After spending the weekend with a entire campsite area and surrounding hills completely to ourselves with almost no trace of human pollution (except for spent shells here and there and the occasional plastic jug or soda can), we decided to swing by the range to see what it was like on our way out. The range seemed to be very popular - it looked like every shooting station was in use and people were having a good time. We saw some people shooting rifles at the 300 and 400 yard targets, some were launching and shooting clays, some just watching and drinking beer, etc...

But yeah, closer to the firing line there was junk everywhere. Like from 10 to 50 yards the range was just littered with shrapnel from old appliances, large propane cans, and who knows what. It really did look like there was trash everywhere. Though I suppose in this case a nature lover's trash pit is a gun lover's shooting gallery. You wouldn't have to bring a single target with you - there was plenty of crap left there by others for you to shoot at all day. In fact I have no idea how that stuff gets out there... is there an agreed upon cease fire so someone can drive their pickup out there (avoiding driving over sharp metal objects) and dump more targets out? I don't know how some of the larger stuff got out there.

But yeah, it looks like a major cleanup effort is needed. My friends and I did our part and picked up everything after ourselves. We left our campsite and makeshift shooting ranges exactly as we found them, except for some lead buried in the dirt.


So if you want to hang around lots of other shooters and have tons of targets to shoot at all day, the range looks like a nice spot. Otherwise if you'd rather be alone with nature and feel like you have the whole mountain range to yourself, head up to the campsite area and go enjoy the hiking trails. I didn't see a single other person on any of the trails all weekend.

moulton
01-08-2007, 9:57 PM
ok, I got several questions.
How were the roads?
How were the campsites?
How far out does the range go?
what is at the range? concrete slabs? dirt? benches?

thanx,
Moulton:o

Sarkoon
01-08-2007, 10:27 PM
ok, I got several questions.
How were the roads?
How were the campsites?
How far out does the range go?
what is at the range? concrete slabs? dirt? benches?

thanx,
Moulton:o

Roads - we made it to both the range and the campsite in a front wheel drive toyota camry. A little slipping and sliding in the mud in places, and scraped a couple parts, but nothing serious. The road to the campsite was in better condition than the one to the range.

The campsites were covered in fallen leaves, and a lot of the car parking spaces were muddy. We picked a site that was on a hill, and found a flat spot for the tent about 40 feet from a picnic table. The ground was damp and cold, but solid. We brought the appropriate gear to stay comfortable. The picnic table was just a few feet from a barbecue grill. There are plenty of trees to offer shade, and there are open areas as well, it all depends on which site you choose. As I mentioned, no one else was there so we could pick any site we wanted.

I believe the range is 400 yards total, but it looked further than that to me. There were targets set up all over the place, up close, 50 yards, 100 yards, 200, 300, and 400. There were tables and benches to sit on. Maybe picnic tables? i didn't get a good look. The firing line is all concrete with maybe 8 or so people shooting at a time. Towards the target it drops down maybe 4 feet or so till about 50 yards the dirt comes up and people have targets perched on top of the dirt at that distance. And there is a lot of junk filling the recessed area before that as well. At each of the other distances I mentioned above, the ground comes up in a nice hill to make good places to set targets up.

Some Pics:
http://www.sarkoon.com/stuff/cowmountain-calgunspost/DSC01451-small.jpg
http://www.sarkoon.com/stuff/cowmountain-calgunspost/DSC01459-small.jpg
http://www.sarkoon.com/stuff/cowmountain-calgunspost/DSC01465-small.jpg