Call 707-467- 4200

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 

1160 Lake Mendocino Drive

Ukiah, California 95482

Frequently Asked Questions



Do I have to pay a fee to launch my boat if I am camping at the lake?

No. Your launch fee is included with your camping fee.

Do I have to pay a launch fee if I am camping at Miti?

Yes, pay the launch fee, or have your annual pass visible. On the envelope stub that you will put in your windshield, write "Miti" and the dates you will be staying.  When you register at the campground you will be given a camping tag to put in your vehicle (make sure it is visible to rangers passing by).

Can I collect firewood?

You may collect dead and down wood within the park. You may not remove wood for private or commercial use outside the park.

Are showers available?

There are hotwater showers in the Kyen and Bushay Campgrounds. The Pomo Day-Use Areas have cold water showers. Chekaka and Miti Campgrounds and the Group Campgrounds in Bushay do not have shower facilities.

How close is the nearest grocery store?

The nearest grocery store on the north end of the park near Kyen and Bushay Campgrounds is the Calpella Superette. On the south end of the lake, the closest grocery store is the Forks Market located on the intersection of North State Street and Lake Mendocino Drive.

Where are the swim areas?

The only designated swimming area is located in the Pomo A/B Day-Use Areas. This area is separated from the main portion of the lake by buoys. You may swim almost anywhere else in the lake as well, with the exception of the boat ramp areas. Please be aware that there are no lifeguards on duty at this lake, and you must familiarize your self with lake conditions; like shallow water, submerged obstacles, etc. Swimming is at your own risk.

Is a reservation required to camp?

The campgrounds do operate on a reservation system. Reservations are strongly recommended, and available by going to or calling the reservation system at 1-877-444-6777. We are no longer accepting cash or checks at the campgrounds; credit or debit cards are the only accepted form of payment.  Campers that arrive without a reservation will need to call or go online to check availability and pay for a site.  Reservations can be made the same day as arrival.

How do I make campground or day-use reservations?

Reservations can be made online at or by calling the toll free number 1-877-444-6777.

How do I make special use or handicap reservations?

Handicap reservations are available through the reservation system at or calling 1-877-444-6777. Special use permits can be acquired by calling the park office at 707-467-4200.

When can I check in to my campsite and what time do I have to check out?

Check in is at 1:00 pm, check out time is 11:00 am. If others have already checked out from the previous night and the sight is ready to be used, you may be checked in earlier by the camp host. Early check in is done at the host's discretion. If you stay in the campsite beyond check out time, you will be charged for an additional night and removed from the campground if the site you are in is reserved by another person.

How many people per campsite?

Eight people are allowed in each campsite. If your group is larger, you will be required to get an additional campsite.

How many vehicles per campsite?

You may have two vehicles in your campsite provided that they are parked on the pavement and do not extend into the roadway.

Where is your lost and found area?

All lost and found items are stored at the park headquarters on Lake Mendocino Drive. If you lose something in the park or campground, check with the entrance station first then call or stop by the park headquarters.

Are dogs allowed?

Dogs are allowed in most areas of the park with the exception of the Pomo A and B Day-Use areas. Pomo A and B are grassy areas near the swim beach that need to be kept clean for health reasons.

Do dogs have to be on leashes?

Dogs must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet. Free roam dog parks are available in Redwood Valley and at Low Gap Park in Ukiah.

How long are the trails?

The Shakota Trail is 3 miles long, and the Kaweyo Trail, which runs from the Bushay Campground to the Dam, is 7 miles long.

What do the names of your campgrounds and trails mean?

Most of the park facilities have names in the language of the local Pomo Indians. Below is a list of their translations:
Sho-Da-Kai: This is the name of the valley in which Lake Mendocino is located
Che-Ka-Ka: Quail
Pomo: People
Kyen: Duck
Bu-Shay: Deer
Miti: Rattlesnake
Shakota: Rabbit
Kaweyo: Horse

Where is the park office located?

Our address is 1160 Lake Mendocino Drive, Ukiah, CA 95482-9404. You will find the park headquarters on the south end of the lake on the road leading to the public boat ramp.

Can you build a fire on the shoreline?

No. Campfires are only allowed in established fire rings.

Do you allow hunting in the park?

Hunting for small game is permitted in the wildlife area of the park. Turkey hunting is permitted by a special use permit in coordination with the California Department of Fish and Game. Hunters must comply with all fish and game regulations and may not carry loaded weapons in the developed portions of the park like campgrounds and boat launch areas. Hunting is not permitted anywhere within 100 yards of the campgrounds. Hunting is also limited to shotguns only. For more information, please call the park headquarters at 1-707-467-4200.

When was the dam built?

Authorization for the dam was granted in 1950, and the project was completed in 1959.

How do I seek employment with the US Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Mendocino?

Just choose the link for employment information. For a listing of all federal jobs use

How do I become a volunteer camp host?

Call the Park Headquarters at 1-707-467-4200 and ask for the Volunteer Coordinator.

How do I become a camp host?

Call the Park Headquarters at 1-707-467-4200 and ask for the Camp Host Coordinator.

What is that foul smell towards the end of the summer?

What you smell is a gass called Hydrogen Sulfide. Although it smells awful, the amount of gas that is relased from the dam as the water cirulates is not harmful. The gas is created when organic matter, like plants begin to decompose in a low oxygen environment like the cold, deep water in the lake.