The Yolla-Bolly Middle Eel Wilderness anchors the southern extent of the Klamath Mountains and covers over 151,000 acres of land that is rather hard to access. The remoteness of the wilderness combined with the fact that the showier wildernesses to the north tend to attract more people grants a visitor to the Yolla Bollys rewarding solitude. Despite its remoteness, North Yolla Bolly can be seen from most of the Northern Sacramento Valley and the surrounding mountains. This makes it obvious that the view from atop North Yolla Bolly covers a huge chunk of Northern California.
The quickest way to the top of North Yolla Bolly is to start at the Stuart Gap Trailhead and take the Pettijohn Trail south and to the east of Pettijohn Basin. You'll pass by a trail connection that leads to North Yolla Bolly Lake, an optional addition to your trip that adds about 2 extra miles. The main trail continues to the top of a broad ridge where you'll be rewarded with a view of North Yolla Bolly's more dramatic west face. You'll see a faint use trail in the grass and lupine heading east toward the peak. This trail is less established than the Pettijohn Trail; however, folks have marked trickier portions of the trail with sticks in an "X" formation. Your destination is a saddle to the south of North Yolla Bolly. From that saddle, it's a relatively short cross-country romp to the top.
As you ascend the peak you'll find yourself in a rare stand of Foxtail pine (Pinus balfouriana). This species only has a few stands scattered around the higher elevations of the Klamath Mountains and the Southern Sierra. It is a relative of the long-living bristlecone pine.