In the Wintun Indian language, “Yo-la” meant “snow covered”, and “Bo-li” meant “high peak.” The second part of this Wilderness’ name refers to the headwaters of the Middle Fork Eel River, which originates in this remote and rugged land.This area was first protected in 1931 when it was classified as a primitive area. Further protection was given when this area became part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. The Wilderness Act of 1984 added another 2,000 acres to the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness, for a total of about 151,626 acres. The area is roughly oval in shape, being about 19 miles long in the north-south direction and 24 miles wide in the east-west direction. The majority of the Wilderness lies in two districts of the Mendocino National Forest (Covelo and Grindstone Ranger Districts).