Hwy 253 from the north begins just south of Ukiah, CA and can be very hot during the summer months. The climb is moderately steep throughout and the views are of the standard oak and grass fields for these parts. If you are going to make the effort to get to and climb this hill, continue along the flat top of the mountain for a couple miles from its northern summit and descend on into Booneville.
The climb out of Booneville is longer than the northern Hwy 253 ascent, but at 33% less grade (4.4 vs. 6.6%). The scenery along the Hwy 253 south climb is, not surprisingly, similar to that along the northern ascent - oak and grass. There is a bit more shoulder from the south and the traffic is about the same as well - moderate traffic traveling at 40-60 mph - this is a highway, after all. The roadway surface was in excellent condition as of July, 2015.
An out-and-back from Ukiah or Booneville is approximately 30 miles with 3,700' of climbing (Map). The out-and-back beginning in Ukiah and adding Mountainview Road is a challenging ride at about 50 miles and 7,000' of climbing (Map). We recommend the Booneville-Mountainview Road climb if you are travelling to Booneville for just one climb - it has much less traffic and is more remote.