Hood Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve

1450 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa

  • Biking
  • Birding
  • Camping
  • Equestrian Trails
  • Hiking/Walking Trails

Safety Alert: Trails are rugged. Always travel with another person. Be sure to bring sufficient water and appropriate clothing for weather changes.

Hours: The park opens at 8:00 a.m. and closes at sunset.

Parking: $7 per vehicle for day use. $1 per person (vehicles with 10 or more people)

North Entrance: 3000 Los Alamos Road, Santa Rosa. Access to the northwest portion of the park is through Los Alamos Road, a winding and narrow road. RV's and vehicles with trailers should use extreme caution. The driveway to the lower parking lot has been reconstructed and is now in use.

Southwest Entrance: 1450 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa. Access to the southeast portion of the park is via the Pythian Road Trailhead. It is located 1.3 miles up the North side of Pythian Rd., off Highway 12. To reach the horse trailer parking lot, drive .5 miles up Pythian Road off Hwy 12 and turn left onto Eliza Way. Continue 600' to equestrian parking between the two brick buildings.

Dogs: Permitted on leash no longer than 6 feet. License required.

Ranger Phone: (707) 539-8092

The park consists of 1,750 acres of wilderness with outstanding hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails. On a clear day, park visitors may see the Golden Gate Bridge from Gunsight Rock and the Valley View Trail. Most trails are for experienced hikers in good physical condition.

Safety Alert: The trails are rugged. Always travel with another person. Be sure to bring sufficient water and appropriate clothing for weather changes.

Hood Mountain Regional Park contains 19 miles of trails, our most extensive trail system. Trails climb through forests, over meadows, and cross several creeks. Terrain is challenging, but the effort is rewarded with views of  both the Sonoma and Napa sides of the Mayacamas Mountains as well as views of Bay Area landmarks on clear days. Trails are strenuous, so please plan for ample time to complete hikes. Hikes may be extended by connecting to trails in adjacent Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. (Leashed dogs are welcome at Hood Mountain, but they are not allowed on Sugarloaf trails.)Equestrians also are welcome at Hood Mountain, with horse trailer parking off of Pythian Road 1 mile southeast of the main Pythian Road trailhead. Livestock water is available in the horse trailer parking lot and in Orchard Meadow. Hood Mountain includes several walk-in campgrounds available by reservation.

 


General Info

  • Four environmental campsites are available in remote settings reached by hiking approximately 2 miles from parking areas. Sites include tables, food lockers and tent pads. Primitive toilets are nearby. Potable water and electricity are not available.
  • Sites are for tent camping only and are not accessible by car or RV. Two individual sites near Merganser Pond are reached via the Pythian Road entrance. One individual site and one group site along Azalea Creek are reached via the Los Alamos Road entrance. (The group site has three picnic tables, one serving table and room for seven tents.)
  • Campfires and barbecues are not allowed, but cooking stoves are permitted. Trash service is not available, so garbage must be packed out.

Rates

  • The individual site rate is $32 per night for up to four people.
  • The group site rate is $150 per night for up to 50 people. 
  • Non-refundable reservation fees apply. Cancellation fees may apply.
  • Discounts and promotional offers are not available.

Rules

  • Hood Mountain campsites must be reserved by calling (707) 565-2267 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday or visiting Regional Parks' office at 2300 County Center Drive, Suite 120A, in Santa Rosa between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Hood Mountain campers must check in at Spring Lake Regional Park’s Newanga entry station before driving to Hood Mountain. At Hood, they will park at the Pythian Road or Los Alamos Road entrances, depending on the campsite. Campers must remain within designated areas after sunset.
  • Campers may stay up to four consecutive nights. Dogs on leash and horses are allowed.

Detailed camping and reservation information >

Trails Challenge

View larger image of Hood Mountain Los Alamos Road Entrance Trails Challenge MapHood Mountain Regional Park
Los Alamos Road entrance
3000 Los Alamos Road, Santa Rosa

This park is featured in the Sonoma County Trails Challenge, which invites you to get out and get active by hiking five of 15 routes highlighted in the new Trails Challenge PDF fileguidebook. Submit a trails log when you finish all five hikes and win a free water bottle!    

Suggested trail loop:  Up - Alder Glen Trail to Hood Mountain Trail to Summit Trail to Gunsight Rock (4.43 miles)
Down – Gunsight Rock to Hood Mountain Trail (4.54 miles)
Loop length: 8.97 miles round trip
Degree of difficulty: Strenuous
Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet

 Trail symbols for walk, hike, run, dogs on leash, cyclists, and equestrians

Park Notes

  • This 1,700-acre wilderness park in the Mayacamas Mountains is on the edge of the Sonoma Valley, 5 miles east of Santa Rosa. Hood Mountain is 2,730 feet, one of the highest peaks between the Sonoma and Napa valleys, and its “Gunsight Rock” promontory offers stunning views of the valley and Bay Area landmarks.
  • The park has 19 miles of trails, the only public backpacking sites in the Sonoma Valley, a unique pygmy forest, and two separate entrances about 8 miles apart - one on Los Alamos Road and one on Pythian Road.
  • Restroom in the parking lot but no drinking water at Los Alamos entrance.

 Trail Notes

  • Hood’s trails climb through forests, over meadows and cross several creeks. Terrain is challenging, but the effort is
    rewarded with grand views of the Sonoma and Napa valleys. Give yourself ample time and hike with a partner.
  • Hood Mountain Trail is a fire road leading to the summit. The Summit Trail is a narrow alternative to Hood Mountain Trail. Both pass through a pygmy forest of Sargent cypress and knob cone pine, some only chest high due to the serpentine soil.

Trail Directions

  • From Los Alamos Road entrance, leave the parking lot on the Alder Glen Trail, a short path that winds down to the north fork of Santa Rosa Creek and connects with Hood Mountain Trail.
  • Continue on Hood Mountain Trail across Homestead Meadow to Santa Rosa Creek. Cross the creek by hopping across rocks and continue up Hood Mountain Trail to the Azalea Creek backpacking sites. (Restrooms available here, but not water.)
  • Head left on the Summit Trail and continue up the mountain. At 1.5 miles, you’ll pass through the pygmy forest before
    ascending to the mountain’s summit.
  • Due to dense foliage, the best views are beyond the summit .6 miles down the Gunsight Rock Trail. At Gunsight Rock, take a well-earned rest and enjoy spectacular views of the Sonoma Valley.
  • Return via Gunsight Rock Trail to Hood Mountain Trail all the way back to the Los Alamos parking lot. 

Driving Directions

  • From central Santa Rosa, drive east on Highway 12 toward Kenwood, turn left on Los Alamos Road and drive 1.5 miles to the park entrance. (Note: sections of this road are narrow and winding, and vehicles with trailers and RVs are not recommended.) Parking $7 or free for Regional Parks members.

Trails Challenge

View larger image of Hood Mountain Pythian Road Entrance Trails Challenge MapHood Mountain Regional Park
Pythian Road entrance
1450 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa

This park is featured in the Sonoma County Trails Challenge, which invites you to get out and get active by hiking five of 15 routes highlighted in the new Trails Challenge PDF fileguidebook. Submit a trails log when you finish all five hikes and win a free water bottle!

Suggested trail loop: 
Up - Lower Johnson Ridge to Pond Trail to Upper Johnson Ridge Trail to Hood Mountain Trail to Gun-sight Rock (3.64 miles)
 Down – Gunsight Rock to Hood Mountain Trail to Panorama Ranch Trail to Lower Johnson Ridge Trail (3.26 miles)
Loop length: 6.9 miles
Degree of difficulty: Strenuous
Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet

Trail symbols for walk, hike, run, dogs on leash, cyclists, and equestrians

Park Notes

  • This 1,700-acre wilderness park in the Mayacamas Mountains is on the edge of the Sonoma Valley, 5 miles east of Santa Rosa. Hood Mountain is 2,730 feet, one of the highest peaks between the Sonoma and Napa valleys, and its “Gunsight Rock” promontory offers stunning views of the valley and Bay Area landmarks.
  • The park has 19 miles of trails, the only public backpacking sites in the Sonoma Valley, a unique pygmy forest, and two separate entrances about 8 miles apart - one on Los Alamos Road and one on Pythian Road.
  • Restroom and drinking water at the Pythian parking lot.

 Trail Notes

  • Hood’s trails climb through forests, over meadows, and cross creeks. The terrain is challenging but the effort is rewarded with grand views of Sonoma and Napa valleys. Give yourself ample time and hike with a partner.
  • Lower Johnson Ridge Trail climbs while overlooking Hood Creek Canyon. Upper Johnson Ridge Trail continues climbing the creek’s headwaters under a canopy of mixed evergreens.
  • Hood Mountain Trail is a fire road leading to the summit. Panorama Ranch Trail passes through the pygmy forest as it connects to Lower Johnson Ridge Trail.

    Trail Directions

    • From Pythian Road entrance, leave the parking lot by heading up Lower Johnson Ridge Trail.
    • Go left on the Pond Trail and pass Blue Heron Pond on your way to Upper Johnson Ridge Trail.
    • Turn right on Upper Johnson and climb switchbacks and turn right on Hood Mountain Trail and follow to the summit (2,730 feet elevation.)
    • Due to dense foliage, the best views are beyond the summit, .6 miles down the Gunsight Rock Trail. At Gunsight Rock, take a well-earned rest and enjoy spectacular view of the Sonoma Valley.
    • Return via Gunsight Rock Trail to Hood Mountain Trail. Take Hood Mountain Trail to Panorama Ranch.
    • Take Panorama Ranch to Lower Johnson Ridge and follow Lower Johnson back to the Pythian Road parking lot.

      Driving Directions

      • Pythian Road entrance: From central Santa Rosa, drive east on Highway 12 toward Kenwood. Turn left on Pythian Road and drive a half mile to the marked park entrance on your right. Parking $7 or free for Regional Parks members.

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