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: 7:00 a.m. to 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

  • Three 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.
  • 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 $20 per night for up to four people.
  • The group site rate is $225 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>

Funky Fridays Concert - July 29, 2016

Jul 29, 2016 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM


Funky Fridays Concert - August 5, 2016

Aug 5, 2016 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM


Funky Fridays Concert - August 12, 2016

Aug 12, 2016 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM


Funky Fridays Concert - August 19, 2016

Aug 19, 2016 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM


Funky Fridays Concert - August 26, 2016

Aug 26, 2016 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM


Funky Fridays Concert - September 2, 2016

Sep 2, 2016 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM


View our calendar for more activities

Trails Challenge

Hood Mountain Regional Park

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 updated Trails Challenge guidebook. Submit a trails log when you finish all five hikes and get a free Trails Challenge gift!

Trails symbols 4 

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. At 2,730 feet, Hood Mountain is the highest peak between the Sonoma and Napa valleys. Its “Gunsight Rock” promontory offers stunning views of Sonoma Valley and Bay Area landmarks.
  • The park has 19 miles of trails, the Sonoma Valley’s only public backpacking sites and a unique pygmy forest. The park has two entrances about 8 miles apart - on Los Alamos and Pythian roads - and also can be reached through adjacent Sugarloaf Ridge State Park on Adobe Canyon Road.
  • Restrooms in the parking lot but no drinking water.

 Trail Notes

  • Trails climb through forests, over meadows and cross several creeks. 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.
  • Hood Mountain Trail is a fire road leading to the summit. The Summit Trail is a narrow, singletrack alternative to Hood Mountain Trail. Both trails pass through a pygmy forest of Sargent cypress and knob cone pine, some only chest high due to the serpentine soil.
  • Lower Johnson Ridge Trail climbs 600 feet while overlooking Hood Creek Canyon. Upper Johnson Ridge Trail also climbs the creek’s headwaters under a canopy of mixed evergreens.

4 Options for Hiking Hood Mountain

  1. Los Alamos Road to Gunsight Rock 

    3000 Los Alamos Road, Santa Rosa

  2. Los Alamos Road to Grandmother Tree/Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

    3000 Los Alamos Road, Santa Rosa

  3. Pythian Road to Gunsight Rock

    1450 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa

  4. Adobe Canyon Road to Gunsight Rock

    2605 Adobe Canyon Road, Kenwood

PDF fileView larger image of Hood Mountain Trails Challenge Map Los Alamos RoutesOption 1 - Los Alamos Road to Gunsight Rock

Up: Hood Mountain Trail to Summit Trail to Gunsight Rock Trail
Down: Gunsight Rock Trail to Hood Mountain Trail
Length: 9 miles round trip
Degree of difficulty: Strenuous
Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet

Trail Directions to Gunsight Rock

  • From Los Alamos Road parking lot, follow the Hood Mountain Trail across Homestead Meadow to Santa Rosa Creek. Hop across the creek and continue up Hood Mountain Trail to the Azalea Creek backpacking sites. (Restroom available here, but no water.)
  • Head left on the Summit Trail and continue up the mountain, passing through pygmy forest as you approach the summit.
  • Due to summit’s dense foliage, the best views are at Gunsight Rock so follow the trail .6 miles to Gunsight Rock and take a well-earned rest as you enjoy the spectacular vista.
  • Return via Gunsight Rock Trail to the summit, veer left and follow Hood Mountain Trail to the Azalea Creek campsites and back to the Los Alamos parking lot.

Los Alamos Road Driving Directions

  • From central Santa Rosa, drive east on Highway 12 toward Kenwood, turn left on Los Alamos Road and drive 5.5 miles to the park entrance. (Note: sections of this road are narrow and winding. Trailers and RVs are not recommended.) Parking $7 or free for Regional Parks members.

PDF fileView larger image of Hood Mountain Trails Challenge Map Los Alamos RoutesOption 2 - Los Alamos Road to Grandmother Tree/Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

Suggested Trails: Hood Mountain Trail to Quercus Trail (McCormick Addition) to Headwaters Trail to Grandmother Tree Trail 
Length: 5 miles round trip
Degree of difficulty: Moderately strenuous
Elevation Gain: 700 feet

Trail Directions to Grandmother Tree

  • From Los Alamos Road parking lot, follow the Hood Mountain Trail across Homestead Meadow to Santa Rosa Creek. Hop across the creek and continue up Hood Mountain Trail to the Azalea Creek backpacking sites. (Restroom available here, but no water.)
  • Head left on the Summit Trail and continue up the mountain, passing through pygmy forest as you approach the summit.
  • 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 summit’s dense foliage, the best views are at Gunsight Rock so follow the trail .6 miles to Gunsight Rock and take a well-earned rest as you enjoy the spectacular vista.
  • Return via Gunsight Rock Trail to the summit, veer left and follow Hood Mountain Trail toward Santa Rosa Creek. Turn left at the McCormick Ranch/Sugarloaf Ridge sign. This is the “Quercus Trail.” Follow it about 1.5 miles and go to your left on Headwaters Trail. At Grandmother Tree Trail, turn right to see Sonoma County’s largest coast live oak. Return same way.

Los Alamos Road Driving Directions

  • From central Santa Rosa, drive east on Highway 12 toward Kenwood, turn left on Los Alamos Road and drive 5.5 miles to the park entrance. (Note: sections of this road are narrow and winding. Trailers and RVs are not recommended.) Parking $7 or free for Regional Parks members.

PDF fileView larger image of Hood Mountain Pythian Road Entrance Trails Challenge MapOption 3 - Pythian Road to Gunsight Rock

Up: Lower Johnson Ridge Trail to Valley View Trail to Pond Trail to Upper Johnson to Hood Mountain to Gunsight Rock
Down: Gunsight Rock Trail to Hood Mountain Trail to Panorama Ranch Trail to Lower Johnson Ridge Trail
Length: 7 miles round trip 
Degree of difficulty: Strenuous 
Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet

Trail Directions to Gunsight Rock

  • From Pythian Road’s upper parking lot, head up the Lower Johnson Ridge Trail. 
  • At Pond Trail, stay right and follow the trail to Merganser Pond and the Valley View Trail
  • Continue onto Valley View Trail. You then will connect again with the Pond Trail. Turn right and follow Pond Trail past Blue Heron Pond to Upper Johnson Trail.
  • Turn right onto Upper Johnson, climbing its switchbacks to the Hood Mountain Trail.
  • Turn right onto Hood Mountain Trail and follow it to the summit of 2,730 feet.
  • Due to the summit’s dense foliage, the best views are at Gunsight Rock. Follow Gunsight Rock Trail .6 miles and take a well-earned rest with spectacular views.
  • Return via Gunsight Rock Trail to Hood Mountain Trail.
  • Take Hood Mountain Trail to Panorama Ranch Trail.
  • Veer left on Panorama Ranch and follow it to Lower Johnson Ridge and follow Lower Johnson to the Pythian
    Road parking lot.

Pythian Road Driving Directions

  • Pythian Road entrance: From central Santa Rosa, drive east on Highway 12 toward Kenwood. Turn left on Pythian Road and drive 1 mile to the marked park entrance on your right. Parking $7 or free for Regional Parks members.


PDF fileView larger image of Hood Mountain Trails Challenge Nattkemper RouteOption 4 - Adobe Canyon Road to Gunsight Rock

Suggested trails: Goodspeed Trail to Nattkemper Trail to Gunsight Rock
Length: 7 miles round trip 
Degree of difficulty: Strenuous 
Elevation Gain: 1,900 to 2,100 feet

Trail Directions to Gunsight Rock

  • Enter Sugarloaf Ridge State Park on Adobe Canyon Road.
  • Drive 2.3 miles to the dirt parking area on the left and head out on the Goodspeed Trail. After 2.1 miles, the trail crosses into Hood Mountain Regional Park and becomes Nattkemper Trail.
  • Follow Nattkemper for another 1.2 miles and turn left for .2 miles to reach Gunsight Rock.
  • Return the way you came.

Adobe Canyon Road Driving Directions

  • Adobe Canyon Road entrance: From central Santa Rosa, drive east on Highway 12 toward Kenwood. Turn left on Adobe Canyon Road and drive to Sugarloaf Ridge State Park’s lower parking area, which is a trailhead pull-out on the left side of the road. Parking $8 or free with annual Sugarloaf parking pass.

Local Weather
Large weather icon
Today, Thu, 07/28/16
88ºF / 53ºF
High Low
Small weather icon
Tomorrow, Fri.
ºF / 53ºF
High Low
View NOAA 7-Day Forecast
View Map and Get Directions

Google PegmanUse Google Pegman in the above map for street view of trails

Reserve a Campsite   

Trails Challenge logo

Take the Challenge

Get Your Guidebook

Download the free 2016 Trails Challenge guidebook, hike 5 or more trails & win prizes! 

PDF fileDesktop edition (37MB)
PDF fileMobile edition (5MB) 

PDF fileDesktop Español (36MB)
PDF fileMobile Español (5MB)

Trails at a Glance 

PDF filePark Map 7.9 MB (PDF)

Some content on this page is saved in alternate format. To view these files, download the following software.

Windows Media Player   Windows Media® Player for Windows, Flip4MAC for MAC OSX, or Pipelight for Linux
Compressed ZIP Archive   WinZip® for downloading compressed files