For Immediate Release
Hood Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve reopens after Glass Fire
Park further open for public recreation; climate-adaptive rebuild to continue
Santa Rosa, CA | May 25, 2022
New areas of Hood Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve will again be accessible to outdoor enthusiasts seeking to hike, bike, ride or camp in the Mayacamas Mountains when Sonoma County Regional Parks opens the park to wider public access this weekend, May 28-29, following extensive fire clean up and repairs.
The majority of Hood Mountain Regional Park has been closed since September 2020, when the Glass Fire burned approximately 80 percent of the 2,000-acre park.
Open areas include the park’s northwest entrance and parking lot on Los Alamos Road, and Hood Mountain Trail leading to Hood Mountain’s 2,730-foot summit. On the south side of the park, accessed via Pythian Road, the Merganser Pond backcountry campground will reopen, along with nearby trails such as Panorama Ranch Trail and Orchard Meadow Trail. The lower equestrian parking lot will also reopen.
In June 2021, the Pythian Road entrance and upper parking lot reopened to public access, as well as the Lawson Trail, and a limited section of Lower Johnson Trail. Those areas continue to remain open.
Over the past 18 months, crews have been working to clear the many hundreds of hazard trees and repair road and other infrastructure damage. Compared to the Nuns Fire in 2017, the Glass Fire resulted in significantly more damaged trees throughout the park that posed public safety hazards, due in part to the fact that many trees that first burned in 2017 were far more susceptible to a second wildlife only three years later.
The extent of this damage and sheer quantity of the work over the park's incredibly rugged 2,000 acres – much of the terrain inaccessible to most vehicles – required investment in heavy equipment never before needed by regional parks crews, including a tracked chipper to process downed trees on site, a 45-ton excavator, as well as training maintenance crews to operate this specialized equipment. Additionally, the park’s two access roads sustained damage during the blaze, affecting safe travel.
While the majority of the park is safe again for public use, work is ongoing: hazard trees continue to be identified and removed, trail alignments continue to be rebuilt, native plants are being replanted, campground, picnic, and trail signage infrastructure are being replaced. On the northwest side, Azalea Creek picnic area and campground and Summit Trail remain closed; on the south side, Upper Johnson Ridge Trail and parts of Lower Johnson Ridge Trail remain closed.
As crews continue to work, please respect trail and area closure signs and stick to the identified trail or road to avoid damage to soil, seeds and new vegetation as nature continues its recovery.
Past and ongoing fire restoration work at Hood Mountain is supported by the Parks For All Measure M sales tax and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
In addition, the nonprofit Sonoma County Parks Foundation hosts a fund specifically dedicated to Hood Mountain Regional Park, including fire recovery, park expansion, and trail construction and repairs. The Bill and Dave Legacy Fund currently has a $10,000 challenge grant courtesy of nationally renowned artist Richard McDaniel to raise additional funds for improvements.
Funding from the Parks Foundation and other sources will also go towards the installation of a fire camera at Hood, as part of the North Bay network of cameras designed to spot wildfires and expand surveillance for the Santa Rosa, Kenwood and Glen Ellen areas.
Hood Mountain’s Los Alamos parking lot is located at 3000 Los Alamos Road in Santa Rosa; its Pythian Road parking lot is located at 1450 Pythian Road. Parking is $7 for public; free for Regional Park members.
For more information on Hood Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve and an updated park map, visit parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov/Visit/Hood-Mountain-Regional-Park-and-Preserve.
Marketing Specialist Regional Parks