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A Press Democrat Blog

Trailhead

A blog about Bay Area hiking…. mostly

Never easy, but worth the view

Is there a better view in Sonoma Valley than 2,100 feet up sitting atop Gunsight Rock? It’s the very first hike I did when I moved here five years ago, and I was woefully, naively and painfully unaware of what I was doing. That trip went up via Adobe Canyon Road on the way to Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. For my anniversary this week of my arrival on the Left Coast, I thought it would be fun to head up… Read More »

Wildflower Walks in Regional Parks Begin March 23

Passing this along from the Sonoma County Regional Parks: “Each spring, Regional Park volunteers lead a series of free wildflower walks in parks throughout Sonoma County. The first walk of 2013 is scheduled for March 23 at Sonoma Valley Regional Park in Glen Ellen, with additional hikes planned in other parks on the following four Saturdays. Master Gardener Phil Dean, who has led nature walks in the county for nearly a decade, will identify and talk about the various flowers… Read More »

Hood Mountain Park road news

Press release from the Sonoma County Regional Parks: LOS ALAMOS ROAD ENTRANCE TO HOOD MOUNTAIN REGIONAL PARK CLOSED FOR REPAIRS The Los Alamos Road entrance to Hood Mountain Regional Park will be closed for construction from Wednesday, Sept. 26, through early December. Regional Parks is contracting with Bouthillier’s Construction of Willits to repair a park driveway damaged by the 2005 New Year’s Eve flood. The $756,119 project includes a 335-foot-long retaining wall and is entirely funded by the Federal Emergency… Read More »

LEARN: Wilderness survival skills

The sun is setting later and later this time of year (8:12 p.m. tonight, woo-hoo!), meaning those post-work and long weekend hikes can easily stretch into evenings. But while no one expects to be caught after dark and lost and stuck for a bit, it does happen. I speak from experience – not personal experience, mind you, but the experience of standing at the end of a trailhead in the middle of the night wondering whatever happened to some of… Read More »

Trekking up Hood Mountain

With Sugarloaf Ridge State Park now closed, there’s one less option for local hikers. And the park is truly closed. All of the parking areas outside the park grounds are now marked with no-parking signs and citation warnings so even treks up to Gunsight Rock or to the waterfalls just before the Sugarloaf entrance gate are difficult given that there’s nowhere to park. But there’s more than one way to skin a….whatever. Our group headed to Hood Mountain Regional Park,… Read More »

Back up to Gunsight Rock

I’m not sure why the top of Hood Mountain is called Mount Hood, but it is close to Santa Rosa, offers terrific views, provides a challenging climb, and is where I headed recently for a hike. Specifically, I was headed to Gunsight Rock. The rocky outcropping is a perfect place to sit – some 2,700 feet up – and look over Kenwood, eastern Santa Rosa and, on a clear day, much further than that. There are several different ways to… Read More »

On a clear day, I could see far enough

Hood Mountain, Sugarloaf Ridge A spur-of-the-moment hike with some friends to some familiar terrain. I like the views of Sonoma County from here, and it was clear enough to see pretty far. There were just a handful of us here so the hike went pretty quickly, and was more of a pleasant stroll than a rigorous trek. I’ve decided it’s OK to have some back-breakers and some strolls. Life shouldn’t be all of either. About 8 or 9 miles round-trip… Read More »