A few great opportunities to share about exploring Hood Mountain this weekend. Guaranteed stunning views and possibly a workout too, depending on your fitness level. Hope to see you out there, or elsewhere on a trail.

From the Sonoma County Regional Parks:

Saturday, December 7, 2013 10:00AM – 1:00PM
Hood Mountain Regional Park, 3000 Los Alamos Road, Santa Rosa

Join several free guided hikes Saturday, Dec. 7, at Hood Mountain Regional Park and experience the improved trailhead access now available at the Los Alamos Road entrance.

  • A park ranger and naturalist will lead a hike to Azalea Creek and several backpacking campsites being prepared for a spring opening. This hike starts at 11 a.m. and will pass through Homestead Meadow while following the Hood Mountain Trail to Azalea Creek. Park staff will talk about the features of Hood Mountain and the new camping opportunities. Hikers will take a break at the campsites to enjoy their lunches before heading back. This hike is nearly 4 miles round trip and will take about three hours. It’s a moderate to strenuous hike, with a steady climb. There is also a creek crossing, so please bring a pair of water shoes you can change into for the crossing.) Heavy rain cancels.
  • A bilingual park naturalist will lead a Spanish-language hike to Santa Rosa Creek. This hike starts at 10:30 a.m. and will pass through Homestead Meadow on its way to the creek. Hikers will take a break at the creek and explore the Santa Rosa Creek Trail before returning. The naturalist will take about the creek habitat and winter features of the park. This is a moderate-level hike of about 3 miles round trip and will take about two hours. Heavy rain cancels.
  • Our neighbors at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park also will lead a hike from Hood’s Los Alamos entrance into the McCormick Addition of Sugarloaf. This 7.5-mile hike starts promptly at 10 a.m., led by Dave Chalk of Bill and Dave Hikes. Hikers will follow Hood Mountain Trail to the Sugarloaf boundary and then take the state park’s Quercus, Headwaters, and Maple Glen trails to Red Hill. Hikers will break for lunch at Red Hill and enjoy the beautiful views. They’ll return on Grandmother Oak Trail, passing the largest coast live oak in Sonoma County, and arrive at the parking lot around 3 p.m. This hike happens rain or shine, so bring appropriate clothing, along with a towel and a pair water shoes for a creek crossing.

For all of these hikes, please meet in the parking lot of the Los Alamos Road entrance. Please bring a lunch or snacks and plenty of water. (Drinking water is not available at the park.) No registration is required, and the day-use parking fee will be waived. If coming with friends, please consider carpooling.

Regional Parks has reopened the lower parking lot at Hood’s Los Alamos entrance after reconstructing a section of driveway damaged in storms years earlier. This park entrance was closed from fall 2012 through last spring as the $1 million FEMA project was completed. The restored access means hikers can once again park near the trail heads.


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