Hood Mountain - TRAIL

Hood Mountain - Trail, Santa Rosa, California

From the parking lot on Los Alamos, descend 600' in a mile and a half through oak & laurel woodlands and over grassy hillsides. Follow signs for Hood Mountain Trail. At Santa Rosa creek, downshift as you cross the creek because the climbing starts immediately--you'll gain 2000' in less than five miles. The climb, with several brutal sections well over 30% grade & very few breaks, will take you through laurel, madrone, oak, and fir woodlands and up through thick manzanita chapparal. The 'trail' is a fire road of mostly decomposed granite gravel and babyheads; traction is very poor, making the climb a drag but the descent quite exciting. At the top, be sure to continue on the singletrack Mt. Hood Trail extension to Gunsight Rock for great views of Sonoma County & the Bay Area. Return the way you came.

User Reviews (1)

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pauljolly65Q   Cross Country Rider [Jul 23, 2009]

I got worked riding this road today. The surface is very poor, and the crappy traction had me pushing my bike several times--probably a half-mile total. I kept at it, thinking that the summit (being the highest point in Sonoma & Napa counties) would reward me with killer views. It didn't...but carry on to Gunsight Rock and you'll see sweeping views all around. The poor traction on the way up had me thinking that this would be a one-star review. However, the scenery is great (if you can ever take your eyes off the gravel long enough to look around), you probably won't see another cyclist out there, and the views from Gunsight were excellent. The descent was fun but very quick. The year-round stream at the bottom was a great place to soak my feet before climbing up the partially-washed out paved road to the parking lot.

Similar Products Used: I might not ride this road again--it's such a crappy climb. However, try the McCormick Addition to Sugarloaf State Park for much more fun in a smaller space. Keep your eyes out on the way in; 50m before you cross the creek, the McCormick entrance is on the left. Better trails there!
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