My mountain bike is in the shop due to a broken spoke but it was such a nice day that I really wanted to go outside and get some exercise. I took my dogs to Hood Mountain Regional Park and hiked the Valley View Trail.
The Valley View Trail is a moderate 4.4 mile hike with fantastic views of Oakmont, Rincon Valley, and Sonoma referred to by the author Jack London as the Valley of the Moon.
This park is under-used, rural, and is a great place to view wildlife, listen to birds, and GET LOST. Seriously, people get lost frequently so BRING A MAP!
Here are the steps to do this hike:
- Drive to the park parking lot on Pythian Dr
- Hike up the Lower Johnson Trail to Merganser Pond Trail (1.3 mi)
- Hike the Merganser Pond Trial to the pond (.4 mi)
- Once at the pond, walk counter clockwise around the pond till you see the Valley View Trail (.1mi)
- Hike the Valley View trail (.8mi)
(While on the Valley View trail you will come to 1 fork in the trail. GO LEFT down hill, and you'll return to the pond in .2miles or about 5 mins. Going right will take you up hill on a very long journey to the summit.)
I love this park, partially because there are a variety of hikes from very difficult, to moderate and all are very beautiful. There is a high likelihood you will encounter wildlife so be prepared, have a map, water & way to call for help i.e. whistle, cell phone etc.
Here is what I recommend you bring on any hike to Hood Mountain Regional Park:
- Ample water, esp. on a hot day
- A way to summon help such as a whistle (3 loud bursts) or cell phone
- Trail food
- Extra warm layer on fall or winter day
- Hiking poles (if you have them)
Where: 1450 Pythian Road Santa Rosa
When: Anytime of the year is nice. Summer can get very hot
Level: Moderate 4.4 mile hike with steep elevation gains.
Maps: Usually available in the parking lot or download here: Map
Water: Potable at the parking lot only. Creeks run through the park if you have filtration devices
Dogs: Yes on <6' leash
Fee: Parking fee $7
I love living in Rincon Valley! I've lived here since 1995 and can't imagine living in a better north bay community. Call me today if you're interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you'd like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.
- Jim Cheney, Broker
- Saint Francis Property
- (707) 494-1055
- Rincon Valley - Santa Rosa
- Certified Tourism Ambassador