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Rincon Valley day hike: Valley View Trail

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Saint Francis Property Santa Rosa, CA 01368633

Rincon Valley from the Valley View Trail Hood Mt

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. 

Bagel and Jerry sniff the way to the trailThe 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:

  1. Map
  2. Ample water, esp. on a hot day
  3. A way to summon help such as a whistle (3 loud bursts) or cell phone
  4. Trail food
  5. Extra warm layer on fall or winter day
  6. Sunscreen/hat
  7. 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
  • Jim@StFrancisProperty.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley - Santa Rosa
  • Certified Tourism Ambassador






Posted by

Jim Cheney, Broker

"Your Realtor in Rincon Valley"

Wine Country Real Estate

Santa Rosa, Sonoma County


Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


What a wonderful way to introduce Valley ViewTrail in Rincon Valley.  It looks so inviting.  A

Aug 24, 2017 11:11 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Did the dogs do well on the hike? I know you did as you lived to blog about it.

Aug 25, 2017 05:56 PM
Jim Cheney
Saint Francis Property Santa Rosa, CA - Santa Rosa, CA
Rincon Valley Realtor 707.494.1055

Ron and Alexandra Seigel have you been to Hood Mt Regional Park?  It's a Sonoma County gem.


Debbie Reynolds Jerry (aka: The Jerr Bear) is a little over weight so we need to  be careful, but they did well.  We are on a weight control program that includes aggressive exercise, so our hike was just what the doctor ordered. 


Aug 25, 2017 07:30 PM