Hood Mountain (Gunsight Rock)

Location: Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, located in Sonoma County, CA

Distance: ~7 miles

Type: Day-hike; Out-and-back

Rating: Moderate

Permits & Fees: $5 parking fee at Goodspeed Trailhead

Preparation

I started this hike fairly early (around 9 a.m.) to beat the heat. Parking is extremely limited at the Goodspeed Trailhead, so it’s best to start as soon as possible, especially on the weekends. When driving to the Goodspeed Trailhead parking area, be cautious of cyclists and people walking on the road- it’s very narrow. Parking is located on the side of the road, about 2.3 miles after entering Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.

Trail Summary – ~7 Miles Total

Please refer to this map:

  •  Trailhead – Goodspeed Trailhead to Nattkemper Trail – 2.1 miles
  • Nattkemper Trail to fork (Gunsight Rock or Hood Mt. Summit)- 1.2 miles
  • Fork to Gunsight Rock – .2 miles
  • Gunsight Rock to Fork – .2 miles
  • Fork to end of Nattkemper Trail (start of Goodspeed Trail) – 1.2 miles
  • Goodspeed Trail to Trailhead -2.1 miles

The Hike

This hike offered some of the best views that I have experienced thus far. I was not familiar with Hood Mountain until earlier this year and am surprised that it isn’t more widely publicized. There are several different options to reach Gunsight Rock and the Summit. I decided to start at the Goodspeed Trailhead, located in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.

The trail begins in a shaded portion of the park. After crossing a stream, I started up a set of switchbacks. From here to the Nattkemper Trail, there was no shade at all, but the views progressively got better. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park turns into Hood Mountain Regional Park (Goodspeed Trail turns into Nattkemper Trail) at this sign:

IMG_1063

After passing the sign, the trail continues uphill (the most strenuous part of the hike). A bench is located shortly after the sign that offers a place to rest before continuing on. The trail leveled out when I reached the fork, which gives the option of hiking to Gunsight Rock or the Summit:

 

From the fork, I hiked for .2 miles to Gunsight Rock. The weather was perfect, so I was able to catch a clear view of Sonoma Valley:

 

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