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This place is great I loved it when I came the down hill experience was fantastic but the way up you’d wish you didn’t go but other than that I give this place a 10/10 amazing

Great hike, great views. Did this hike last Thursday. Lower Johnson Ridge was closed on the way up, used Orchard Meadow trail to cut over and complete the hike up Hood mountain summit.

Excellent hike! More exposure to direct sunshine than I expected on the way up which made for poor visibility. Be sure to have a brimmed hat, sunglasses etc. if you’re climbing on a sunny morning.

My favorite Sonoma County Trail. Difficult, beautiful, not busy, and my dog gets to come!

We are so lucky this type of terrain is in our backyard!! Challenging up hill that really packs a punch as you wind up the mountain to the top. Super beautiful but also so sad to see the fire devastation so heavily on these trails. Packed a punch in 6 miles but worth every step.

Haven’t hiked in so long and it felt great. Not a lot of people on the trails so it was nice to be able to pace myself good. The view from the tops of the mountain was breath taking. Can’t wait for my next adventure.

I backpacked on the summit and it was awesome! great view, a big open space to set up your tent. It was a semi short hike, most of it was up hill. It took me less than two hours to complete. The only down side might be that water was very limited. there was a small creek in the beginning of the trail but that was all I saw.

We did this today. We went slow and it took us about 4.5 hours. Redwoods are amazing! So peacefull and quiet. We started at sprigs bottom of mount madona. On the way up via the meery go round trail there is a pretty view inthe distance of some gilroy wineries. On the way down on sprigs trail there is a brand new bench. You can not miss it. The redwoods view is spectacular. Enjoy beautifull hike. We did 2000 feet elevation gain but felt good.

hiking
2 months ago

These two trails are fire roads. Lots of runners, bikers, and a few hikers. Once you get out a couple of miles, it becomes nice and quiet. There is very little shade, so do this in the spring/fall and take water.

The trail is very pretty on the backside. Once you make it up Stewartville trail to the junction of Ridge trail, turn around and look at Mt Diablo - what a beautiful sight! There is a nice little bench there to sit and look at the beauty and cool down.

I saw crows, hawks, and one long eared rabbit.

There is a ton of dog poop all over the trails. I wish East Bay parks would just ban all dogs off the trails. I am a responsible dog owner and still saying this because it is unhealthy for human and dog alike to be around a lot of dog poop. If you don't want to carry your dogs poop around the trail with you in a bag, then don't take your dog. Take some responsibility and give respect to the trails and those that use them.

I would rate this more moderate than hard there are a couple steep sections.
There is also a creek crossing, I am not sure about the rainy season? The pond trail section is closed but easy to bypass it.
Overall a super nice trail, I measured it almost 8 miles of beauty.
You can see San Francisco and the bay bridge from gunsight rock.

Not my dream hike experience; if it’s during hot weather, prepare for mostly uphill and I wanted more natural trails but to start it’s on an asphalt road for a while. It’s slow and hard going but perhaps worth it when you reach your destination. Upon leaving your knees really get pummeled so if you have knee issues- skip this!

awesome hike! it took me a total of 2hrs to do this! I have to say it was my 1st time hiking hood mountain and almost towards the end getting to the summit of Hood was very intense uphill climb. I was challanged, and I had to stop once. Bring a water jug for sure.
I started at 2pm and exactly at 402pm I finished:)
temperature was 70. it was really cloudy/smoky so I couldn't get a good view of the City. I am for sure doing this hike again. I love this challange.

Fires have recently hit this area, so it was a very burnt landscape with sparse shade. It’s also very hot this time of year, so I recommend going in the morning or at dusk to avoid the heavy heat. Cache Creek is still flowing despite the dryness, though. I just went for a day hike. If you’re going at this time of year, bring at least a liter or two of water to drink at least.

it was a good hike and you get a workout, especially with the hill climb. I went clockwise, but I think in the future I'd do it counterclockwise. There was a lot of smoke in the distance because of the fires.

hiking
4 months ago

Various trails at this park

I absolutely loved this hike, and chose a perfect day to tackle it! Look for milder temps, there are some wooded areas but also a fire road that leaves you blistering in the sun. Most of the way up will leave you excited for whats about to come next, but people aren’t kidding when they say the last 10 minutes is a steep climb. Regardless, you MUST make it all the way to the top. If you are feeling like having an adventure, you can continue through, which leads you off towards bald mountain. 2 mountains in a day!

a little rigorous for horses

backpacking
5 months ago

Nice trail through the rolling hills with good views along the way. We camped at one of the two pretty well established sites next to the river, both offered shade. We had hoped to backpack past this point but the water was too high/fast to manage with a pack. We crossed with just day packs since the water came up to chest height in the calmer parts.

backpacking
6 months ago

Easy to moderate hike depending on how far out you go. The Redbud trail up to the river crossing is was dry and fairly well traveled. There is plenty of tall grass so I'd recommend pants for sure. We backpacked by the creek which was alright but not spectacular

backpacking
6 months ago

backpacking
7 months ago

It was good weather . A lot of day hikers. The trail is tough on the way in but once you get to the river it’s great . This was free backpacking and very enjoyable. We just went this weekend in spring 04/18 . It’s a steep incline on the way in but once you get to the flats it’s good .

Fun and a great workout. Wear lots of sunscreen, it’s very exposed. I brought my 3 year old and he loved it but unless your kids are used to it I definitely wouldn’t as it gets very steep and challenging at points.

backpacking
8 months ago

Solid steep incline to start, great views along the ridge. Camped just on the other side of the creek, a few other groups of campers were around too.

Update 3/6/2018

All trails are open again, and equestrians appear to be using the trails. Nice and quiet on a Tuesday morning. Definitely prefer to park on the Gilroy side of the park and hike up Sprig Trail, then end with Merry Go Round Trail on the way back down. Old Mine Trail is worth it for the views.

March 2017

This is overall a great south county loop. It is a little crowded as far as other parks in this county go: on a Tuesday afternoon I passed a dozen people or so, including the people at the Sprig Recreation Area entrance, which is around the midpoint. This park is also a big horse riding area, but due to the recent rain, it is closed to equestrian traffic, so if you're a rule breaker like me it's a good time to let your dog off leash. This means a lot of the trails are very wide unfortunately. I love the cool, shady canopy and mix of redwoods and laurels on Sprig Trail, and the beautiful, rocky chaparral of Merry-Go-Round. I would recommend taking the loop in the opposite order the title suggests, starting with the Tan Oak Trail via Meadow Trail. The Tan Oak trail will take you to a junction with the Lower Miller Trail where you can see the really cool ruins of the Miller summer place. Legend says the park is haunted by the spirit of 19th century cattle baron Henry Miller's 8-year-old daughter, who fell from her horse and broke her neck while out on a ride. Then the Loop Trail Cut-Off will get you to Merry-Go-Round, which will descend the mountain toward the Santa Clara Valley. It is a more exposed fire road, which makes it nicer to do this direction, followed by the shady, winding climb of Sprig Trail back up to the entrance booth. Tie Camp Trail, which bisects the loop, is currently closed, as is a section of the Blackhawk Trail which is noted on the map.

hiking
9 months ago

Very exposed trail – be aware during summer time – there is very little shade for most of the way, and only creek water. I didn’t have that much problem with hoof tracks – but horses do use this trail.

Sufficiently challenging. Beautiful views. Minimal traffic. Be mindful of the changing weather as it can get quite cool with a brisk wind and a cloudy sky. Should rain begin to fall, I imagine portions of the trail would be treacherous. Keep a good pace and jog the flat stretches, it’s a little over an hour to the peak.

Nice trail that will provide a good workout due to its incline. Some washed out and rocky areas that you have to climb around but the top is beautiful. Lightly trafficked which is good because the trail is pretty narrow in some areas and make sure to bring water. My son did come home with a huge tick that we didn’t discover until a few days later so make sure to check after the hike. Also, I would rate this closer to a moderate-difficult hike because of the quick incline. Some other trails on here marked as moderate are much easier than this one so if you’re looking for an easy moderate hike, this isn’t it.

Did this hike 2 years ago with my wife and her fam. Gunsite is worth it for the view. I’m in decent shape and didn’t really have any trouble with it.

The strenuous hike pays off at the summit, the views are beautiful! the trail is a bit muddy in sections and there is some scrambling and a few switchbacks.

Really fun trail with spectacular views! At the Fiske Peak summit, we were able to spot Mt Shasta, Mt. Lassen and the Sierras in the distance. The trail is pretty narrow from time to time and required a little bit of scrambling, which I personally found great, as it makes for a little challenge and ignites a feeling of adventure. 2300ft is no joke, be prepared for sore legs the following day. Bring plenty of water.

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