Goodspeed-Nattkemper Trail to Mount Hood Peak is a 5.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kenwood, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
5.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,260 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no shade

no dogs

Limited parking at the trailhead. $8 fee to enter.

26 days ago

This is a good trail to build up your stamina, it’s not super long but definitely a workout, in my opinion the most difficult way up Mt Hood

hiking
1 month ago

Didn't make it all the way to Mount Hood, but the hike was great.

Limited parking at the trailhead. $8 fee to enter.

Starts in a low creek area with Redwoods around. Then goes up no-shade switchbacks for almost a mile. Then goes down to a semi-sketchy creek crossing. There is a downed tree that serves as a bridge, with a rope that helps you steady yourself. Then continue up for a while. We turned around as the trail entered Mount Hood Regional Park.

There was a small/full parking area at the trailhead, but we didn't see that many people on the trail.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail definitely isn't closed anymore! I submitted the change request so hopefully AllTrails updates that.

This is a tough hike, but if you are in decent shape, you'll be fine. It's very exposed for a lot of the trail, so it's smart to bring plenty of water and don't go when it's blazing hot outside. This is great for a morning hike. I highly recommend going to Gunsight Rock rather than hiking up to the summit. Most people will tell you the same. The summit is boring and is surrounded with trees and there is no view. When you reach the sign that points you either right toward the summit or left toward Gunsight Rock, go left! These are where the stunning panoramic views are that you worked hard to see!

The Sugarloaf portion of the hike is very well maintained. You do need to cross a creek a little over a mile in, but right now there is very little water to speak of and I just walked right across the boulders with no problem. There is also a log with a rope to cross if you want to do that.

Once you get to the Hood Mountain boundary, it really pumps up the climb and you're going to come across a lot of narrow trail, loose rocks / scree, and elevation. Be prepared with the right shoes, and it really helped me to find a walking stick, particularly for the way back down. You will notice a lot of burned mountainside and trees from the fires we had last year in October.

The Gunsight Rock overlook is probably one of the best views you're going to find in Sonoma County. When I went yesterday, I could clearly see the San Francisco skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge. I'm afraid of heights so it's a little intense, but there are a few nice areas to sit up there where you can chill out for a while before heading back down.

I would say that going back down is more difficult than going up due to the steepness and loose rocks. My stick came in handy here! I got to Gunsight Rock in an hour and 20 minutes (but I'm a brisk hiker) and it took me just about the same amount of time to get back down. My GPS read 7.2 miles with a duration of 2 hours and 45 minutes.

If you're willing to push yourself, this is definitely a trail in Sonoma County that cannot be missed!

hiking
4 months ago

Most of the hike is in the Hood Mountain Regional Park, so if you want to bring a dog, park at Pythian and come up from the other side of the hill, just make sure to turn around once you get into Sugarloaf. All the trails on the Hood Mountain side are rougher and more challenging, while the Sugarloaf trails are a little easier and more well maintained.

4 months ago

We hiked this trail yesterday. It took 8 of us 2 hours to the top and we trail ran down, back to the trailhead. Because of the fires, the trail is 75% sun. The dynamic change in landscape and elevation made this hike both challenging and amazing. I highly recommend it you are up for a challenge

5 months ago

Stunning views, creeks, and wildflowers. We saw a deer. The first and last part of the hike is the hardest since we are ascending but the view was worth it.

6 months ago

One of the great trails in Sonoma county. Is being rerouted this year to improve an already wonderful experience. G

7 months ago

Wildflowers are spectacular after the burn. A tough hike, but the flowers and incredible views made it well worth the effort.

11 months ago

State Park is closed currently due to recent fires.

hiking
Monday, September 25, 2017

Good hike but too many dog owners seem to feel entitled to bring their non service dogs on the trail clearly marked "no dogs." I found one bag of dog feces on the trail which I carried back to the trailhead and put in a trash can myself. Such a sense of entitlement. Total was 6 dogs being mislead by 4 dog owners. A real shame. Posted photos of 2,owners and their 4 dogs.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Great hike has really great views

hiking
Friday, August 18, 2017

Great scenic hike! I took my 6 & 8 year old. Both grumbled a bit about 3/4 of the way up but they eventually made it. One of the most beautiful hikes in sonoma county. A few water falls and rivers along the way to dip your feet in. BEWARE though. Rattlesnakes are more prevalent here then other local trails. We saw 2 this time. One directly in the middle of the trail about 3ft long. Then we saw a smaller one on a stone on the way back. Be very aware of what's in front of you.

hiking
Monday, August 07, 2017

Great training hike for the mountains. Also, can be enjoyed as a longer day with a descent down to Pythian then back up and over.

hiking
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

We hiked the Goodspeed-to-Gunsight Rock and Hood Mountain on 7-1-2017. The hike to Goodspeed-Nattkemper Bench was moderate, and enjoyed a lot of different terrain. From the Bench to Gunsight Rock and Hood Mountain was very rocky and really makes you work. This trail really pulls it out of you. If you're into an endurance hike, with different terrain, this is for you. Beautiful views, water streams, and good work out!

Per my Garmin: 8.2 miles/ 5 hours/ Gain: 2,300

For this time of year - would recommend large waters and start hike early in the morning - some spots not as much shade, and can get toasty.

hiking
Sunday, June 04, 2017

Spot on workout for a half day hike.
Bring several liters of fluid if starting in the afternoon during Summer. Few people on the trail & all friendly.

hiking
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

This was a nice hike. The Sugarloaf part was calm and peaceful with slight elevation but when you pass into the Mount Hood side, that is where the work begins! There was some tough terrain and pretty good inclines but the view from Gunshot (?) Point is INCREDIBLE!!!!! You definitely need GOOD HIKING SHOES when coming down. Another way to get to Gunshot Point is from the Hood Mountain Trail which is a longer hike without as much sites visually coming up. Either way, its a great workout and that view..... Heaven! :) I spent an hour just laying in the sun on a rock, it was my birthday present to myself!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Love it!

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

One of the best wine country hikes, been coming here a long time. Absolutely stunning views from gunsight rock!

hiking
Sunday, March 26, 2017

This is a fantastic short day-hike. We took the trail to Gunsight Rock and summited there. It took 4 hours in/back at moderate pace, with several stops. The flowers in bloom, the waterfalls flowing, and the grass greener than ever, who could ask for more!
My only qualm of the day is the observation of people blatantly ignoring the "NO DOGS" on trails rules in which Sugarloaf SP makes very clear. I counted 8 dogs today, most roaming unleashed. It's disruptive not only to wildlife & habitat but also to others trying to commune with nature. There are PLENTY of dog friendly trails in Central/Northern CA! This is not one of them.
Aside from that, it was a lovely peaceful hike.

hiking
Saturday, November 26, 2016

Frankly difficult trail but amazing valley and hillside views. Weekend hiker take note -- some parts of the trail are tough and this earned its "hard" rating.
View at the very top a non existent, unless you're standing on a rock by the side of the plateau.
The views further down are phenomenal, and you can see all the way down the valley to SF.
There are sections with loose rocks in the trail so wear decent shoes.
It's an out and back trail, and the descent from the summit isn't easy!

hiking
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

It's easy, then hard, then harder, then not to bad, and then view...

hiking
Thursday, September 29, 2016

There were bees at gunsight rock when we went. We were able to stay long enough for a few photos and then had to get out of there. I am happy to hear they may be gone now... Best hike in the county for sure!

hiking
Sunday, September 11, 2016

Entrance fee is $8, you pay in the way of a permit containing the money, your license plate, and your name. Parking hours are 6 AM-8 PM for Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.

This hike was amazing, even with its views entirely covered by fog. Including the traverse to Gunsight Rock, the trail is 7.0-7.5 miles with ~2,300 feet of elevation gain, most of which occurs over a 2.5 mile stretch. The trail starts out relatively easy, with little elevation gain and a wide trail. You'll eventually get up to a second road. That's where the fun begins.

After a set of descending switchbacks, you'll encounter a second river (95% dry at this point) and begin your elevation gain. It'll start out easy-moderate until you get to the Nattkemper Bench, which marks your exit from Sugarloaf Park and entrance into Hood Mountain Regional Park. From there, I'd recommend hiking shoes. The trail is rocky, narrow, sometimes steep and on a ridge.

The climb up to the saddle before Gunsight Rock is strenuous and tiresome. It's best done in the early morning so the fog reduces the temperatures. There are plenty switchbacks and exposed rocks after the Nattkemper bench; watch your footing, as the trail is almost always narrow and on a steep ridge.

The final climb up to Gunsight Rock is calf-burning, albeit short. It passes through a wildlife-enchanted (deer, mainly) forest that will make you feel miles away from civilization. At the end of this strenuous gain, you'll have the option to either go to Gunsight Rock or summit Mount Hood.

My father and I went up to Mount Hood Summit, which is an exposed area of rock (50 ft. diameter) with a plaque marking the summit. It's encircled by trees and vegetation. There's only one spot where you can get a solid view; I wouldn't stay at this summit for long unless you're eating lunch. Head down to Gunsight Rock for the views.

Also, if you're prioritizing the views over the workout this trail offers, try to hit the trail at ~10:30 AM to allow the fog to dissipate. I summited at about 9:30, and the entire valley below was covered in a thick blanket of fog. The downside to leaving later, however, is hotter temperatures and increased activity on the trail. We saw 0 hikers going up and 8-10 heading down (4-5 groups of hikers.)

Overall, this trail is the best you'll find in Sonoma. It's worth a 2-3 hour drive from wherever you are. Watch out for wildlife: we saw a snake, two lizards, and too many deer to count. I'd imagine you'd see birds in the afternoon as the visibility increases.

And if you're wondering, the 100s of yellowjackets mentioned in the review below aren't there anymore. The summit is safe.

hiking
Monday, September 05, 2016

To whoever left a ton of food sitting at the top, thereby attracting 100s of bees, I will find you, and when I do, I will fill a mason jar with bees, shove it inside of you, and twist.

hiking
Monday, August 22, 2016

Goodspeed trail to Gunsight Rock is by far my favorite hike around Sonoma Valley. Takes about 3hours round trip. Just strenuous enough, and awesome views from the top. I believe dogs are allowed, but I leave mine at home since you do need to high step over some sharp rocks in the second half of the incline.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Don't bother going to mt hood summit nothing to see, stop at gunsight rock for the views

Friday, April 22, 2016

Varied terrain makes this a great hike. It is important to wear good hiking shoes as there are some steep area's. Bring your camera, there is so much to see on this hike!

Monday, March 28, 2016

This hike was great! I consider myself a fit individual and the last mile or so was tough! Absolutely loved the burn! And the view from the top was so worth it. Went in late March. Everything was green and the streams were running full. Beautiful day of hiking. It's about 7.5 miles and took about 4 hours.

hiking
Wednesday, February 17, 2016

This is a beautiful hike with lots of scenery. Does begin fairly easy but the last mile or so upward is much steeper than the rest and has many areas with loose dirt and/or big rocky areas. I hiked this in my adidas running shoes and was ok, but good hiking boots would have been nice especially towards the top. The park literature says it's a 4 hour hike and they had printed maps at the bottom.

hiking
Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A great hike up to gunsight rock. Beautiful, enviro rating and a good hike.

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