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Hood Mountain and Panoramic Ranch Trail Loop [CLOSED]

HARD 163 reviews

Hood Mountain and Panoramic Ranch Trail Loop [CLOSED] is a 6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Santa Rosa, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.0 miles Elevation Gain: 2,047 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

rocky

closed

Note: As of July 2019, parts of the Pond Trail and Lower Johnston Trail is CLOSED. Please check with the park page for more information.

hiking
1 month ago

Steep in the beginning and end really nice trail. Great views

Couple of major trails are closed on Hood Mountain. Pond Trail and the uppermost section of Lower Johnston Trail. Still recovering from Oct 2017 fires. Also watch for some deep mud near Orchard Meadow.

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

Great hard hike! View at the end makes it all worth it. Lots of wild flowers to look at. Muddy in some areas.

hiking
5 months ago

It’s not easy to reach the summit, but it’s fun and worth trying. The view from the top of Hood Mtn is spectacular. I’m a 79 year old male and I made it so I think, with a little determination and taking it easy, almost anyone can

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike! Very steep for the first .3 miles and gains elevation quicker than expected. Beautiful views even though we didn’t make it to the top! Definitely for an experienced hiker. 4 stars because the trails are kinda tricky to stick by, we stayed on the steep fire road the entire time and didn’t notice the off-shoot trails that were milder.

hiking
6 months ago

Trail was a lot of fun! We were backpack training and enjoyed the terrain. A few muddy spots but easy to navigate. Trails are well marked and cleared out. Definetly a nice steep climb but the views are worth it. The park is still recovering from the big fire so expect to see burnt trees and vegetation.

hiking
muddy
rocky
6 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

From Pythian Road Parking Lot to Gun Sight Rock. A few down trees and some moist spots but trail is in good condition. Note the spur to Gun Sight Rock is different from what is shown on All Trails. At the summit, follow the sign to the Summit and 0.5 miles later you’ll see a new trail to GSR. GSR offers one of the top 5 best views on Sonoma County. Enjoy!

9 months ago

This was my 1st time here. I liked this trail and the steep climb. Only giving it 3 stars because I like the other 2 trails that summit Hood Mountain a bit more, which I will give each of those 4 stars. Also a slight downgrade because of the portion on paved road and some of the side trails are shut (possibly due to fire). Probably being too harsh on the rating, because I would love to go back.

mountain biking
10 months ago

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

hiking
11 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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

hiking
11 months ago

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.

backpacking
Saturday, October 13, 2018

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.

hiking
Saturday, September 15, 2018

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.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

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.

hiking
Friday, June 29, 2018

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!

Monday, February 12, 2018

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.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Shaded much of the way, which I love. Panoramic views from Gunsight Rock. The Summit isn't what makes this worth it - it's definitely the overlook at Gunsight!

hiking
Sunday, August 20, 2017

Great hike to bring your dog!

hiking
Sunday, July 02, 2017

Got here around 7:30am on a Sunday morning on the Pythiann Trail. Hiked to Gunsight Rock in about 1 hour and 30 min with my party. We took plenty of break due to the inclines. The inclines are tough if you are not used to pain but doable. The way back was alot easier. One thing that makes this trip worth it is if you see San Francisco in the distance. We did not see SF on this day due to the cloudy distance. Overall, I would hike this again just to see SF.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Great hike cant see San Francisco perfectly but still a beautiful view. Make sure to bring lots of water even if you have to take a heavy bag. Also, the end towards to view is very very steep. Manageable but very hard so shows with good traction is important. Also you gotta pay for parking ;)

hiking
Monday, June 12, 2017

I took off work a little early on Friday, and went from Pythian Road trailhead to Gunsight Rock. It had been years since I had done this walk, so I was a little intimidated - hahaa! Although there were a few steep stretches, most of the uphill was gradual. The view from Gunsight Rock is gorgeous!

hiking
Saturday, May 27, 2017

Lovely trail. Not that difficult really until you get to the last steep stretch to the top .and even that is doable ( we are three 70 year old ladies ...so really anybody can do it !) Evelyne

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Amazing. Bring a little snack to enjoy at the very top. This trail is fairly steep the majority of the way up but so worth it.

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