Hiking In Hood Mountain Regional Park
August 9, 2023
[Click on any photo to bring up the original, full resolution photo, then click again to zoom in on the picture]

Moth Mullein


Golden Rod


With Bee



Lots of dodder beside the trail

Maps :

All of the above flowers were along the trail on my Hood Mountain hike.

I began by driving up Pythian Road, which becomes very steep and which is sometimes one lane, sometimes two, to the parking lot with the restroom. Right after I used the restroom, a truck pulled up to clean it out. Timing is everything.

The hike from the parking lot out to Gunsight Overlook is between seven and eight miles. I had planned on coming back by Blue Heron and/or Merganser Ponds, but the sign showed that trail closed. So I hiked to the Hood Mountain Summit, then to Gunsight Overlook and directly back to the parking lot.

The trail at the beginning is quite steep and a mixture of dirt trail and asphalt road. Fortunately, the morning was cool and foggy/cloudy, so the hike was very pleasant.

At the top of Pythian Road are a couple of homes, one of which the trail runs above, giving a good view. Click on the photo to see what Zillow says about the home on August 9, 2023.

1951 Pythian Rd. Zillow estimates: 2 bd, 1.5 bath, 990 sqft, $812,000,

I followed the Panorama Ridge Trail which is basically a dirt road for some time. Near the beginning of the trail a stream crosses the road. There have been times when it is a bit of a challenge to cross, but given the drought in California now that was not the case today. A bit later, in the distance I could see a couple whose picture I took. As it turns out, they would be on the Gunsight Overlook where I would also take their pictures from a distance as they waved to me.

As I got higher the fog disappeared, the ravages of past fires presented themselves, and views of mountains in the far distance appeared. Four bikers coming down also passed me.

When I came to the junction with the Hood Mountain Trail I took it, although I was more interested in getting to the Gunsight Overlook without going to the Hood summit. The trail up was even steeper than I had hiked already, although it did give nice views. As the trail approached the summit it was in the woods, which was nice and cool, though still quite steep. There was a sign on the ground at the summit, along with a tall rock at the far edge that a lizard was occupying.

And speaking of wildlife, here's a dragonfly that checked me out.

Leaving the summit I continued following the trail that eventually led to the Gunsight Rock overlook. However, as I was nearing Gunsight Rock I could see a couple already on it. Although they were leaving (I even took their picture and called for them to wave), I decided the view I had from the trail was plenty good, so I stopped, took off my pack, drank water, and took pictures, including of my house way down in the valley below (the house on the left of our neighbor's house with the red roof). I also got a nice view of bald mountain, another fun place to hike. There might have been people on top, maybe, as shown in the last picture. After this, I walked back the three plus miles to the car and drove home. What a pleasant day.

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By Bob:

Bob Phillips [phillips bob 27 at yahoo dot com - no spaces]
Santa Rosa, CA
June, 2022