This varied trail has something for everyone!
From the small parking lot (you may have to go further up the road and walk back to the trail), you'll most likely be cold and damp as you descend to Sonoma Creek in a deep redwood forest. Cross a lovely bridge and pass through more redwoods until you climb up out of the creek floor.
This area is near the edge of the redwood life zone, so they thrive in the cool wet valley, but as soon as you ascend you'll be in more familiar CA scrubland. It can suddenly feel quite hot and exposed over the next section of trail.
Descend slightly to cross a road and then begin the non-stop climb to the summit of Hood Mountain. Along the way, you'll pass through beautiful open meadows, often filled with wildflowers, oak forests, and madrone groves. We've seen rattlesnakes, rabbits, and deer of course.
Near the top, take the left fork to the Gunsight Rock Overlook
. It has a terrific view over Sonoma valley, and is a much better destination than the summit of Hood Mountain, which is mostly tree covered.