Intense group hike

Trail View
The front of our hiking group heading through Hood Mountain Regional Park on the way to Sugarloaf Ridge.
User: Austin Explorer - 4/16/2016

Location: Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

Rating: 4stars
Difficulty: 4stars  Solitude: 4stars
Miles Hiked: 7.13 Miles  Elapsed Time: 3 hours, 51 minutes


Coppertone and I did our first hike with Bill and Dave Hikes.  The solitude rating here does not take into account the 29 people who were part of our hiking group.  Other than us, we saw few people on the trail.

We started off in the adjacent Hood Mountain Regional Park since its Los Alamos parking area is the only way to get to the McCormick Addition section of Sugarloaf Ridge.  A quick descent to Santa Rosa Creek, which was easily forded, and it was lots of climbing after that in Sugarloaf Ridge SP itself.

Our main goal of the hike was to get to the Granmother Tree, the largest Coastal Live Oak in Sonoma County.  Resting for a few moments under the grand old dame, a couple of our fellow hikers recited a couple of poems, one specifically written for the tree.

Official maps show the trail dead ending at the Grandmother Tree, but we contnued on to a lunch spot atop a peak surrounded by higher ridges.  This gorgeous spot provided over 180 degrees of vistas of forest, shrub and grassland.  We could have lingered for hours and been content.

We took a shortcut down to the Maple Glen Trail and eventually doubled back to the trailhead.  The hiking pace was brisk and the terrain tough, so much so that by the end of the hike we were exhausted.  Obviously we need to work on our endurance!

Log Photos
Trail View
Crossing Santa Rosa Creek
Santa Rosa Creek
Spread Out
Valley View
Ridge Walking
Uphill Climb
Red Hill
Big Leaf Maple
Almost there
Red Hill View
Red Hill
Heading back
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Sonoma County is 35 miles north of San Francisco on the Pacific coast. This California county is known for its wineries and a magnificent natural landscape--a picturesque mix of rugged coastline, steep cliffs, forested hillsides, and verdant agricultural valleys. The cities, towns, and villages are as diverse as the geography. Interspersed throughout the landscape are thousands of acres of undeveloped parklands, forests, and open space.

Day Hikes Around Sonoma County is a collection of 125 of the county's best day hikes, providing access to both well-known and out-of-the-way greenspace. Hikes are found along the Pacific Ocean, across the coastal ridges, into wide valleys, and through thick forests. A third of the hikes are located along the coastline, accessed by Highway 1, which connects the coastal towns as it snakes along the oceanfront cliffs and bluffs. Many coastal access points that are not easily recognized from Highway 1 are clearly described. The remaining hikes explore the inland mountains, hillsides, and valleys through numerous state parks, regional parks, and undeveloped land. Highlights include fog-shrouded redwood forests, creekside canyons, wildlife sanctuaries, lakes, tidal bays, wave-pounded coastline, and sweeping panoramic views. A wide range of hikes accommodates amateur to avid hikers, from beachfront strolls to canyon treks. Straight-forward directions and clear maps accompany all hikes. A thorough index includes cities, trails, and points of interest.