Kevin Calhoun

about 2 years ago


I love loops like this- offering expansive views of unique scenery while keeping you challenged with the ridge climbs There are many other trails to explore in the area, check it out if you are ever nearby

Back country hiking

For the Sonoma Area, this is about as isolated as it gets. This is very untraveled trail, so ensure you know where you are going and that you are fully prepared with proper gear food and water. During the summer season it gets very hot and the creeks will dry up for the most part, offering very little water to filter. There are a few sections where i lost sight of any trail due to blow-over or wash-out, so using a GPS map will offer a sense of safety here.

One of my favorites

This park is amazing! It offers such unique scenery, incredibly massive trees, and crowds like no other 😂 however if you are up to a good hike, take either Pool Ridge on the left or East Ridge on the Right for some Quad Burning exercise. Although it has some breaks through the climb, it can get steep and it is fairly relentless, so be ready to climb. Thankfully the trees offer amazing protection. My favorite part of this park is that Austin Creek is right behind, and once youve hit the ridgeline you can choose to drop down the backside into Austin Creek, which is completely different. If choosing this option, be prepared as there is decent elevation gain and no potable water, although with proper filtration Austin Creek would be able to help in times of distress

Seriously tough

This is one that needs preparation. Begin at the Oat Hill Mine Trailhead, take the 4 miles to the Palisades Trailhead, and begin the 6 mile journey towards Table Rock. As you close in on Table Rock, it will become obvious as the ground becomes really rough and technical. Table Rock is still roughly 2 miles from the highway 29 trailhead, so once you break through it will feel incredible to finally accomplish the hike. This is where, hopefully, you will have a car waiting. If not, there are really only 2 options.... back track through that savage, relentless trail, which is certainly not often traveled and hardly maintained, or follow the shoulder of highway 29 and hope that the drivers are paying enough attention! This is not the toughest trail I have seen thus far, but given how isolated you will quickly become as well as the lack of water throughout, this is a tougher than normal day trip

Great Trail Running Training Spot

While this trail may not be for someone looking for a forest hike, this offers a beauty of its own. St Helena is brutally exposed just about the entire time, and can get scorching hot, yet catch this trail during the winter and youll need some crampons to not be slipping and sliding everywhere. The nice wide trail offers easy passing by other hikers, there are generally some climbers on what is apparently called “The Bubble”, which I always find quite fascinating. The peak, although a bit distracting by the towers, offers gorgeous views on most days. However, as described, it gets windy, so be prepared that although you will warm up on the hike up, while relaxing at the summit you may find yourself a bit chilly


Oat Hill is a great way to see the cute town of Calistoga! This begins with elevation immediately, and you will feel it pretty hard! It does have shade at times, but dont necessarily count on it as this hike can get to be hot! It begins with some wooded sections, and will eventually break into a rockier section, with some rough areas to walk over so keep an eye on those ankles! Hiking poles will be welcomed here. Once the Palisades appear, They completely shocked me on my first visit. Simply stunning, and after seeing a side trail that follows them i had to make that another days adventure. If your experienced enough and up for a challenge, the Palisades Trail (4 miles into the Oat Hill Mine Trail) will bring you to Table Rock after about 6 miles and eventually the base of Mt St. Helena, which if another really tough hike! Bringing in the full out and back will be a 31 mile journey, with nearly 9,000 ft of elevation gain

Love it

Loving in Santa Rosa, sugarloaf is only a quick 30 minute drive, which makes this a really great hike if I don’t want it to be a full day experience. Sugarloaf offers many amazing options- The first of which, is parking at the very base of the mountain. While driving up to the ranger station, you will find an extremely small parking lot at the Goodspeed trailhead that leads to Hood Mountain. This also will lead you to Sugarloaf by following the road up. You can turn off onto Pony Gate trail and add some great mileage plus amazing views. If parking at the Ranger Station, the many trails up is always fun to play with. The fire road mentioned in the description is amazing for trail running, and it is not technical at all, just fairly brutal with its elevation and exposed style. The other main option is Gray Pine trail, which is much more of a forest hike, but also much tougher with how steep/slippery it can get on the dirt. Regardless you will stoked the entire time. At the top, i love that there are maps on both the North and South side showing the main mountains/ridges in the distance

about 2 years ago

One of the best in the area

Im a bit confused about the description listed- everything is correct until the Goodspeed trail is mentioned, this trail follows the south/west section of the mountain, while the directions should have you begin on the north side of the mountain. Regardless, the trail up is gorgeous, but this a big hike to accomplish for a beginner. It has many switchbacks after following the Santa Rosa creek for a mile-ish, and those switchbacks are hot and exposed. They are also quite, quite steep, and the footing can get a bit loose so bring solid footwear. Following the switchbacks, youll find the fire road described. Taking a left here will bring you to private property, while a right will follow the fire road towards a fork that can continue up, or bring you to the Pythian trailhead. If you continue straight through this fire road it becomes VERY narrow singletrack, with low brush surrounding/poking you. Stay focused and it will eventually break out into the summit

Not worth traveling for, but amazing if your local

This wont give you the views you may want if your traveling for a hike, but for being right in Santa Rosa this hike is amazing! Fantastic elevation gain, certain sections will certainly kick your butt, and while the top is not as amazing as many other mountains it will give a decent panorama of Santa Rosa on one side with the Kenwood ridges on the other, and on clear days even a nice sight of Mt St. Helena This hike is exposed, the bottom has some tree coverage but only for about half a mile. Bring plenty of water on your journey