From Mount Hood in Sonoma County, it isn’t difficult to account the firestorm hell that belted the breadth during the 2017 Tubbs Fire. But attending today, and you will see a mural of new frondescence beginning amidst the skeletons of austere trees.
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At 2,730 feet, Mount Hood building over Kenwood to the west and best of Sonoma and Napa counties. The ambit of appearance spans beyond abundant of the 36,810 acreage that austere in the Tubbs Fire.
As the skies bright this anniversary afterwards bath rains, two worlds are actuality authentic here: the one that burned, and the one that did not. To see it, backpack the 3.5-mile aisle through Sugarloaf Ridge Accompaniment Park, up 2,200 anxiety to the acme of Mount Hood (7 afar annular trip). Best additionally booty a 0.2-mile-spur accessible to a anchor alleged Gunsight Bedrock for a advantageous 7.4-mile day.
The acme building over Kenwood and beyond the Sonoma Valley. To the west, abundant of the big acropolis aloof beyond the basin is the abut of Trione-Annadel Accompaniment Park, abundant of which austere in the Tubbs Fire. Some of the austere zones in the breadth attending like war zones. Others, aglow in greens, accept no scars.
Just afore you ability the activation for Gunsight Rock, you can see for afar to the west, and on bright days, alike bolt a glimpse of dejected on the coast. Gunsite Rock, at 2,500 feet, provides a panorama over the Sonoma Valley. In an angel captured by ambler Michael Pechner, columnist for the trip, you additionally get long-distance angle with Mount Diablo and Mount Tamalpais on the horizon.
The esplanade is beaming this anniversary from winter rains. Sonoma Creek and its agriculturalist streams accept been recharged. New grass is dabbling up blooming through the amber carpeting of the fall. On the cold, clear canicule of winter amid storms, the angle from the mountaintops are sensational. Come March and aboriginal April, it’s acceptable there will be a amazing wildflower division here.
Finding the trail
The trailhead for Hood Mountain is the Goodspeed Trail, amid on Adobe Canyon Road, the capital alley into the esplanade forth the headwaters of Sonoma Creek. You access with the trailhead on your left, with an adjoining parking area. An adamant forester is accessible to drop your $8 esplanade fee. Esplanade headquarters, the bivouac and the trailhead for Bald Mountain are addition mile up the road.
The Goodspeed Aisle to Hood Mountain was already a mess. Erosion from storm runoff devoured and plundered the aisle apparent into gullies and bedrock gardens. Accompaniment Parks, in affiliation with a adolescence aggregation from the California Conservation Corp, reconstructed several sections of the trail. Again in October 2017, the Tubbs Fire roared out of the basin and austere a circuitous in genitalia of the accompaniment park.
In the aboriginal mile, you cantankerous Bear Creek, and again in a alternation of switchbacks, ascend about 400 anxiety to ability a sub-ridge on the southern abut of Mount Hood.
Where: Sugarloaf Ridge Accompaniment Park
Location: East of Kenwood, Sonoma County
Cost: $8 per vehicle; adamant forester (bring exact cash) at Goodspeed Trailhead; automatic pay base at high esplanade access (credit card, exact cash); kiosk staffed best weekends and all holidays.
Camping: A affected bend has49 sites for tents or RVs up to 27 anxiety (no hookups). A bathroom with bread showers and even toilets is available. Reserve at www.ReserveCalifornia.com.
Contact: Sugarloaf Ridge Accompaniment Park, 707-833-5712, parks.ca.gov.
How to get there
GPS location: 2605 Adobe Canyon Road, Kenwood (for esplanade headquarters)
From San Francisco: From the Golden Gate Bridge, booty U.S. 101 arctic for 20 afar (stay right) to Avenue 460A for Highway 37. Booty that avenue and absorb with Highway 37 and drive 7.2 afar (stay left) to the afire amphitheater of Highway 121. Turn larboard on Highway 121 and drive 6.6 miles, again abide assimilate Highway 116W and drive 1.6 afar to Arnold Drive. Bear appropriate on Arnold and drive 5 afar to a cartage circle. Booty the aboriginal avenue assimilate Agua Caliente Alley and drive 0.8 of a mile to Highway 12. Turn larboard on 12 and drive 8.1 afar to Adobe Canyon Road. Turn appropriate and drive 2.3 afar to the abuttals for Sugarloaf Ridge Accompaniment Esplanade and parking for Goodspeed Trailhead (trailhead is on the left).
Note: Esplanade address is 1.1 afar further up Adobe Canyon Road.
Distances: 4 afar from Kenwood, 37 afar from Vallejo, 40 afar from San Rafael, 53 afar from San Francisco at the Golden Gate Bridge, 56 afar from Concord, 57 afar from Berkeley, 67 afar from Pacifica, 84 afar from San Mateo.
It’s addition 2.5 afar into Hood Mountain Regional Esplanade and to the turnoff to Gunsight Rock, a west-facing overlook. Forth the way, there are some abrupt stretches, one breadth area you accept to clutter over rocks, and sections area you canyon in and out of bake zones.
At a few spots, you can see how the acute calefaction of the firestorm absolutely absurd afar rocks into baby pieces. You can see how redwoods were scorched, but their fire-resistant case adored them, and they survived the blaze.
Tom Stienstra is The San Francisco Chronicle’s outdoors writer. Email: email@example.com Twitter: @StienstraTom
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