Hike Date: March 22, 2014
Distance: ~ 8.3 miles
Trail(s): Meadow Trail, Hillside Trail, Brushy Peaks Trail, Planet Walk, Gray Pine Trail, Bald Mountain Trail, Bay Area Ridge Trail, Lower Bald Mountain Trail
Where’s it at? Kenwood, CA east of Hwy 12 in Sonoma Valley


Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is one of my favorites up here in the north bay. Now run by Team Sugarloaf – a nonprofit organization, this park packs a lot of offerings into a relatively small area including 25 miles of hiking trails! The San Francisco Bay Area Ridge Trail runs through the northern side of the park to the incredibly scenic peaks of Red Mountain and Bald Mountain. My personal opinion is that Bald Mountain’s north bay views are up there among the best. Sure you can see further from Mount Hood, Mt. Tamalpais and Mount Saint Helena, but this gives you 360 degree panorama views some of which show few traces of man-made structures. At the top of Bald Mountain are some (now weathered) plaques showing the peaks that can be seen from the top.

I haven’t been to the observatory yet but apparently it has one of the largest telescopes at the public’s disposal. I have found nary a hike more interesting than the Planet Walk in this park which gives you the impression of our solar system’s planetary distances realized through a hike with signposts showing scale and information of our neighboring planets. And yes, Pluto is still considered a planet here. It is the furthest from the sun though my understanding is that during parts of its orbit it is actually closer than Neptune. I’ll have to brush up on my Discovery and Science channel documentaries to be sure!

While I haven’t camped here yet but it looks to be a great spot to do so. A link to their camping brochure is further down in this post.

There is supposedly a 25 foot seasonal waterfall here. I’ve never visited that trail during the right time of year but frankly, this park doesn’t need that to keep my interest. However, I do want to see it in its full glory and will need to come back during a wetter year.

If you’re looking for some good hiking and views in the north bay, Sugarloaf Ridge should be on your list of prospects. This is one of the few parks that I mention twice on this blog. Here are some photos of Sugarloaf Ridge on a more cloudy day. I really liked the photos I got on that visit.

Photos from Hiking Sugarloaf Ridge State Park (click to enlarge)

Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP
Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP
http://timsartoris.com/blog/brushy-peaks-and-bald-mountain-hike-at-sugarloaf-ridge http://timsartoris.com/blog/brushy-peaks-and-bald-mountain-hike-at-sugarloaf-ridge http://timsartoris.com/blog/brushy-peaks-and-bald-mountain-hike-at-sugarloaf-ridge
http://timsartoris.com/blog/brushy-peaks-and-bald-mountain-hike-at-sugarloaf-ridge http://timsartoris.com/blog/brushy-peaks-and-bald-mountain-hike-at-sugarloaf-ridge http://timsartoris.com/blog/brushy-peaks-and-bald-mountain-hike-at-sugarloaf-ridge
Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP
Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP
Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP
Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP
Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP
Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP
Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP
Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP
Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP Hiking the Brushy Peaks Trail to Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge SP

Created by Google My Tracks on Android Name: Bald Mountain Brushy Hill
Activity type: hiking
Description: –
Total distance: 13.28 km (8.3 mi)
Total time: 3:33:03
Moving time: 3:27:07
Average speed: 3.74 km/h (2.3 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 3.85 km/h (2.4 mi/h)
Max speed: 5.40 km/h (3.4 mi/h)
Average pace: 16:02 min/km (25:49 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 15:36 min/km (25:06 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 11:07 min/km (17:53 min/mi)
Max elevation: 799 m (2620 ft)
Min elevation: 310 m (1017 ft)
Elevation gain: 973 m (3191 ft)
Max grade: 181 %
Min grade: -29 %
Recorded: 3/22 10:55 AM

MyTracks from Sugarloaf Ridge State Park


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