Understanding the effect of land use and land cover (LULC) type change on watershed hydrological response is essential for adopting applicable measures to control floods. In China, the Grain to Green Program (GTGP) and the Natural Forest Conservation Program (NFCP) have had a substantial impact on LULC. We investigate the effect of these conservation efforts on flood peak discharge in two mountainous catchments. We used a series of Landsat images ranging from 1990 to 2016/2017 to evaluate the LULC changes. Further to this, the hydrological responses at the basin and sub-basin scale were generated by the Hydrologic Modeling System (HEC-HMS) under four LULC scenarios. Between 1990 and 2016/2017, both catchments experienced an increase in forest and urban land by 18% and 2% in Yanhe and by 16% and 8% in Guangyuan, respectively. In contrast, the agricultural land decreased by approximately 30% in Yanhe and 24% in Guangyuan, respectively. The changes in land cover resulted in decrease in flood peak discharge ranging from 14% in Yanhe to 6% in Guangyuan. These findings provide a better understanding on the impact of reforestation induced LULC change on spatial patterns of typical hydrological responses of mountainous catchment and could help to mitigate flash flood hazards in other mountainous regions.