Day Hikes Around Napa Valley  by Robert Stone

Day Hikes Around Napa Valley Guide Book

by Robert Stone (Day Hike Books)
Day Hikes Around Napa Valley  by Robert Stone
Napa Valley is a beautiful, verdant basin framed by mountain ranges running parallel to the wide valley bottom. Thousands of acres of public greenspace lie interspersed amongst the region's world-renown wineries. This comprehensive collection of 88 great day hikes provides access to the many trails though the valley, across mountain ranges, alongside bays and rivers, and through cool forests. A wide range of hikes accommodates amateau to avid hikers, from urban strolls to panoramic peak trails.

© 2008 Robert Stone/Day Hike Books. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Day Hikes Around Napa Valley" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 64.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 64.

Alston Park covers 157 acres in the unobstructed rolling hills of northwest Napa. The open-space park, owned by the city of Napa, was made public in 1991. Alston Park has three miles of meandering trails that are open to equestrians, mountain bikers, hikers, and dog walkers. Redwood Creek, a tributary of the Napa River, forms the park’s western boundary. This hike climbs to the upper area known as Canine Commons, a popular off-leash dog area. The trail circles the oak-dotted grassland through an old plum orchard on the south and wildflower- covered meadows with oak and madrone groves to the north. The hike detours into the shaded canyon by Redwood Creek and leads to picnic areas and overlooks, offering sweeping vistas of the city of Napa and Napa Valley.
Napa, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.5
Sonoma Creek forms from three ephemeral forks on the east slope of Bald Mountain and Red Mountain. The Headwaters Trail is a scenic half-mile trail that skirts the western fork of Sonoma Creek in a fern-filled oasis, connecting the Red Mountain Trail with the Vista Trail. The Vista Trail leads through a lush forested corridor, crossing a couple of ravines with small streams, and traverses a grassy hillside. This hike begins on the Bald Mountain Trail and forms a loop on the Headwaters and Vista Trails, returning through the park meadow along the banks of Sonoma Creek.
Kenwood, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.2
Lake Berryessa is a man-made reservoir on the rural and wild eastern side of Napa County. Prior to the inundation of the reservoir, Berryessa Valley was a productive agricultural region. Monticello, the main town in the valley, was abandoned in order to construct the reservoir. Monticello Dam, built in 1957, rises to a height of 304 feet and spans over a thousand feet across Devil’s Gate Canyon on Putah Creek at the southern end of the reservoir. The 26-mile-long lake covers 19,250 acres and is among the largest lakes in California.
Angwin, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.9
Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve encompasses 576 acres in the Vaca Mountains just east of Napa County in Solano County. The reserve lies in the steep canyons of the northern coastal range and includes the drainages of Cold Canyon and Wild Horse Canyon. Most of the land bordering the reserve is public, adding approximately 4,000 acres of protected rugged wildlands (predominantly U.S. Bureau of Land Management and California Department of Fish and Game land). The undisturbed habitats include valley and foothill grasslands, blue oak woodlands, chaparral-covered slopes, and mixed riparian woodlands with year-round springs and intermittent streams.
Winters, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 5
Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest encompasses 3,493 acres in the Mayacamas Mountains by the town of Cobb. Wappo Indians traveled through this area annually en route to their fishing and obsidian quarries at Clear Lake. In the late 1800s, Henry Boggs owned the land and used it for grazing livestock and timber operations with steam-powered sawmill sites. Boggs sold it to the Calso Company, who used the land for timber harvesting before selling it to the state of California. The state forest was established in 1949. It uses the land as a demonstration forest to grow and harvest trees; for wildlife habitation; as a watershed; and for recreation, including deer hunting, camping, picnicking, hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
Calistoga, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.7
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park contains three distinct ecological systems. In Sonoma Creek Canyon are riparian redwood forests that also include Douglas fir, gray pines, big-leaf maple, California bay laurel, and California buckeye. Along the open meadows are oak and fir woodlands. Atop the dry exposed ridges are chaparral varieties, including manzanita, toyon, coyote brush, and chamise. This loop hike explores all three habitats. The first half of the hike follows the Planet Walk. This interpretive trail illustrates the size of our solar system by reducing its size over two billion times to fit within the park boundaries.
Kenwood, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.5
Anderson Marsh State Historic Park is a 1,000-acre protected nature preserve on the southeast corner of Clear Lake. It lies between the towns of Clearlake and Lower Lake. The fragile tule marsh habitat is a vital part of the Clear Lake ecosystem. The protected habitat includes freshwater marsh, oak woodland, riparian vegetation, and grasslands, providing protection, food, and breeding areas for a variety of wildlife. The southeastern Pomo Indians lived in the area. The marsh’s archaeological sites, among the oldest in California, date back more than 10,000 years. The Pomo Indians were expert basket weavers and tule boat builders. They made bows and arrows with tools made from local stone and obsidian.
Lower Lake, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.8
The Cache Creek Natural Area is a secluded hilly expanse east of Clear Lake. Elevations range from 3,196 feet atop Brushy Sky High down to 600 feet at the eastern end of Cache Creek along Route 16. The primitive area offers recreational opportunities that include river running, hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, equestrian use, bird watching, and hiking. More than 154 species of birds have been spotted in the Cache Creek area, including bald eagle during the winter, great blue herons, belted kingfishers, and wild turkeys. Free-roaming tule elk and blacktail deer may be spotted grazing in the open grasslands and on hillsides near brushy cover.
Clearlake, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.5
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park (pronounced bo-thay) sits in the heart of Napa Valley between Calistoga and Saint Helena. The rugged state park was founded in 1960. Before 1960, the park was a private resort owned by Reinhold Bothe. The diverse geography includes heavily forested north-facing slopes and canyons, while the sunny south-facing slopes are covered with brush, oaks, and manzanita. The easternmost stands of coastal redwoods grow in the lush riparian habitats near the creeks and springs. This hike begins in lower Ritchey Canyon along Ritchey Creek under big-leaf maples, oaks, madrones, and redwoods.
Calistoga, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.5
Houghton Creek, a tributary of Kelsey Creek, forms along the hillside in Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest. The Creek Trail parallels Houghton Creek through a narrow canyon amid shady fern gardens, trillium, and wild grapes. A woodland of sugar pines, Douglas firs, dogwoods, and alders envelops the trail. The hike begins on Forestry Road just past the fire station and leads to Calso Campground. Trail maps are located at the kiosk across from the fire station.
Cobb, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.5
The Creekside Nature Trail is an easy 0.75- mile loop on the valley floor of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. The trail meanders along the banks of Sonoma Creek and Rattlesnake Creek through a forest of coast live oak, white oak, black oak, Douglas fir, California bay laurel, coyote brush, and Oregon ash. En route are overlooks of Hood Mountain, Red Mountain, Bald Mountain, and Sugarloaf Ridge. The nature trail has 17 numbered posts that correspond with a free pamphlet available from the ranger station by the park entrance.
Kenwood, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.75
Clear Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake within California. It stretches over 68 square miles and has more than 100 miles of shoreline. The scenic lake sits in a broad basin surrounded by the coastal mountain ranges and is one of the oldest lakes in North America, dating back 2.5 million years. Clear Lake State Park, established in the 1940s, is located on the southwestern shore of the lake along Soda Bay. The 565-acre park sits at the northern base of prominent Mount Konocti, a 4,300-foot volcanic cone. The park is a refuge and nesting place for waterfowl, attracting over 150 bird species. Within the park are two miles of shoreline with boat ramps, docking facilities, a sandy beach for swimming, picnic sites, two creeks, and four developed campgrounds. A visitor center houses interpretive displays about the lake, geology, history, and wildlife of the area.
Kelseyville, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.5
This is the third route to the Hood Mountain summit and the Gunsight Rock Overlook. The trail begins on the west side of the mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. The hike utilizes the Goodspeed and Nattkemper Trails, overlooking Sonoma Valley while crossing the southwest-facing, sunexposed slope of Hood Mountain. En route, the trail enters Hood Mountain Regional Park, leading to the 2,730-foot summit and the Gunsight Rock Overlook, a distinctive formation of massive rocks perched on the cliffs just beneath the summit. The views from the overlook are fantastic.
Kenwood, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 7
Rockville Hills Regional Park sits on the rolling, oak-studded hills in Solano County between Green Valley and Suisun Valley. Green Valley, originally a wheat-growing region, is now a fruit producing area due to its flat terrain and ease of irrigation. Twenty miles of rolling fire roads and twisting single-track trails wind through this beautiful park. A short climb from the trailhead brings you to a grassy plateau that overlooks Upper Lake, the oak-dotted valley, volcanic outcroppings, and the small surrounding peaks. This hike visits Upper Lake and descends on the southwest slope of Rockville Hills Park into Green Valley. The trails weave through groves of blue oak, coast live oak, valley oak, buckeye, and maple.
Fairfield, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4
Grizzly Island Wildlife Area lies in the heart of Suisun Marsh south of Fairfield and Suisun City. The larger Grizzly Island complex, managed by the California Department of Fish and Game, encompasses 15,300 acres, of which 8,600 acres are the wildlife area. The 100,000-acre Suisun Marsh is located where the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers blend with the ocean tides. It is the largest estuarine marsh in the continental United States. The area is comprised of tidal flats, salt marshes, managed wetlands, sloughs, seasonal ponds, and upland fields. The wetlands shelter thousands of shorebirds and more than 100,000 wintering waterfowl, including over 230 bird species. The sloughs contain large populations of river otters, while native tule elk are frequently spotted in the upland fields. The recreational opportunities include fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, bird watching, nature study, and 75 miles of hiking roads and trails.
Suisun City, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.5
The Historic Oat Hill Mine Road is an old mining road between the town of Calistoga and Pope Valley. This hiking-biking section of the trail is the reverse of the Hike 14 shuttle, for those who wish to walk only this end of the trail up to Holm’s Place. The remote county-built road, completed in 1893, was used by freight wagons hauling quicksilver from the mines to the railroad in Calistoga. Grooves in the rockbed from the wagon wheels are still visible. The rocky, rutted road (closed in 1979) rigorously climbs from 400 feet to 2,300 feet.
Calistoga, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 9
Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest has a complex trail network of interconnecting dirt roads and single track footpaths that stretch over the forest’s 3,493 acres. With elevations ranging from 2,400 feet to 3,750 feet, the diverse trail system explores meadows, ridgetops, dense forests, and riparian corridors. The forests are thick with ponderosa pine, sugar pine, California black oaks, Douglas firs, western red cedar, dogwoods, and big-leaf maples. This seldomtraveled area is a great place to hike, away from the crowds.
Cobb, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
Lake Berryessa sits in the mountainous eastern side of Napa County about 40 minutes from Napa Valley. Monticello Dam, located 9 miles west of Winters on Putah Creek, restrains Lake Berryessa. Prior to 1957 (before the dam was built), it was the site of Monticello Valley and the small farming community of Monticello. The remains of the townsite are deep beneath the surface of the lake. Just downstream from Monticello Dam lies Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve, a holding in the University of California Natural Reserve System.
Winters, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
This hike is a 9.4-mile, one-way shuttle. The hike climbs from Sonoma Valley, up to the Hood Mountain summit, and down into Adobe Canyon. Hood Mountain, located on the southern end of the Mayacamas Range, is the highest peak along the Sonoma-Napa county line. Along the hike are expansive views of Sonoma Valley and the coastal mountains. The diverse route winds through canyons; climbs over ridgetops; and passes through open grasslands, mixed woodlands, Sargent cypress, and a pygmy forest of Mendocino cypress.
Saint Helena, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 9.4
Hood Mountain Regional Park sits in the Mayacamas Mountains five miles east of Santa Rosa, adjacent to Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. The 5,800-acre wilderness park has elevations ranging from 650 feet above sea level to 2,730 feet atop the crest of Hood Mountain. The park contains the headwaters of Santa Rosa Creek and tributaries that feed Sonoma Creek. The diverse park includes rolling meadows, deep canyons, sheer wooded slopes, and dramatic rock outcroppings.
Santa Rosa, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 11.8

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