Explore 2016 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

2016 Map
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hiking
1 day ago

Beautiful hike! I did the first four miles up Oat Mine trail, it is CLOSED from that point forward through September 23 due to wildfire risk. You can turn left though and continue on Palisades trail, which I did for an additional mile- this affords you some cool views looking back down on the trail you came up. Also about a half mile down Palisades there is a cool sort of cave that makes for a shaded lunch spot. Otherwise pretty sunny trail especially after the first few miles so bring lots of water and go early. I did my hike from 10-3 pm in August and it was really hot on the way down. Parking at the trail head is free but quite limited - I had no problem finding a spot but imagine it’s more popular in the cooler months.

hiking
1 day ago

The first 4.5 mile was between easy and normal. However, the last 0.5 mile was hard. It took us 30-45 min to compete last 0.5 mile. The Lions Lakes is a reward ! we swam and took a nap before return. 6 hour to compete + 1.5 for photo, swimming and napping.

Peaceful and pleasant morning walk. A bit dusty this time of the year.

I love running this trail with my chocolate lab. There’s definitely some challenging climbs and some great single-track, technical running throughout. It’s obviously not the most challenging run, but in my opinion it’s the best in the Solano County area. It’s usually between a 6.5-7.0 mile course for me. I’ve been running and hiking these trails and hills for the past 20 years, and I’ve never ran into problems from the cows with either myself or my dogs. If you’re looking for a great local area to get in some exercise, this is the trail to do it at.

Jill B trespassed with her daughter, violating private property laws. She appears to have made it through without being caught, but most do not. Ongoing work to what was the trail is making access more difficult. The falls are patrolled and the Sherrif's office helps with enforcement. Do not assume that you can make it without being caught.

Don't be like us - check the weather beforehand so you don't end up hiking here when it's 100° outside

hiking
6 days ago

Lots of up up hill on this hike depending on which end you start. There are many trails off of this trail to extend you hike but bring plenty of water. It’s easy to get lost even with a map. Ended up near BullFrog Campgrounds. That being said our 5.2 mile hike was 9.7 miles. However it’s a great workout and much warmer than you would think for the woods. Lots of sun up on the ridge. Can’t say it enough, bring lots of water!

The falls itself were very refreshing. As for the trail, we took a different route to the falls. Right off of freeway 80 in Auburn, we took Forest hill road which leads us to Lake Clamentine road. This is more hard than the normal trail as it loses elevation pretty quickly and coming back up is fairly hard, of course if you are on foot (and we were, and it was not fun coming back up!). There is parking right off of the falls but I think it is only for people who bring their boats, and it is small which fills up quickly on a weekend.

hiking
11 days ago

The hike is mis-rated as "hard". It's an easy hike for experienced hikers/backpackers. For the less experienced day hike crowd it's a moderate hike. I absolutely loved the scenery. The show stopper though is when you reach the top of the trail there's a sharp turn that unveils the lake. Simply breathtaking. Stopped me in my tracks.

With that said, if you're not partial to rocky trails and lots of loose rock and gravel, this is not the trail for you.

hiking
11 days ago

Great demanding trail and not for the faint of heart. I’m just starting to get back in shape and this trail really challenges me. Due to time constraints and my current capabilities I took the shortcut using the Pig Farm Trail route which made it about 1.5 mile hike round trip.

This place is getting trashed unfortunately. Would be helpful to try clean up the area. We filled the only bag we had but still had to leave with a ton behind. This place/waterfall was more beautiful when there wasn’t graffiti everywhere.

hiking
13 days ago

I loved this hike/run. Having read many disparate reviews of this trail without full context, two disclaimers: 1. I only had two hours, so I had to turn around after about four miles (eight miles round trip) and 2. I do a lot of trail running/races which include lots of elevation and rough terrain. That said, I thought this was an easy trail, elevation changes were mostly very manageable if not easy. Trail was well marked (there are numerous spurs, but it is very obvious they are spurs to intermittent high points to get a view) and the surface was almost perfect for trail running with the expected exposed rock and roots along the way to add a welcomed degree of difficulty to keep it interesting. The views were awesome! From interesting rock formations to sweeping views of the valley to fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and canyons this trail offers a visual treat. Lots of opportunity to hike up to different peaks to see a variety of views. Also, seeing the ruts in the rock of old wagon wheels was really cool. Just imagining miners making the trek in mule pulled wagons up this trail is facinating.
Regrettably, I did not make it quite to the Holm's homestead, but definitely will the next time I am in Napa. I would highly recommend this trail to anyone, but especially trail runners who want elevation gain. If you are not accustomed to hiking/trail running, this is still a great trail, but just be prepared and be realistic about your physical conditioning. A few things to keep in mind. First, there is very limited parking at the base of this trail. If you do not get there early, I would suggest parking toward Calistoga and walking over. Second, I would suggest starting early as I am sure it gets very warm later in the day and the only water will be what you bring. Third, definitely take the time to hike up some of the separate spurs from the trail for additional views. This trail, compared to Bothe and the Robert Louis Stevenson Trail to the Mt. St. Helena peak, is far superior in my opinion. Views are just as good as Mt. St. Helena and although you do not have the redwoods of Bothe, there are a lot of trees and beautiful rock formations. I also saw lots of wildlife (fortunately, no mountain lions!) including a large jack rabbit that sat patiently as I fumbled with my iPhone to take several pictures of him from about five feet away. To sum up, great trail, awesome views, and a great workout! Have fun and be safe! Go Billikens!

hiking
14 days ago

New to all trails and thought how hard could a trail rated hard be. It was hard. Super steep on my way down I seriously thought to myself "this is going to suck coming back up"..... and it did. The river at the bottom was great super clear and calm by the bridge. I brought my 1 year old german shepard and she did fine but I could tell she was not feeling it. Lots of poison oak and mosquitos. I didn't bring repellent and I wish I did. it was pretty bad for me AND the dog. About 3/4 the way back up I almost stepped on a rattlesnake right in the middle of the trail. Had to jump and yank my dog out of the way. I don't hike as much as I'd like too and if you don't get out to hike much I'd recommend a different hike to get a little more in shape before this. My legs are jello now.

Wild flowers are now pretty much gone. Granite Lake is a nice little alpine lake but Hidden lake is nothing more than a glorified pond. If you are hiking for the exercise then walking to Hidden Lake is worthwhile. If your going to see a nice classic Sierra lake don’t bother. At least the mosquitoes are gone.

Very nice fairly easy hike. Lots of great side trails down to the river. Enjoyed a quick dip to cool off. It was very enjoyable and I will be back.

On this day had a special opportunity to meet down to earth ..celebrity couple..” A glimpse of our lives”

hiking
15 days ago

Nice mix of terrain but not much shade and can get hot, lakes and creek are nice place to cool off. On my trip to Island Lake we didn't see a lot of places to easily relax by the lake but we didn't explore all around the lake either. As others have stated, picking up the trail on the granite sections may be more difficult for newer hikers.

Beautiful trail! It...is...difficult! Come prepared! I didn’t and payed the price. I vomited but luckily enough some people on the trail helped me out by giving me water and electrolytes. Please be careful and bring enough water or know when to call it quits. Aside from that it was a very pretty trail!

Fantastic hike. I recommend for experienced hikers only.

hiking
16 days ago

I grew up in the area and never knew about this trail til recently. There's a good sized parking lot at the trailhead and a very established trail loop to the top. I went clock-wise on the loop and enjoyed the quick ascent (maybe 30 minutes to the top or so). Not much shade up top, and I went on a hot day, so be sure to have plenty of water if you go in the summer. Overall, a great little hike with some nice views of Melones reservoir.

nice easy trail. nice scenery . water is clear and cool to jump in for a dip after your hike. easy walk for whole family. best do do early morning to have a an easy hike . highly recommended.

great run this morning along the lake with easy elevation gain. Didnt see anybody else on the trail so had this granite lake heaven trail all to myself.

This trail has become one of our favorite trails in the El Dorado/ Tahoe area. The views from the Hemlock and Smith Lake are amazing (there was even some snow on the northeast side of the lake, where the granite wall prevents the sun from reaching).
The full trail (back and forth) is 9.8 miles instead of 5.5 miles as originally reported (we had a tracking device that recorded the distance and altitude gain; and if you check the full map here and add the distances, you'll see that it's close to 5 miles one-way).
As mentioned before, the trail is well-visible until a certain point (up to where it splits with the Twin Lakes 16E12); from that point on, it's essential to have some guidance (the AllTrails map works great), keep an eyes on the stacked rocks too.
On our way back, we saw some commotion due to someone getting lost (there are too many splits) and the Rangers and El Dorado Police had to be called (when we got back to the parking lot, we heard that they had found the guy).

If you are going on a weekend, chances are that the parking lot by the trailhead will be full. Don't park by the cabins or by the road or you will get a ticket. Park at one of the two Wrights Lake parking lots.

hiking
17 days ago

We were looking for a reasonably challenging hike with great views that we could do in under two hours. While no way to make the entire trail that quick, it was perfect, with a wide, well groomed trail through at least the first two miles. Super close to downtown Calistoga. Looking forward to going back to do the full trail.

Great hike!! I'm not so sure on the accuracy of the mileage (as stated in the synopsis). It seems quite a bit shorter than 7.3 miles. Going down is very steep and does some nice jamming damage to the toes, but is very shaded and the trail is clean and clear. As stated, the way up is a tough one, but totally doable with a number of flat-ish spots to rest, if need be.

Once at the bottom, you can cross the bridge and navigate your way down to the water. It is amazing!! But if you're going for a bit longer of a hike, the trail picks up on the other side of the bridge and carries on for quite some time. I walked on and up for another 2.5 hours on the trail which eventually opened up into a person's private property and a utility road. The road carried on for some time - mostly shaded. I eventually turned around and went back to the river, over the bridge and to that arduous climb!

Absolutely beautiful and would definitely do it again!

It is an enjoyable trail, I was a little disappointed to see vehicle traffic upon reaching the lake, access to the lake is almost non existant by foot. I will definelty take the hike to the swimming holes next time. Parking is pretty bad as well. That's to be expected. It is a beautiful area.

The hike/walk to the waterfall was very nice, we got there later than we wanted to, we got there at 10:30AM. It’s definitely up to you and your enjoyment but due to the heat and very little shade, I recommend getting there earlier. But the sun did feel very nice on my skin ☀️ and don’t forget your sunblock. We took the upper trail that lead to the waterfall. It took us a little over an hour to get to the waterfall then we climbed our way down to swimming hole. The waterfall was very nice but the scenery to the river was gorgeous! I could have spent forever there. One more thing, if you decide to take your pet(s) please check the weather, go as early as possible, and take a lot of water. We ran into a few very hot and dehydrated pets. Fortunately my friend was a genius and brought quite a few water bottles with her that we were able to give water away to them. Please be safe.

Pretty view and steady elevation but kinda boring just walking so long with little to stop and explore the higher you go up the hill

20 days ago

This was a really beautiful hike but I thought the trail could have been market better. We somehow veered left somewhere on the tail and ended up very lost and had to climb up a lot of rocks to get back to the trail. If you don’t get lost, this trail is great and the lake at the top is very refreshing on a warm day!

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