Berryessa Peak Trail

HARD 25 reviews

Berryessa Peak Trail is a 14.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Napa, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from January until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
14.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3684 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

muddy

over grown

rocky

Seven miles up, seven miles down, a strenuous, 8-hour adventure above the north shore of Lake Berryessa. The trail is mostly on the Napa County side of the peak, with a brief dip into Yolo County on the approach to the summit. Beautiful, mostly single-track hike through chaparral to a 3-part summit with views of Diablo, Tam, the Mayacamas, St. Helena, Cobb, Konocti, the Mendocino National Forest's Goat Mountain and Snow Mountain, Lassen, Sutter Buttes, Sierra Buttes, downtown Sacramento, and Lake Berryessa. When especially clear, views of Shasta and the Sierra Nevada are possible. Not suitable for dogs, horses, bikes. Expect a little mud. Spring wildflowers are mediocre. The winds get severe when a front comes through, so watch the weather before you go. It is important to stay on the trail for the whole hike in order not to trespass on private hunting lands. In the chaparral, after a brief but rather steep ascent, the trail crosses a barbed-wire fence.

hiking
3 months ago

Man oh man was I unprepared for this hike! This is a strenuous hike, up and down with little to no coverage. Very little water sources so I would decide against a life straw and bring all of your water, though to bring for back up is always good. There are multiple long description of this hike that are great and really accurate so I will just say a few things I think they were missing.

If doing this hike again I could stop at the first main view which was about 11-12 miles in. It's a gorgeous view of the entire valley right after you descend up a lot of rocks. Trust me when I say you will know it when you see it. You are supposed to keep going and the end is actually when you reach the top of the two metal towers. The reason I would stop at the first view is the trail gets ugly from there and honestly kind of ruined the beauty of everything for me. The trail dumps you onto a gravel road which you follow for about 2 miles until you reach the top of the mountain, again where the metal towers are. After looking at pictures from both vantage points, there is no difference in views the hike is a lot more enjoyable if you don't witness the electric boxes, metal towers and civilization crap.

Also, we had two dogs with us. If your dog is not a seasoned trail dog PLEASE for the love of all humanity, do NOT do the entire trail or do not take your dog. Our dogs were both limpy, covered in ticks and were completely and utterly pushed passed their limit, but there was not much we could do. Literally had to carry a 60 lb dog for 2 miles downhill just to give her a break. The 2 creeks definitely gave her life once we reached them, but they are far from the "peak". The ticks I had to deal with for up to 2 weeks later, they are gross and disgusting. We did not find any on them until the sun started to go down so I would suggest to get there early and leave early. With how many complications we had on trail though it was impossible for us the finish the trail before sundown which is why we got caught in peak tick-time.

Still giving it a 4 star review though because it was a great hike, definitely overgrown, fantastic views, secluded and great challenge!

trail running
3 months ago

This trail is really overgrown!! But still doable totally. I ran in my shorts and the whole time i was thinking of ticks! I run with my dog so i kept on checking on him but didn't really start getting them until the way down.

The fist 3 miles are somewhat easy but then comes the really steep part! After mile three is steep and high!! Around mile 5 there is a 1/4 mile of downhills until you connect with the fire road. From there is steep all the way to the end of this map but you can probably keep on going if you wanted to.

On way down having really good traction shoes is the key!! You're still gonna fall a couple times if you are trail running. There is a good climb on way back but after that steep climb is all downhill till you get back to the car.

I would totally do this trail again! Check yourself of ticks!! On way down, about 2 miles from car by the small creeks there was sooo many ticks!! Be ware they were crawling all over my shoes like ants! Caught a couple trying to crawl up my legs and flicked them off.

Ware shoe gators for the tall grasses. 14.87 miles @ 3 hrs 19 minutes 22 seconds

Enjoy!!!

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

This trail was beautiful! I definitely recommend going on a cool day because it really gets hot and there is a lot of sun exposure. It was in the 60s when we went and was perfect.

The actual trail is now really over grown. The first few miles you are basically walking through the tall grass and in other parts of the trail you are fighting through trees and branches. The trailhead is also hard to spot from the road so you really have to look for it but there is a sign off the road that says Berryessa Peak Trail.

It is a tough one - you go up a steep slope, back down, then up again to the peak. The uphills are steep but at least it levels out in between and is not just uphill the entire time.

It is very secluded - I did not see another person there the entire time. It would probably be best not to go alone on this one.

Overall I recommend because it's beautiful and really challenging!

hiking
4 months ago

5 months ago

This trail was awesome! right when you start make sure you go to the road on the left. The first time we went right and then tried to find our way back to the main trail when we realized we went the wrong way. not a good start. went again last weekend and made it all the way. not going to lie it kicked our ass but it was beautiful. I wouldn't recommend it if it's above 85 degrees. easy to dehydrate. all in all I recommend this trail.

hiking
6 months ago

Make no mistake this trail is a butt-kicker. You're going to be hiking up and down two separate peaks to get to the summit and most times you're going straight up the slope without cross-backs. This trail is not subtle about its vertical gains. The trial runs the gamut from being wide and flat to extremely narrow, rocky, and steep and goes through two different environments the first being a grassy rolling hillside area with multiple stream crossings in the winter and the second being more of a dessert climate with tons of rocks to navigate. You're definitely gunna have to do some scrambling up and over rocks and you definitely need to keep your eyes on the trail and watch your step. However, the pay off is extraordinary. The views on the mountains are incredible even if you don't take the trail all the way to the end. Those of you who go all the way to the peak though will be treated to stunning 360 degree views spanning almost all of Lake Berryessa on one side and the Sacramento Valley on the other. Which is great since the peak is only the halfway point and you'll need to ride that visual high 7.2 miles back the way you came to get out.

Keep in mind that this trail is also very secluded and low traffic. I chose to practice some backpacking while I was here and spent about 24hrs in the trail zone and didn't encounter a single other person the entire time. So if you're afraid of silly things like dying alone in a wilderness accident, its probably best to bring a buddy.

All in all this trial is great if you want a challenging hike, with crazy low traffic, and world-class views. If not, I guess you could see what's on TV?

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail but it is not in the Cedar Roughs Wilderness. The wilderness is on the other (west) side of the lake and there are no trails there.

9 months ago

Loved this trail will be back soon

11 months ago

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Lovely hike not well maintained passed property fence. I went mid summer... Not a good time to go if you want to avoid heat but still a very lovely view.

camping
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

hiking
Sunday, May 01, 2016

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

hiking
Tuesday, April 05, 2016

This hike is for those of us that enjoy a good challenge, peaceful surroundings, and a low body count.

Be ready to climb. Bring plenty of water and protein. Be ok with taking pit stops.

hiking
Sunday, February 21, 2016

Monday, February 15, 2016

hiking
Monday, February 15, 2016

In Feb. it was a hot day , around 80 degrees. There is not much shade, i would hate to do this trail in summer. There was nothing to see, but when you get up on top the view is nice. Also i had no idea where i was and how much longer to keep on going. There are couple signs ( BPT) !!! Ok... BPT what? 5 miles left? 10 miles... what? At some point there was a barbwire fence and said private property, i assume you can stay on the trail, but i gave up. was very steep and felt like rock climbing :) i did enjoy the view of the lake

hiking
Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sunday, November 29, 2015