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Mount Saint Helena Trail

HARD 141 reviews

Mount Saint Helena Trail is a 9.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Calistoga, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
9.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2099 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

mountain biking

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

no shade

no dogs

Take in awesome views on a hike to the summit of the highest peak in the California Wine Country. You might forget you came for the wine when you gaze upon the stunning panorama at the 4,342 summit of Mount St. Helena in Robert Louis Stevenson State Park. The peak north of Calistoga looms large above the rolling hills of Napa and Sonoma counties in the Northern California Wine Country. The five-mile hike to the summit has over 2,000 feet of elevation gain, so be ready for a workout. The hike starts on Stevenson Memorial Trail, climbing just under a mile and passing through the area where the famed author Robert Louis Stevenson ("Kidnapped," "Treasure Island) honeymooned with his new bride in 1880. Next in line is the Mount St. Helena Trail, an old logging road that climbs to the summit over about four miles. Note your turn-off point or you might miss it on the way back. While the wide dirt road to the summit lacks the appeal of a single-track trail, the eye-popping views of the terrain below are a welcome trade-off. Best time to go: Clear winter days will offer the clearest views, especially a day or two after a storm goes through. Spring and fall should be gorgeous, but summer will probably be too hot and the Wine Country too crowded.

backpacking
1 day ago

I give it 5 stars for the view throughout the hike and especially at the summit, as you sit down and enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding counties. The vegetation is slowly growing back and most seem respectful to thread lightly and not disturbing the environment much. I wish they'd allow dogs here to hike.

hiking
20 days ago

Did this one on Memorial Day, started at 7am and had incredible views of Calistoga and the Napa Valley to ourselves.The winds were so strong around the first peak that we had to turn around, they almost blew us over at one time and he dirt from the road flew in our eyes. Will try again another day to reach the top.

hiking
25 days ago

Very tough hike! The day I was there it was sunny with a nice breeze, there isn't much shade so make sure you wear sunscreen and wear a hat, I also suggest bring plenty of water! There is a lot of fire damage but you still get amazing views, one of the most amazing hikes I've been on definitely planning on going back soon!

hiking
26 days ago

This trail was a great workout. It's a fire road for the 4.2 miles to the tower. Lots of burn scars from the recent fires but the views were amazing and lots of wild flowers. We will be back again.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was awesome! Definitely try to go on a clear day and bring a hat.

hiking
1 month ago

Went hiking on this trail on the Monday morning (4/23/18). Weather was pleasant, warm but a nice breeze. The first part of the trail is shaded and cool. The first mile in you arrive at the memorial for Robert Louis Stevenson. Then you keep moving up hill until you reach a wide open fire road with limited shade. You are on this road for the rest of the hike. Make sure to wear sunscreen, hats or both. Bring lots of water and snacks to keep your energy up. The trail is lined with burnt trees from the wild fires, but you see the beauty of the new growth from the ashes.

1 month ago

a tough Trail! definitely where the right attire, drink plenty of water and where a hat for this hike. too many people that I saw were just wearing jeans and regular dress shoes with no hat or little water you can see it in their faces.the ones that weren't prepared and those that were. worth the body aching at the end of the day!

hiking
2 months ago

A little muddy in spots due to melting snow, and very little shade, and absolutely beautiful.

4 months ago

This page needs to be updated: the trail has been open for several weeks
Amazing views with lots of switchbacks and sun. I was disappointed that I couldn’t see Clear Lake from the top (Cobb was blocking the view) but could see very far in every direction. The trail is actually mostly a fire road that passes through a lot burned trees from the Tubbs Fire

4 months ago

Bring lots of water and a hat, there is very little coverage.

trail running
4 months ago

Gorgeous scenic and fun trail. Love to come back some other time with friends. Alot of burned trees affected from the recent wildfire. Glad I brought my kuksa for a cup of coffee. Enjoyed the sunset but didnt stay too long. I have to run down quick before it gets dark. It stated 9.6 miles but I only took 8miles with steep short cut back down hill.

hiking
5 months ago

There are some stellar views on this trail, but for over half of the hike the soundscape is dominated by the traffic and loud motorcycles cruising the highway below. In addition, most of the trail is a dirt road. I'm glad I did it, but I wouldn't be in a hurry to do it again. Good workout though.

5 months ago

Loved every minute

6 months ago

The trail has been closed since November 9th, still closed as of December 13th

10 months ago

Beautiful views

hiking
11 months ago

Like the majority rule, the first mile getting to the main trail is a bit challenging. There's a steady incline and decline for quite a while. Though the last bit before the peak was definitely gnarly and exhausting (don't carry anything too heavy), but the view was worth it. Spectacular!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The first mile is nice and shaded with big trees, ferns, and some mosses growing down low. The rest of the trail is a fire road, and very open to the sun.

I would NOT recommend this trail on a hot day. Do yourself a favor and go on a nice Fall or Winter day, or start early in the morning.

Took me about 4 hours, that included a snack at the top. The views are stunning from the summit. On clear days you can see Mount Diablo, and often some nice, snowy peaks in the distance!

hiking
Monday, May 29, 2017

The first mile or so is really pretty and shaded, a little poison oak. The last 3+ miles are a well maintained fire road with no shade and a steady incline. The radio towers at the top aren't pretty, but the view is spectacular. Great wine tasting close by didn't hurt.

trail running
Sunday, May 28, 2017

Ran the Mt. St. Helena trail and fire road this morning. Beautiful views and a the fire road was perfect for a good run. Of course, lots of elevation gain, but probably a little boring for a basic hike. Despite the fact that it was a Saturday on Memorial Day weekend, I did not find the trail crowded although I finished by about 10:30 AM. If you are looking for great views, this is hard to beat. There are three "summits" and if you want to go to the top of Mt. St. Helena, you have to go all the way to the end, but all three summits have awesome views. Parking was not a problem early, but by the time I return to my car, the parking was packed. Word of warning, the people drive like maniacs up and down 29 so be careful!

hiking
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Completed this hike on May 12th 2017. The trail up to the Robert Lewis Stevenson plaque was most delightful. Our weather was cool, and the trees and shaded areas were nice. Once we hit the dirt road and turned left, the road walking was disappointing, but the grand views all the up to the top were worth the while. My purpose was for the county highpoint of Napa which a different peak (the one with the Doppler radar) was not far off track. Then a quick walk over to the Mount St. Helena Peak, and greatly enjoyed the views. Walk back down was warm in the afternoon sun, but we walked it quickly enough.

walking
Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tues May 23, started early went super slow due to hubbys bad knees. Later in the day would make it harder due to sun.. Wouldnt call it hard really, if it was all like the first mile I would, but it's fairly easy for an uphill hike due to switchbacks. Stopped before summit as hubby had enough.. down was way quicker..Awesome views. Flowers butterflies lizards birds. Only saw a few groups of people.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

start early! male sure you leave no valuables in your locked car!!! awesome hike with rewarding views. *** climbers, please be careful- rescues can be daunting here... saw a fallen climber yesterday at Bubble. he was eventually airlifted out but it was quite an ordeal... hope he makes it.

hiking
Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Good views but as other reviews have said, not the most interesting hike after the first mile since it's just a fire road. Took me about 3 hours to get up to the summit in 90 degree weather.

hiking
Monday, May 01, 2017

Beautiful sites in the way up, not too many people, and nice rocky area at the top to enjoy the view!

hiking
Sunday, April 30, 2017

I don't know that I'd call this one hard... its difficult in that there is little protection from the sun, but I would not classify this one as hard. Lassen - that one's hard. Four Mile Trail in Yosemite - hard. This one is just an uphill grade that goes forever. Did it with the kiddos today - great views clear out to Mt. Diablo, Pyramid, and Lassen. The trail lacks in excitement (it is, afterall, a fire road), but the views at the top are great.

hiking
Friday, April 28, 2017

Great opportunity to wander around different spaces in the area - came upon an old cemetary and a variety of native flora and fauna. The slog up the fire road at the end is best done in the early hours, catch a great view over the Santa Rosa Valley and sometimes beyond if the sky is clear. Hiking back down, wander off into shady glens... was there late 70s.

hiking
Sunday, April 02, 2017

Most of the trail after a mile or so was fire road. I enjoyed the view from the top but not much for the trail itself.

hiking
Saturday, April 01, 2017

Great hike! Lots of loose rock that made things a bit tricky on the way down. Will do again soon!

hiking
Monday, February 27, 2017

perfect day hike with our group of scouts and parents added a few loops to create 13.3 loop, fantastic views super chilly at the top.

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