Mount Saint Helena Trail is a 9.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Calistoga, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round.

Length 9.3 mi Elevation gain 2,099 ft Route type Out & Back

Hiking

Mountain biking

Running

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Scramble

No shade

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Tips

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.

Robert Louis Stevenson State Park website http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=472

Weather is a major wild card at Mount St. Helena -- it's one of the few areas near San Francisco that gets snow every year. The summit can be shrouded in fog and buffeted by high winds; make sure you're dressed for all the possibilities. Contact: (707) 942-4575 Park hours: Sunrise to sunset Directions: Take highway 29 seven miles north of Calistoga.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (485)
Photos (807)
Recordings (387)
Completed (869)
Garrett Cowan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 24, 2020
HikingNo shade

This trail is really a 5 mile long fire road. I didn’t love the trail but the view is worth the sunburns. I would do this trail in the evening when the sun isn’t too hot.

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Miranda Head
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 19, 2020
HikingNo shade

After the 1st mile or so the trail isn’t really a trail it’s a wide gravelly road with no shade. Views were good but not a hike I enjoyed.

Thinus Venter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
HikingNo shade

The views at the top are worth the hike. The lack of shade for 8 miles of this hike is tough, but not a surprise. Bring enough water!

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Grayson Black
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
Hiking

I would recommend this trail for those who are prepared to hike 10 miles, and don't mine a more steep and rugged start. once this trail hits the access road, your mostly using endurance the rest of the way. The views are certainly worth the exhaustion.

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Gina Beretta
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 18, 2020
Hiking

Challenging but fun beginning and end to this out and back trail (picking your way up rocks and roots) in a shady grove. The majority is a fire trail and very hot, some cool rock outcroppings and great views. Windy road to drive up to a very small parking lot.

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Conor Bright
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RunningGreat!

Excellent views! Ran up it and walked down it. Took me just a little over an hour to make it to the peak.

Denise Osborne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 10, 2020
Hiking

Easy hike. Gorgeous views. Exposed all the way up. Fire road. You can go a different way up and bush wack if that’s your thing.

Gary McKinney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 7, 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky
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Brendon McMahon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 7, 2020
Hiking

We did it in about 3-4 hours (it’s a full 10 miles round trip). Nothing too difficult about the hike other than it is long and exposed to the most of the way. Full 360 degree views of the area from the top.

Jack D
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 4, 2020
HikingNo shade

Great trail with views for vast majority of the hike. Trail is wide on the fire road. Coming back down is tricky in some areas, lots of loose dirt/gravel. Limited shade, but well worth it!

Kim Summers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 4, 2020
HikingRocky

Getting up to the fire access road takes agility and is tougher terrain, high ankle twist risk. Once up there it is just a round and up for 4+ miles and not too bad! Coming back down through the lower rocky terrain was tougher than the 4 mile climb because strict foot coordination needed to avoid a sprain! Be careful!

Sonam Dolkar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 28, 2020
Snowshoeing

Evening hike. Took 3 hrs to the summit and enjoyed beautiful sunset hike back . June 28, 2020

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Kevin Sullivan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 28, 2020
Hiking

Arrived 9:15 AM on a Sunday, lot was filling fast but still plenty of spots. Trail climbs and climbs, but doesn't feel as bad as other, similar trails since its never that steep. Most is a fire road, so the grade is designed for cars. Fire road also makes it easy to "socially distance" on the trail. Most is exposed and hot. Another reason to go early. View at the top is awesome. Get yourself some wine afterward.

Christie Godlewski
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HikingNo shade
View Christie's Recording
John DeGunto
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 26, 2020
HikingNo shade

Great hike! Bring plenty of water (I brought 2 liters) and maybe bring something you can use to create shade for yourself. This hike is great for viewing wildflowers, volcanic rock formations, and the incredible landscape around the mountain. It was a bit hazy when I went but I'll be back in the winter for clearer views from the top.

Samantha Hodges
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 24, 2020
RunningNo shadeRocky

Definitely start early! It is a bit rocky at the start. There was a nice breeze going so the exposed area was bearable and there was some shade. I started at 7:30 am and finished at 9:45 am. I cannot imagine going up any later than that due to the heat and any shade will likely be gone. The views where incredible and well worth the climb up. :)

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Doug Lytz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 23, 2020

Loved every minute of this out and back. I clocked 9.56 miles on my Samsung Health. I started at 830AM and the heat was bearable. I would bring at least 2L of water. I brought 1L and because of the heat and lack of shade toward the top found myself wishing I had brought more! Parking was great on a Tuesday morning and very close to the trailhead! No bathrooms here or anywhere that I saw within 10 miles in both directions. There is plenty of poison oak on the first stretch, but the trails are wide enough to avoid it.

Nikolay Magda
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 22, 2020
Hiking

Magnificent views! Beware of bears. One was spotted today close to the end of the trail.

Matt Sabella
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 21, 2020
HikingNo shadeScramble

My second time doing this hike. I started a little after 7:30 am and was at the top shortly after 10 am. Beautiful views! The first 5 miles of this trail is uphill and, once you hit the fire road, there is almost no shade. I should have started at 6:30 am! If you do this hike in the summer, start (very) early and take water. Once you reach the top, it’s all worth it.

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Cara K
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 20, 2020
HikingBugsNo shade

First mile mild scramble. Fire road with no shade after. Afternoon so was very hot but managed to social distance very well.

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Deza Quintos
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 19, 2020
HikingNo shade

Only the first mile is shaded. The rest is exposed area. It’s either do it very early or late afternoon. Or better yet, only during the cooler months.

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Hernandez H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 11, 2020
HikingRocky

Beautiful views, more like 10 miles hike.

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Rafaela Dulanto
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 10, 2020
Hiking

VERY steady incline to the top but worth the views!!! Temps def drop at the top plus wind - so be prepared with a jacket. Trailhead is directly across from parking area - must cross road. Trailhead can be easily missed but if you cross the street, you’ll find it.

Jon Cornelison
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 9, 2020
Hiking

Trail and parking lot open. Started on a June Sunday in the afternoon. Got a parking spot easy as others were leaving but parking was pretty full. 4.25 hours car to car for family of 5 with teenage sons in good shape including a 30 min lunch break at summit. Had mild summer weather and rolling cloud cover, otherwise there would have been a lot of sun exposure after the first mile. Lots of poison oak on the side of trail throughout first mile so be aware of that. Great local hike with gradual incline on the way up.

robert hendrickson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 6, 2020
Hiking

Parking lot was open. I would say this is closer to a moderate as the incline is never too steep and the fire roads are easy to walk on. Jogged about half of this, and finished in 2:30 hrs and I don't consider myself fit either. Definitely do this on a cool or a cloudy day as you are exposed most of the trail

John Morrison
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 22, 2020
Hiking

AllTrails said the trailhead parking lot was closed but it is now open, so that was a relief. The trail was not too busy and the weather was clear and pleasantly cool. We took about 2:15 to the summit and 2:00 back down.

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