Mount Saint Helena Trail

HARD 194 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 is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 9.3 miles Elevation Gain: 2,099 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

mountain biking

trail running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

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.

hiking
6 days ago

looking for a short / physical hike, this is it. we did late afternoon and finished before sunset.

Take water, extra if the sun is shining...which it does even when Santa Rosa is socked in with fog.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Just want to put in a plug for this great trail! I have done it before but clearly the spring/ early summer is where it shines. There were amazing yellow wildflowers alongside the trail that were just so beautiful. The fire damaged trees made the bird watching easier too! Walking on fire roads has the benefit of being able to look around at the views and wildlife without having to watch where you are walking every second. Anyway, I love this hike but I would avoid it on a hot day. Also, a toilet at the trail head would be a beautiful thing!

Excellent hike!!!

hiking
1 month ago

The trail up on the fire road wasn’t too interesting but the views are the top, especially when overcast, were ridiculously amazing.

hiking
1 month ago

Steady incline all the way to the top. Amazing view from the North towers. I’ve done this hike countless times!

2 months ago

gorgeous. hot in summer

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike more in the tradition of the east bay hikes. first 1 mile is under the canopy of the trees but after that the complete trail is exposed. The weather when i hiked was sunny but not too hot even though started after 1. took about 2 hrs to get to the peak and similar to get back. not much traffic after 1 and could find parking also, i would guess in the mornings it can be crowded. nothing of much interests in terms of variety of vegetation, wildlife or others. Views can be good if not hazy. peaks are covered with telecom equipment so this can be a just a good area to get some hiking miles. Would not categorize it as hard since mostly its gentle slopes

hiking
no shade
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Didn’t make it all the way. Nice trail though. Hard to find parking on a nice day - it’s just side of the road parking. The route shown here has you on a single track trail for about a mile, then you reach the fire road and take that all the way up. Some climbing spots along the way. Good amount of people on the trail.

3 months ago

If it were not for the fog, the view would have been better but that's what I get for going during the rainy season.

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

just did this today i like the first mile which is under shades i like this trail but not one of my favorite i don’t like fire road trail and no trees i enjoy wandering in the woods and rugged trail but the view in the peak is awesome except for the cell sites trail is not hard the elevation is gradual

hiking
scramble
4 months ago

Ive been dreaming of doing this one for a while now, and finally made the effort to get out there and tackle it. The beginning is a wonderful stroll through the woods (and by that i mean a strenuous hike up, with intermittent scrambling to make it up rocks) which leads to a fire road- turn left here! There is a sign pointing to the north peak, so follow that. I did this in mid-March, after a wet winter, and towards the top there was a good chunk of snow! Enough to where i wish i had brought a sled

4 months ago

Hike on Feb 22/Sunday. The trail has alot of snow. My third time hiking this trail but my first time seeing snow up here. Definitely amazing!

hiking
rocky
snow
4 months ago

Very nice hike, trial in good shape, trees are recovering seeing some green around them. Still some snow at the top in North was fun easy to hike. Gorgeous view all around. The weather was perfect today. We will back to experience the Table Rock. A perfect day to walk in St. Helena's Mountain-Robert Louis Stevenson State Park. An exceptional panorama all the time, you can see how they are recovering after the fire thanks to these heavy rains k we have had lately of course the snow could not miss almost finishing to the North, but I enjoyed walking we reached the top where the Communications Towers. I recommend them but do not go alone it is always good to go with someone just in case .. Enjoy it and do not forget to bring appropriate shoes for the walk .. next time we will visit The Table Rock..I tell you.

hiking
4 months ago

Ran it this morning. Mostly runnable until the snow -but that is clearly a seasonal (and not every winter) thing. A very easy snow slog, though I recommend some traction devices if you are going early, before the snow softens up. Took a couple tumbles on the iced over road near the top.

hiking
snow
4 months ago

Amazing hike. Snow started approximately halfway up the mountain. Got to the top through it although it was a “little bit” slippery! (Basically for every three steps up I slid one step back down.)

hiking
muddy
snow
4 months ago

hiking
muddy
snow
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Nice hike in the snow. We only went 4 miles until the high winds and snow stopped us. Snow and hail on the way down. Made for a memorable hike.

recorded Mount Saint Helena Trail

hiking
snow
5 months ago

Enjoyed the hike but stopped and turned round once I reached snow covered road with more coming down. Equipped for rain not snow and experienced to know when to stop. Will be back in Spring/Summer/Fall to complete the hike and get the pictures of the Napa valley I was hoping to capture.

hiking
no shade
5 months ago

Great views, dog friendly, and free parking at the trailhead. It was busy on a Sunday so I’d get there early if you can. Took us about 4 hours total with plenty of time at the top.

6 months ago

Nice trail. First mile or so you have plenty of tree cover but the rest of the way you are totally exposed to sun. One creek for water first .5 mile up. After that no water so bring enough. Gravel trails throughout.

6 months ago

Nice to get the different views from the towers.

hiking
7 months ago

I did this mid early summer a few years ago. It didn't feel like 18 miles (more like 10-12). The first section was best part as you're under a canopy of woods. Once you break free, it's a fire road and it's easy to get more sun then you want. The mountain has two peaks, I opted for the longer one and kicked my ass as it was far longer then I expected. I also should have carried more water then I did too. But once you get above a certain elevation the views were fantastic though slightly muddy from SF summer haze.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful trail that I enjoyed very much in the fall (early Nov) but imagine would be really hot in summer. Tree cover for the first bit but mostly wide open fire road with no cover. Gorgeous views all the way up. Took less than 2 hours to get to the top. Free parking at the trail head.

9 months ago

Most of the hike is on a service road. It is really cool hiking this trail when you are familiar with the mountains and towns of the surrounding area. I would hike, bike, or run this trail with friends again.

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