Mount Saint Helena Trail

HARD 91 reviews

Mount Saint Helena Trail is a 9.6 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
9.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2208 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.

hiking
7 minutes ago

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
1 day ago

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
5 days ago

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
5 days ago

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 ground of people.

11 days ago

14 days ago

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.

19 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

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
28 days ago

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

hiking
29 days ago

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
1 month ago

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
1 month ago

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hiking
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hiking
1 month ago

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
1 month ago

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