Mount Saint Helena Trail

HARD 335 reviews

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.

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

hiking

mountain biking

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
icy
muddy
no shade
snow
4 days ago

hiking
no shade
10 days ago

Beautiful, straightforward up & down with. The majority fire road is well-graded and let’s you get lost in your thoughts and the beautiful views without tripping too frequently. The fire-charred evergreens are just starting to send out fresh green shoots. The moody winter skies are stunning: here there’s a wall of grey and there you see a sun-dappled landscape, it’s sunny and then lightly snowy and then full-on mist. The elevation of 4,341’ makes the variable weather a huge part of the experience. All told, it’s a wonderful trail to take when you want to do some thinking, listen to podcasts, and generally not have to pay too attention.

hiking
18 days ago

this was my new year's day hike. in by 9 out by 1. parking can be tough on a popular day. switchbacks for a mile to a fire road that leads to a plateau between peaks, then up again to the north peak with a short steep trail at the end. Gets windy when at about 3/4 the way up. Bring a peak I.D. guide

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
24 days ago

Great hike and views. The first mile is rocky and technical, however the rest is just fire trail

To get to the summit it was a bit over 5 miles. Round trip was 11.4 and I was using this app to track. It was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL day on the trail!! Loved seeing snow on the hillside too!! First time hiking this. Would hike this again!

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
snow
25 days ago

Steady climb to the top. Great views all around. There are some decent rocks around if you want to do some scrambling. Saw a few people rock climbing. Couldn’t have asked for a better winter day!

I absolutely loved this trail..it was not hard, but long. I can't wait to hike when it snows. yaaa..

hiking
icy
muddy
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

Very cold in the winter. Ice forming in the upper elevation. The views were worth it. The fire road made most of the hike a little easier. Lots of spectacular views due to clearing from the road on the way up.

hiking
icy
no shade
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

I hiked from parking lot to peak. Distance to peak was 5.15, total distance 10.2. Started before 7:30am and was done by 11:30am. Great views. I enjoyed the hike more about 1 hour in, once I got over the ridge which blocked the road noise from Hwy 29.

hiking
3 months ago

Beginning of the trail is switchbacks and narrow. After a mile and a half or so, the rest of the trail is on an access road - wide and smooth.

hiking
no shade
3 months ago

Good trail. It’s a fire road most of the way and very exposed.

recorded Mount Saint Helena Trail

hiking
3 months ago

Not hard, just long. Amazing views almost the whole way. Not much shade. No bathrooms, no water there. Bring lots!

hiking
3 months ago

Nice trail. not too difficult. good views. reward st the top so that was nice.

hiking
no shade
rocky
3 months ago

For my first real hike, I thoroughly enjoyed the consistently beautiful views coming up to the summit. The only distraction from the gorgeous view are the radio towers at the top. I’d recommend checking the forecast for wind speeds as the gusts can make sitting atop the summit a little uncomfortable unless you’re used to it.

hiking
bugs
no shade
4 months ago

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