Table Rock Trail

MODERATE 82 reviews

Table Rock Trail is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Calistoga, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
3.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1204 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

washed out

no dogs

The trail starts at the crest of SR 29 between Calistoga and Clear Lake. It is in undeveloped Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, which does not even have maps online. The trail is labeled on on the AllTrails map. The trailhead is across the highway from the Mt. St. Helena trailhead. The trail climbs through a fir forest before breaking out at a signed overlook "Table Rock Overlook". From there it slowly drops down through mostly manzanita areas to a small stream. On the way down it passes a large complex of rock labyrinths. After crossing the stream the trail climbs to a signed trail intersection from which you scramble west over the rocks to the top of Table Rock itself.

hiking
20 days ago

Beautiful trail with great views. Lots of poison oak but it's easy to avoid. You don't need hiking boots but I agree that flip flops probably wouldn't be good footwear for this particular hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike; Halfway through the hike someone had placed a really cool labyrinth made out of the local rocks. The hike up to that point is fairly easy; after that it gets a little steep ( not bad going down but challenging on the way back). It was fun though; almost like a mini canyon scramble.

3 months ago

What an awesome view on top!!! I was confused on what side to start on... coming from Napa I went left side of road. Not totally sure now if this was table rock. I think it’s on the right side, lol. Anyway... so pretty at the top. Started with a ton of switch backs to a road then from the road you get to the top. Gorgeous! Even though trees are burnt the beauty is still there. On the way down I was looking for the sign back to the switch backs and I got lost. I had to track back along the road which was not the safest but it was better then back tracking 30min and another hour down. Anyway, totally worth it just the sign needs to be more in view to get back down on the trail not the road.

hiking
3 months ago

Lots of ups and downs with absolutely amazing views. You’ll earn them with the elevation gains and losses. The terrain is varied and keeps it interesting. Can be chilly with the wind so bring a windbreaker if it might be cool. Hiking poles really helped.

3 months ago

Stunning views with varying landscape.

3 months ago

I loved this trail. I would rate this closer to hard. The views were amazing. And the challenge was perfect. I can’t wait to do it again. If you’re going to do it, do to the end. Climb the rock and enjoy those views.

hiking
4 months ago

The drive to/from here is so beautiful! We got to the trailhead around noon on a Saturday and there were still a few parking spots left.

My bf & I stopped about halfway in to have lunch on the giant boulders and WOW, what an amazing view! The labyrinth area was pretty cool too. The next mile though after the rock mazes wasn't as easy as the first. When you reach the top of Table Rock, you essentially get the same views as you did with that first stop on the giant boulders. So if you want to take it easy, stop by the first boulders, check out the labyrinth below, and then turn around. But if you are willing and able, definitely hike the whole thing! Just be careful at the top - it is super windy up there!

This is one of the cleanest trails I've seen in terms of trash and dog poop (great job people!). There's lots of shade and it wasn't too busy when I went on a Saturday afternoon. It took us about 2 1/2 hours to complete (with lunch and picture breaks included) so it wasn't too bad. The trail however is very rocky and not suitable for young children or for those with injuries.

hiking
4 months ago

Absolutely loved this hike, even though the uphill was a little rough on the way back. Definitely wear good shoes/boots because it's pretty rocky. The views are amazing from the overlook and there's a spot on the trail where it was clear enough to see Mt. Shasta on the horizon!

4 months ago

Fun short but strenuous hike through woods and volcanic rock formations with fabulous views. The first mile is moderate with a few rocky spots, the second mile is very rocky and parts are steep. A few muddy/slippery spots in January a week after rains but nothing you can’t handle. The views down Napa Valley from Table Rock are worth the effort. If you want to take it easy you can turn around after about a mile at the cairn and rock labyrinth formations which are a fun surprise.

hiking
4 months ago

A lot harder than I thought it’d be but amazing nonetheless!

5 months ago

More difficult than expected but the short distance makes it very manageable. Loved the variation in landscape and the astounding views!

hiking
5 months ago

was a quick moderate hike. 2.2 miles each way, with good signage along the route. Some portions are very rocky and steep.

hiking
5 months ago

It's a good workout, though short, but harder than expected, more than half of the way is rocky, and some part is steep. The view seen on the Table Rock is fantastic.

7 months ago

Good hike. Pretty steep but short.

hiking
11 months ago

Great short trail for when you want a great hike but you don't have a ton of time! Loved the workout. Great views and loved all the rocks to see along the way. Be cautious as some areas are more difficult you can easily lose your footing.

hiking
Saturday, June 03, 2017

Phenomenal hike with beautiful views. The trail has a lot of damage from the winter storms, so watch your footing. A hiking stick is a great advantage on this hike.

Friday, May 05, 2017

What a view!

hiking
Saturday, March 25, 2017

Been to Table Rock several times, with today being the most recent. Parked at Robert Louis Stevenson State Park trailhead on Hwy 29 around 5:45am (clearly marked, easy to spot in the dark). Used a flashlight until the labyrinth, then was able to see clearly, but the trail is very difficult to follow. I constantly was second-guessing whether the turn I took was accurate, and was always surprised to run into a trail marker. I used my phone's GPS (there was Verizon/LTE service in the middle of the hike) to confirm the trail a few times, which felt necessary. Tons of water flowing now, in March-- easily could have packed a filter instead of bringing 1.75L of water. Trekking poles were hugely helpful! I wore ankle-height hiking boots instead of trail runners. Table Rock itself is VERY windy, so I was glad to have been wearing 4 layers, a hat, and gloves. Didn't hit direct sunlight until 8:30am or so. On my way back to the trailhead, I passed at least four groups coming in-- very popular Saturday hike. Great to do solo. Best views in the north Napa Valley.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Beautiful views and cool rock labrynith.

hiking
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

One of my favorite hikes. I went while it was raining and foggy, and it made the rock formations even cooler. The only thing is that the trail is rather hard to follow, I used the GPS from the AllTrails app to find where to go at times. Beautiful views and flowing water at some points.

hiking
Friday, February 10, 2017

The trail can be tough to follow in spots so be sure to have functioning gps. Otherwise, the views are incredible making for a worthwhile day trip.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

This is one of the most beautiful hikes in the morning California, my second favorite after the cataract trail During rainy season. It's like traveling back in time to the land of the lost – amazing vistas not to mention cool rock gardens.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Awesome hike with the kids today. The labyrinth was a hit.

hiking
Thursday, November 24, 2016

This trail lacks signage. From the rock garden onward nobody seems to know where the trail is. We ended up on the Palisades trail and others we met along the hike tried other trails, none marked and none of which led to Table Rock.

hiking
Sunday, September 04, 2016

Great trail! how I wish it's a loop trail. Nice trail for beginners.

hiking
Saturday, August 13, 2016

At age 73, having done the Yosemite Creek Trail from Tioga Road into Yosemite Valley last week and Crater Mountain in Mono Craters a month ago, this was not particularly difficult today, more like good excercise for a good night's sleep. This is definitely more physically challenging than Mount St. Helena and the complete Oat Hill Mine Road, but only because of the uneven nature of the trail and the steepness in some places. The temperature was in the eighties, which was a definite factor. Two liters of water were more than adequate after pre-hike hydration. There are spectacular views, particularly at Table Rock, which make this hike more than worthwhile. Would highly recommend this to anyone, but would caution someone who is older to wear good hiking shoes, bring plenty of water...over hydrate, bring some energy source, and be sure you are prepared for very uneven footing and large elevation change.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Pretty wildflower sin spring

hiking
Monday, May 02, 2016

Great workout, and the unusual rock art done by either native american's or someone who had a lot of spare time, are fascinating.

hiking
Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The hike itself is pretty easy little elevation gain not too hard.
Plenty of spots for views to look at and around.
Weather is best right now to visit before it gets too hot.

The last 2 mile before reaching the parking area is best to be careful as people go over the speed limit that is posted for 20mph.

hiking
Tuesday, February 23, 2016

As other reviewers have noted:

(1) The views from the trail are quite beautiful
(2) Many sections of the trail are washed out
(3) The trail profile is inverted: quite a bit of ascent on the way back

Some narrative about the route I chose on a sunny and clear February day.

Section 1 of the trail starts from the parking lot in R.L. Stevenson Park on CA 29. It ascends about 1 mile to Table Rock OVERLOOK (not to be confused with Table Rock itself which is 1 mile further). The trail is fairly wide & in goodish shape. It culminates at the higher point of the entire route (2758 ft). Even before getting to the top, there are a couple spots where the trail straddles the ridgeline & the canopy opens to sweeping views to the North-East and the South-West (Calistoga/upper Napa Valley). For these looking for a short hike with good rewards, this is a good turnaround point.

Section 2 (1 mile point to point) first descends to the junction with a westward trail (aptly called “TRAIL” on the Alltrails map!) that connects to the Bear Valley trail (my return trail at the end of the trip). The descent from Table Rock Overlook has mostly been transformed into a gully that rainwater has sculpted as rainwater does… This means that the “official trail” is not always obvious and some attention to good footing is required in wet conditions (I went after a couple days of rain). Halfway down from the lookout, the trail crosses a small plateau where dedicated souls have created labyrinths and other geometric figures with carefully arrange rocks. After the junction with the “TRAIL”, the Table Rock trail continues another .5 mile to Table Rock itself. This section dips steeply to the bottom of a drainage gully before ascending back to the ridge where Table Rock sits. This is another good turning point; continuing further will mean another 6 miles to get to a pick up point. I continued…

Section 3 was, for me, the most challenging… but also the most stunning. First, it is 3.7 miles as it connects Table Rock to Holme’s Place and Oat Hill Mine Trail. Second, it follows the foot of the Palisades which means that it is narrow, cuts the flank of a fairly steep slope, and is of the rocky, “roots-full” ankles buster variety. These 3.7 miles felt much longer than that to me. However, the gains are worth the pain. Amazing views of the valley just North of Calistoga, front seat row to the spectacular palisades above the trail, many small streams making their way down to the valley floor (this was February…less of that in July/Aug for sure). Even a waterfall toward the end of this section. The mountain side was a vibrant green contrasting beautifully with the rock formations around.

Section 4 starts with Holme’s place (just ruins of foundations) which offers a few places to sit/snack or stretch after the crossing of the palisades. Just 100 feet further lays the junction with Oat Hill Mine Trail. Left, the next 2.7 miles follow an old dirt road which reverted back to a single track trail in places. I dearly welcomed that mostly level, wide, mostly obstacles-free section. While not as “classically” spectacular as the views below the palisades, that section offers very rewarding scenery too as it follows the upper reaches of Swartz Canyon. Even with a bit more traffic (mountain bikes) than the previous section, it gave me a sense of “remoteness” and a glimpse of what California hills may have looked like before wide-spread urbanization. About 2 miles in, other palisades (this time nicely stratified) provide more photo opportunities (carefully framing to avoid the 30 ft wide, 3 ft tall “Keep Out, Private” in white paint  )

Section 5: Shortly after the trail veers due North, the Bear Valley trail branches off on the left. Bear Valley was my favorite portion of the route. It will not be for everyone; it is the “intimacy” of the landscape that resonated for me. In total, this is a bit above 3 miles going first up to a saddle and then mostly down to follow Van Ness Creek. Note: had to bushwhack 100 ft upstream at one crossing as the trail went straight through a large pool.

Section 6 starts at the junction with the “TRAIL” that closes the loop. That junction (like almost all others on this route) is not signed at all. It is a hairpin turn to the left, down to the creek bed, at a point where the creek bed is wide and vegetation sparse. I had to relocate a few flat stones to complete the fording path… Once across the creek, you are looking at 0.8 miles of scrambling up a steep slope to rejoin the Table Rock trail… and then 0.5 miles up the “washed-out” runoff gullies to Table Rock Outlook. Having already 10+ miles on the old legs pedometer at that time, that last ascent was fueled more by stubbornness than by leftover stamina. Felt good to reach Table Rock Overlook and know that it was all downhill from there.

Last thought: a GPS unit will help staying on track, finding turn-offs.

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