Are you ready to take a hike? We’ve put together a list of 3 top trails for hiking in Calistoga, CA. Fancy equipment is not necessary to go for a walk or a hike. A sturdy pair of shoes or boots are all you need to get outside and move through the meadows and forests. Grab a water bottle for the first hike, or consider a day pack with snacks and hydration for the longer walks! Our list reveals some of the highlights of Calistoga area hikes giving the opportunity to enjoy local flora and fauna, scenery, and peaks. While far from comprehensive, this list shares some of our favorites. We hope it whets your appetite for many more future trips.
The Petrified Forest
Mild to moderate terrain
The Petrified Forest has two trails: the main and the meadow. The main trail is a loop, and the meadow trail is out and back. Each is about half a mile long. The trails are uneven, so watch out for loose rocks and roots. At the end of the meadow trail, views of Mt. Saint Helena fill the scenery. You’ll get to see examples of petrified redwood trees. The volcano’s eruption started the process of the petrification of the trees. They’re open every day from 9 to 5, and admission is $12 per person.
The History and Vineyard Trails
Moderate because of longer trails
Within Bothe Napa-Valley State Park there are several paths. The History Trail is marked as an easy walk and gives you a look at some of the area’s history. The trail begins with a pioneer cemetery. A step up is the Vineyard Trail. As the site mentions, people often choose this trail for the scenery and a place to jog or run. Several more courses throughout the state park cater to the outdoor spirit. The Ritchey Canyon trail is one of the longest; you’ll get an 8-mile hike following this footpath. A map of the park’s trails is available for your convenience.
The Stevenson Memorial Trail
Moderate to challenging 10-mile hike
Can we have a favorite? This trail, in Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, is absolutely exhilarating. Take this hike on cooler days, for some exposed patches along the way would have you hoping for shade. The author of Treasure Island also wrote about his honeymoon detailing this hike in Silverado Squatters. In 1880, Stevenson and his wife hiked these same areas, and you’ll find the Stevenson Memorial a little over a half mile in.
There are switchbacks on this hike to help preserve the path, and we encourage you to avoid the shortcuts people have added. These shortcuts only encourage erosion of the soil and rocks. Close to a mile in, the trail comes to a “T” with the Mount St. Helena trail. Turn left, and you will be rewarded with the summit climb. Enjoy views of Lake Berryessa, North and South Peaks, Mount Diablo, glimpses of San Francisco, and much more. This hike will fill you with inspiration and a great day of exercise.
After reading our top 3 hiking trails in Calistoga, CA, you’ll be packing those socks and boots for the trip! While it didn’t make it to our list, we need to mention an extreme hiking trail. We know some of you are thrill seekers! The Palisades Trail fills the need for a challenge.
No matter what hike you choose, you know we’ll have your room ready for a good night’s sleep after a bath! The fresh, clear air will fill the lungs and prepare you for sweet dreams during your next stay at the Calistoga Wine Way Inn or Craftsman Inn.
Publishing October 2022