Hiking Mount Saint Helena in Robert Louis Stevenson State Park

Hiking Mount Saint Helena in Robert Louis Stevenson State Park


Hey…My name is Adam Schneider. Today I will
be hiking Mount Saint Helena Join me as I take you from valley to peak. Robert Louis Stevenson State Park is located on the boarder between Napa, Lake and Sonoma Counties in California. The park extends from the valley floor at the north edge of Calistoga through the palisades to highway 29 and continues to Saint Helena Peak at approximately 4,341 feet of elevation. Sunrise should be about 6:20am this morning. So I’m hoping to hit the trail just a little bit before sunrise. If I can do that, then I should be able to get to the top in about 2 hours. That’s where we’re headed. I started at the halfway point, where the
trail crosses highway 29. There’s no entrance fee but parking is limited to a couple of
small turnouts on the side of the road. From here to the peak and back is between 10 and
11 miles round trip. Alright… it’s about 10 after 6am. The sun is just barely coming up and I’ve hit the trail head. Just under a mile into the trail you’ll come
across a monument that marks the place where the Stevenson’s once lived. In the summer of 1880 they made their home in an abandoned mining camp. Just a few years earlier this portion of the mountain had been the home of over 1000 people seeking their fortunes in the nearby silver and mercury mines. Little remains of these communities, but with a bit of effort you can still find some of the mine shafts. Alright…I got past the thicker part of the
forest. Surrounded mostly now by pine trees and manzanita bushes. The trail has changed
from a… …like a volcanic…sand, into whats mostly large boulders with some gravel After a mile of narrow switchbacks the trail meets a fire access road that leads to the top of the mountain. If you are here at the right time of day you are likely to see rock climbers on one of several stunning rock faces. Alright…still on the fire road. But… I can…kinda see where the top is now. The road is getting a little rougher. The terrain around me is…pretty much converted all to low scrub brush. Not so many trees anymore. And lots of big rocks. I have made it to… …the spot where the trail splits. This is where you have to decide which peak you want to go to. The south peak is the one you see right behind me… …over my shoulder there. And if we continue on the trail… …going straight ahead… …there is what looks like a weather station up there. And that’s where we’re headed We are coming up over the ridge now looking… …roughly north. Now there’s two roads That one…from what I can tell is…not the true peak. We’re going to go off to the right…up this way and…there’s three towers up on that one That is…the highest point… …on…highest point on the mountain. Looks like this here pile of rocks is the top. On a clear day it’s possible to see Mount
Shasta 200 miles to the north. From this overlook you can also clearly see several examples of the areas volcanic history. Including Cobb Mountain and the Geysers. The naturally produced steam has been harnessed to create the largest geothermal power plant complex in the world. The steam turbines produce more than enough energy to supply the power needs of all three
surrounding counties. Looking to the west, past the vineyards and rolling hills of Napa and Sonoma Counties, is a horizon dominated by the Pacific Ocean. To the south is Mount Tamalpais in Marin County. And just past the San Francisco Bay, Mount Diablo can be see peaking its head up through the clouds. Alright…now it’s time to make it back down
the mountain. It took me about three hours to get up here. I’m hoping I can do it a bit
faster on the way down. cuzz…I didn’t think it was going to take that long. But we’ll see. Well thanks for watching. If you would like to see more videos like this, please like and subscribe. And if you’ve got any…suggestions for futures hikes please leave them in the comments below and I will see what I can do.

9 Replies to “Hiking Mount Saint Helena in Robert Louis Stevenson State Park”

  1. You should try Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, I worked there. It's known for the furthest Redwood stand inland open to the public. If you do, say Hi from JoeJoe to the people in the kiosk.

  2. I made it to the south peak and next will be the North peak this Spring. I am in awe of the people running up the fire road too!

  3. I really enjoyed your video. If you don't mind, would you compare the incline on this trail similar to Mount Diablo? Easier? Harder? I appreciate your feedback. Thank you!!

  4. I've hiked that mountain many times and enjoyed every hike. I have captured images of San Francisco skyline from the top. When it snows you might catch a bear track on the trail near the top. My trail camera has captured a bear near the trail head several times but since the fires that part of the park has been closed so I can't check to see if the bear made it. I sure hope they don't do as they did after fires took out Boggs Forest just up the road a bit. After two years it is still closed to the public. Thanks for this video. It will be interesting to compare it to whatever is left of the forest up there once the public is allowed back in.

  5. If you hike at a brisk pace without taking any breaks, you can make it to the north peak in under 2 hours. I hiked to the south peak last week and did that power walk all the way up without a break and it took me exactly 90 minutes. Needless to say, I was hungry, thirsty and very tired by the time I got to the picnic benches at the top. Thankfully, the way back is entirely downhill, unlike the hike to Table Rock. People frequently underestimate the Mt St Helena hike. It will kick one's butt if the person hiking it is not in good shape.

  6. My favorite time of the year to climb is when it snows. I put on warm running gear and run up to the south peak. When there is a good snow, youll get 6-8 inches. Ive run to the south peak in 33 minutes. Its a tough run. All uphill. The fun part is coming back down and slipping on the snow while running and taking a spectacular wipeout. It doest hurt that much do to the cushion of snow. At the peak on a clear day, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge and sea. Highly recommend this climb. Not too difficult.

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