Mount Saint Helena

Serena and I climbed Mount Saint Helena which is located at the head of the Napa Valley in the Myacamas Mountains and is one of the highest peaks in the Bay Area standing 4,344 ft. The mountain is largely located within Robert Louis Stevenson State Park and is ascended via a 5.2 mile walk (10.4 mile round trip), 0.8 miles on trail and the remainder along an operational fire road. The fire road portion is a bit monotonous, but the stunning views improve the higher you climb more than making up for it.

Mount Saint Helena from Calistoga
Mount Saint Helena from Calistoga
View to Calistoga and upper Napa Valley
View to Calistoga and upper Napa Valley

The lower mountain is a fir forest and the upper mountain is largely populated by pine trees with a lot of exposure to the sun. We started the hike at 8:20 am and made it to the top at 10 am. We enjoyed the summit views for 20 minutes and then jogged most of the descent, arriving back at the car at 11:25  am. We were happy to be done before the heat of the day. Since the hike is exposed to the sunshine, it is not a good idea to do it in the middle of the day during the summer when temperatures well into the 90s are common.

Views from the summit
Views of the Napa Valley from the summit

Mount Saint Helena also receives a fair amount of snow during the winter. I hear that the clarity is great on clear winter days with views all the way to Mount Shasta. While we couldn’t see Shasta on this day, we did have great views of Napa Valley and the Santa Rosa area. We could also pick out Mount Tamalpais, Mount Diablo, Lake Berryessa, the Vaca Mountains, the Sierra Nevada, Snow Mountain, Mount Konocti, and Cobb Mountain, among other peaks and features.

View of the Myacamas Mountains, including Cobb Mountain and Mount Konocti
View of the Myacamas Mountains, including Cobb Mountain and Mount Konocti

Many more photos after the jump!

View of Mount Saint Helena from Napa State Park
View of Mount Saint Helena from Napa State Park
View down to the vineyards!
View down to the vineyards!
Summit Rocks
Summit Rocks
Serena on the summit
Serena on the summit
View to Mount Tamalpais
View to Mount Tamalpais
Looking down Napa Valley with Mount Diablo in the distance
Looking down Napa Valley with Mount Diablo in the distance
Fantastic birds-eye views
Fantastic birds-eye views
Sweet views!
Sweet views!
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