Mt. St. Helena 1322m (4,339ft)
Mt. St. Helena East, 1280m+ (4,2000ft+)
Mt. St. Helena South Peak, 1220m (4,003ft)

Mountain area : Napa, California USA
Map : Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
Books : California County Summits (Gary Suttle)
Primary Factor:
Hiked : July 2000
Mt. St. Helena seen from hwy 29 (315KB)

Mt. St. Helena seen from hwy 29


Mt. St. Helena - not to be confused with Mt. St. Helens in Washington state, lies in Napa county, California. The mountain is located in the Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, just north of the town Calistoga. A triple county boundary (Lake, Sonoma, Napa) just east of the main summit marks the high point (4200+ feet) of Napa County. This point is referred to as Mt. St. Helena East in the California County Summits by Gary Suttle.

Trail descriptions:

Mt. St. Helena trailhead - Mt. St. Helena summit (summer)

Difficulty : Moderately strenuous
Risk : None
Distance : 5,3 miles to the top
Time : 3-5 hours roundtrip both summits
Starting Elev.:

Map of the area
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Topozone Interactive Map
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From Napa, take hwy 128/29 north. Pass the town of St. Helena. From Calistoga, a bit further north, follow hwy 29 towards Clearlake. After 7 miles (including a lot of switchbacks) you will reach the Mt. St. Helena trailhead and parking at the top of a ridge. Main parking is on the right hand side of the road.

The trail:

Description taken from the map

The trail starts the climb up the mountain about 300 feet west of the main parking area. The trail switches back and forth at a gentle grade through forest for 3/4 mile to reach a stone monument. Please stay on the trail. Hikers crossing the switchbacks have caused serious erosion and irreparable damage on this slope.

The monument marks the site where Stevenson spent his honeymoon in an abandoned mine building during the summer of 1880. From here you climb more steeply and leave the forest to intersect the fire road. After a short walk you can look down on the patchwork of the upper Napa Valley and beyond to Mt. Diablo and Mt. Tamalpais.

Now you continue on the south-facing slope of the mountain surrounded by chaparral, both indicative of a hot place in the summer. The higher you go, the more exhilarating the view. At 3,6 miles, a road branches to the left leading to South Peak in a half mile.


The state park is open during daylight hours. Remember to bring your own drinking water. When the weather permits, the view from the summit includes distant mountains such as Lassen, Shasta and Sierra Nevada.


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The summit of Mt. St. Helena (315KB) View from the summit of Mt. St. Helena (246KB) View from the summit of Mt. St. Helena (275KB) View from the summit of Mt. St. Helena (276KB)

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