Napa Valley Hiking: Oat Hill Mine Trail
If you are coming to Napa Valley, it is unlikely that the primary focus of your trip is not walking and hiking. Most likely, you are coming to tour our wineries, dine at wonderful restaurants, and maybe even do some spa treatments. However, a person can only drink, eat, and be pampered for so long. So, if you are coming for several days, or just want a break from the usual Napa routine, there are some excellent walking and hiking opportunities in Napa Valley for every skill level.
Calistoga can make an excellent base for your vacation, and there is a wonderful trail system practically right out your back door beginning with the Oat Hill Mine Trail. You can hike for just a mile or two, or if you are more ambitious and in excellent physical shape, you can make a full day out of, connect to other trails, and go right to the top of Mt. St. Helena.
If you will be staying with us at Golden Haven Hot Springs, you can just walk out our door, make a left, walk a couple of blocks, cross the road, and you will be at the beginning of Oat Hill Mine Trail. Many of our day spa guests will park their cars in our lot, go for a hike, and come back for spa treatments, which is a wonderful way to end the hike and makes perfect sense to us.
If you happen to be visiting Golden Haven during the weekend, on Friday night, or Saturday or Sunday mornings, you might want to ask at the front desk if our manager Wolf is working. Wolf is an avid hiker, and can give you his personal tips about the trail—he is sure to have walked every inch of it multiple times in his years of working with us.
Regardless of what time of the year you will be walking the trail, bring plenty of water as none is available once you begin your journey. In the summer months, try and start as early as possible, as it will quickly get quite hot during the stay.
The Oat Hill Mine trail is a little less than 5 miles, with virtually all of it uphill. The incline is not particularly steep, but it is constant. It is not especially well maintained, and be prepared for numerous rocks and gullies on portions of the trail. Along the way, you will have absolutely spectacular views of the Napa Valley, with the best views beginning about 30 minutes into the trail. If you are able to continue for an hour, you be treated to the best views. One great thing about the trail is that you can go as far as you feel like, then turn around with your whole return journey being downhill.
When you reach the top in about 5 miles, you will have the option of continuing on the Palisades Trail and eventually even up to the top of Mt. St. Helena. The entrance to this trail may not be clearly marked, so keep a sharp eye out looking for it once you hit the foundation of the abandoned stone house that marks the end of the Oat Hill Trail.
There are several excellent descriptions of the entire trail system beginning with Oat Hill Trail. If you are seeking more detailed information about this trail system, we suggest you to take a look at this one.
If you would like additional suggestions and tips about hiking in the wine country, with several additional hiking options in Bothe-Napa Park, continue on to then next page.