A Press Democrat Blog


A blog about Bay Area hiking…. mostly

Table Rock and other sky-high sights

[imagebrowser id=75] Trails do change. It’s sometimes hard to notice, what with the effort often required just to get through a hike or the dizzying spectacle of surrounding nature. But the path itself can evolve too. I thought of that on a long hike up into the Palisades north of Calistoga last weekend. It’s a hike I’ve done several times, in different directions, in different seasons, in different moods, but the trail is shrinking. Well, just part of it is.… Read More »

Rock patterns and mazes in Calistoga

About once a year, I hike the Palisades trail. It’s the collection of post-volcanic rock formations adjacent to Mount St. Helena and overlooking Calistoga. It’s not a summertime hike to be sure as much of it is exposed and high up, meaning you will absolutely bake in a Napa summer. But in the winter, it’s as pleasant as it is strenuous, which is saying something. I headed there recently and did my favorite route, which is to park at the… Read More »

Not your typical honeymoon

Not feeling well, out of money, and seeing his career prospects fading quickly, the newcomer to California needed a break. So he headed to Calistoga thinking the mountain air would rejuvenate him. Plus, it was his honeymoon so what better place to spend it than a Napa Valley excursion. Local history buffs know the story of Robert Louis Stevenson, who turned his bucolic Napa visit into a two-month stay, literally squatting in a cabin on the side of Mount Saint… Read More »

Freestyling in the snow

¬† Mt. St. Helena, Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, Calistoga Crummy weather was in the forecast — rain, but not snow. Only a handful of people showed up, but since I hadn’t been hiking in CA in a few weeks with all my travel, I was determined to get out. Pretty easy at the beginning and then we hit a fire road that led to the top of the mountain. Was very windy and cold at the top. Spectacular views… Read More »