Parks & Camping
Most of the land in the Napa Valley is privately owned, so parks, hiking and camping are limited.
Although there is no county park system, cities have a variety of neighborhood and community parks.
The State of California operates two state parks (Bothé-Napa Valley and
Robert Louis Stevenson) and one state historical
park (Bale Grist Mill), and there is a large equestrian, hiking, and
limited camping park run by a private, non-profit organization (Skyline
Wilderness Park). In the northeastern part of the county, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation oversees
Napa has many neighborhood parks, as well. For more information, contact the city's Community Resources Department at 707.257.9529.
On Dry Creek Road on the northeastern edge of town
Alston Park is a Napa City "open space" park. Parking for the 157 acre park is at the north and south ends of the park off Dry Creek Road. At each lot there are hiker entrances and bicycle and horse gates to allow access to three miles of trail.
Three small picnic areas within the park allow for views of the Napa Valley. Portable restrooms are available at the south park entrance.
Jefferson Street at Oak Street
Fuller Park is a Napa City park located at the edge of Napa's Old Town. This 10 acre park is a favorite spot for picnics (25 tables and three reservable group sites) and birthday parties.
Located throughout the park are various monuments and plaques commemorating important events. Perhaps the most prominent monument is a watering fountain for horses and small animals. Moved to the park in 1965, the fountain was originally created to stand in the center of the intersection of Polk and Franklin Streets in downtown Napa.
On Highway 221 just south of Napa Valley College
Golf Course: 707.255.4333
J.F. Kennedy Park is a Napa City park that runs along the Napa River. The 350 acre park includes five reservable picnic areas. The park also offers softball, soccer, volleyball, boat launching, hiking, a children's playground, and the 18-hole Napa Golf Course. The Pelusi Recreation building can be reserved for meetings, weddings or private parties.
Skyline Wilderness Park
2201 Imola Avenue
Hours: Monday - Thursday 9 am to dark
Friday - Sunday 8 am to dark
Skyline Park is an 850-acre wilderness area at the southeast corner of Napa. It's managed by a non-profit organization formed to protect the area. You'll find lots of wildlife, including deer and wild turkey.
Skyline has over 25 miles of trails for hiking, biking and equestrian use. The two-and-a-half mile main trail leads to Lake Marie at the eastern end. There's also an alternate route along the ridge trail which is a much better workout, but is not for those out of shape. From this trail on a clear day, you can see San Francisco Bay, Mt. Tamalpais and Mt. Diablo. Beautiful.
Skyline also offers picnic and barbecue areas, an RV park, and tent camping. Daily visitor's fee is $5.00 per vehicle for hiking and picnicking, $6.00 per vehicle for mountain bikes and horses. RV camping is $25-$27 per site, and tent sites $8.00. The best place to hike in Napa.
Westwood Hills Park
On Browns Valley Road, about one mile west of Highway 29
Westwood Hills Park is a heavily-wooded Napa City park. The park provides three miles of trails through beautiful groves of oak trees and grassy meadows, and affords expansive views of the city. The park includes benches and picnic tables near the parking lot and along the trails.
The non-profit Napa Valley Naturalists operate the Carolyn Parr Nature Museum near the parking lot at the park. The Center's exhibits depict the plants and animals found in Napa County's five different habitats. There's also a children's nature library, "hands-on" corner of skins, nests and bones, and an extensive nature reference library. The Center is open year-round on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4 pm. During the summer it is open Tuesday-Sunday at the same hours.
On Washington Street at the north end of town, just across the street from the Napa Valley Lodge
Yountville Park is a very popular place for picnics (and post-hot air balloon flight champagne brunches) and one of the best parks around for kids, boasting a unique assortment of play equipment.
Across the street from the park is Pioneer Cemetery and the grave of George Yount, first settler in the valley and the founder of Yountville (although he called it "Sebastopol", overlooking the fact that Sonoma County already had a town of that name). When Yount first saw the valley in 1831, he said "In such a place I would like to live and die." He did, dying in 1865.
Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park
3369 North Saint Helena Highway (Highway 29)
St. Helena CA 94574
Three miles north of St. Helena
Hours 10 am to 5 pm
Open daily throughout the years except New Year's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Built in 1846 by Edward Bale, the mill has been restored to operating condition complete with its 36-foot wooden waterwheel and big millstones. On weekends, you can watch the mill in action, grinding grain to produce stone ground flour. Schedule your visit in October for "Old Mill Days" or December for "Pioneer Christmas".
The "Bears" who were involved in the Bear Flag Revolt at Sonoma gathered here beforehand. A fun and educational experience for the kids and parents, too. Limited picnic facilities.
In addition to scheduled tours and demonstrations at the mill on weekends at 11:30 AM, 1:00 and 2:30 PM, groups may schedule visits for Tuesdays or Wednesdays by calling the park at least 30 days in advance.
Bothe Napa Valley State Park
3801 North Saint Helena Highway (Highway 29)
Calistoga CA 94515
Bothé is just north of Bale Grist Mill, and the two parks are connected by a one-mile trail.
The nearly 2,000 acre park has excellent trails along Ritchey Creek and through beautiful redwood groves. It offers 50 camping areas either near redwoods along the creekside, or among the oaks and manzanita on sunny slopes above the creek. Campsites are also available for groups, hikers, bicyclists, and one site is fully wheelchair accessible. Picnic areas and an outdoor swimming pool are available.
The Native American Plant Garden, Wappo People, is located next to the Visitor Center. Many of these plants are still used today by the Wappo People.
Day use fees are $5.00 per car. Camping is $16 on the weekends, $15 during the week. It's a wonderful place for all ages and the loveliest public place to hike in the entire valley.
Mountain Home Ranch
3400 Mountain Home Ranch Road
Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 942-9091 (fax)
A family resort ten minutes from Calistoga run by the same family since the turn of the century. 300 acres with two swimming pools, horseshoes, ping-pong, pool table, tennis court, volleyball, basketball, hiking trails, lake fishing, picnic area, barbeque pit, and natural warm springs. No phones or televisions in the rooms. Lodge rooms; cabins with kitchen, fireplace and bathroom; and rustic cabins with beds, toilet, basin and shared showers. Reasonable rates include breakfast.
Napa Valley Trail Rides
PO Box 877
Glen Ellen CA 95442
707.996.8566, 707.938.8366 (fax)
Horseback riding in Bothé-Napa Valley State Park. Sunset and Full Moon Rides. Rides start between 5-7 pm. You'll observe nocturnal wildlife rarely seen or heard, as you enjoy the beauty of the park. Box lunch and BBQ Dinner Rides. Also private parties and corporate retreats. Open year-round, weather permitting. Reservations required.
Robert Louis Stevenson State Park
3801 North St. Helena Highway
Calistoga CA 94515
This undeveloped 5,000+ acre park is seven miles north of Calistoga, and open during daylight hours only. There's a hiking trail to the top of Mount St. Helena, exhibits, a picnic area, and an historic landmark monument to Stevenson.
Bring your own drinking water for the long, sometimes very hot, climb up the mountain. Best time to visit is spring or fall. The view from the summit includes the nearby geyser country and, weather permitting, distant mountains such as Lassen, Shasta and the Sierra Nevada. Not only is there no water, there are no restrooms either. And only limited parking! Which probably explains why there's no entrance fee.
The park contains the old townsite of Silverado, and the tent site where Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Kidnapped and Treasure Island, spent six weeks in the summer of 1880. Stevenson and his recent bride stayed in an abandoned mining building near the Silverado Mine. The building is long gone and a monument marks the site. While at the site, Stevenson kept a journal which he later used to write Silverado Squatters.
Smith's Mount St. Helena Trout Farm
Ida Clayton Road
Calistoga CA 94515
Fishing for the entire family for rainbow trout raised in cold mountain water. No license. No limit. Bait and poles available. Open Saturday, Sunday and observed holidays, February through October. Hours 10 am - 6 pm. Take Highway 128 from Calistoga toward Healdsburg/Geyserville, turn right on Ida Clayton Road. Also accessible from Middletown in Lake County, and from Santa Rosa via Mark West Springs Road and Franz Valley Road.
Lake Berryessa is less than 45 minutes from the Napa Valley in the eastern part of Napa County. Prior to 1957, the lake was Monticello Valley and the town of Monticello. When Monticello Dam was completed, the lake started filling. Today it is one of the largest manmade lakes in California, 25 miles long, 3 miles wide and 275 feet deep at its deepest point, with 168 miles of shoreline.
A wide variety of fish can be found in the lake, including bass, rainbow trout, brown trout, bluegill, crappe and catfish. Campgrounds and picnic areas are abundant. Here's a map showing the major developed recreation areas at Berryessa.
Here's an unofficial site on Lake Berryessa Outdoors.
Lake Berryessa Marina Resort
5800 Knoxville Road
Napa CA 94558
A variety of facilities and services including four lane launch ramp, tackle shop, 53 shaded waterfront RV hookups, wooded campgrounds with BBQ and picnic tables, volleyball, restaurant, picnic areas with BBQ and tables, convenience store, fuel dock, courtesy dock and jet ski and boat rentals.
Markley Cove Boat Rentals
PO Box 987
Winters CA 95694
Houseboat and fishing boat rentals. Annual berth rental. Rental houseboats include dinette, gas oven and range, bathroom with tub/shower, bunks, gaucho, refrigerator, gas BBQ, air conditioner, 110 volt generator, microwave, 140 hp I/O engine. More deluxe models include such things as wet bars, second full bath, second refrigerator and/or trash compactor.
Oak Shores Park
A recreation development operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Eight different areas with a total of 100 picnic sites with tables and barbecue grills, swimming beaches, cartop boat facility for non-powered boats, and shore fishing. $4.00 per car fee for day use.
Putah Creek Resort
7600 Knoxville Road
Napa CA 94558
Full marina, tackle shop, 200 campsites, 55 RV sites, 26 air-conditioned motel kitchenettes, grocery, delicatessen, snack bar, restaurant with cocktail lounge and dancing to live music.
Spanish Flat Resort
4290 Knoxville Road
Napa CA 94558
Complete marina facilities. Power boats, launching ramp, jet ski rental, open and covered berths, secure boat garages, gas, fishing boats, supplies. Less than one mile from grocery store, deli, sporting goods, beauty shop, post office, service station, restaurant and bar.
Steele Park Resort
1605 Steele Canyon Road
Napa CA 94558
Motel rooms and cottages with swimming pool and championship tennis courts, restaurant, bar, store, full service marina, launch ramp, campsites, RV park