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The Highest Peak in the California Wine Country

Peak Summited2022 Mount Saint Helena
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadMt. St. Helena Trailhead
EncounteredWildflowers blooming
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a group
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

Mount Saint Helena tail is part of Robert Louis Stevenson State Park (named for the famed 19th century Scottish author who spent his honeymoon with his bride in an abandoned bunkhouse of the Silverado Mine in 1880). Our ETB group started from the trailhead located at Lake County Hwy 29. We hiked through  douglas fir, live oak, madrones, and manzanita trees, came cross Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial (marks the site of the bunhouse), merged left onto a fire road towards North Peak, arrived at the Bubble Rock that’s popular with rock climbers. I like the way how the road/trail zigzags on long switchbacks: rock formation on one side, breathtaking views on the other, I saw my teammates ahead of as well as behind me, and I felt the 2000+ ft elevation was not that strenuous and quite pleasant. Then a radio tower appeared in the distance which is our destination: the summit of Mount Saint Helena, Napa County's Highest Peak at 4,343 feet.

At the summit, a white plaque was installed: “In May 1841, Chernykh and Voznesenskii joined forces to map and name the tributaries of the Russian River as far north as the Healdsburg area. Shortly afterward they made the first recorded ascent of Mt. St. Helena. A metal plaque, in Russian and Spanish, was made in advance, and the explorers installed it on the north summit to mark their feat. In the 1850s the plaque was removed, but a facsimile was made for the Fort Ross centennial in 1912 to replace it; this marker remains atop Mt. St. Helena.” – https://www.fortross.org/russian-american-company

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