A Napa CA jaunt - 10/28 - 10/31 2012

Napa is a great place for a change of scenery! And it's only two-and-a-half hours from our Nevada City home.  We filled up Tergel with the necessities, and took off on a warm Sunday morning, aiming to stay at the Napa Elks Lodge RV campground, recommended by friends.  Our plan was to stay three nights and do some sight-seeing and hiking.  One objective in particular was a return to hike in Skyline Wilderness Park, specifically the rugged Skyline Trail.  Skyline Park is an 850-acre wilderness area, at the southeast corner of Napa, with lots of wildlife, including deer and wild turkey, and a variety of birds.  

Monday:  Skyline trail winds up-up-up thru golden grasses, oak groves, and affords wonderful views of the Napa Valley, wetlands south of the city, and as far away as San Francisco Bay, Mt. Tamalpais and Mt. Diablo.   Once the fog burned off today, we saw all this!  We spent the entire afternoon hiking and admiring views from every angle; we were in no hurry.  Several runners passed by either coming or going, reminding us of the days when we trained to run in road races, and speed was paramount.  No longer!  

The elevation gain/loss was about 900 feet, which gave us quite a work-out!  Our route eventually took us past a collapsed miner's cabin down to Lake Marie.  We sat there on a bench for a spell, resting and sharing an apple, watching coots swim across the tiny lake.  We returned to our car on the lower Marie Creek Trail, an altogether different experience, green and lush, steep in sections, with lots of boulders to climb over or around. 

Our total hike today was approx 7 miles.   And we picked an excellent day, cool with plenty of sunshine.

Looking toward Napa.

Acorn woodpecker, filling the holes with - of course - acorns!

 One of several large piles of rusted cans.  ??

 High on the ridge, taking in the view.

Closer shot of the above photo.

Two different views of the Skyline Trail - some parts were easier than others!

We paused often to admire the scenes around us.

I've looked online every way I know to find out information on the miner who had the cabin here, but find nothing.  The chimney is brick and rock.

 Lake Marie.  Small, but serene.

The Marie Creek Trail includes four creek crossings and plenty of boulder scrambling as we worked our way through the narrow moss and fern covered box canyon.  Initially the creek was dry, but seep water finally made a tiny flowing creek.

Everything was covered in green moss.  I can testify:  It was soft.

Back in the chaparral, this inquisitive doe didn't mind us.

This looked like someone began hacking thru the rock in the hopes of treasure?  The hole only went in about 15-20 feet.  I didn't go in any further.

One more vista to behold.

Watch out, ladies, Thanksgiving is coming!!

The orange color stood out, begging for a photo!
 Click on any photo to enlarge.

An extraordinary hike on a lovely fall day.  Tomorrow:  NO hiking!!


  1. Your beautiful pictures made me feel like I was on the hike with you.Thank you for sharing
    Betty from Milwaukie, Oregon

    1. Thank you, Betty - glad you enjoyed the post!

  2. Oh boy, another spot to add to our "List".... That list keeps getting longer and longer! "smiles"

  3. beautiful hike! I would have stayed in the up part of the hike however. All that stuff in the draws looks way too much like poison oak to me. I spent much of my working time in the California foothills in the hospital getting steroid shots for that stuff. Hope you two aren't allergic!


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