Bothe Napa Valley State Park – Camp in the Wine Country

Bothe Napa Valley State Park
Discover the beauty of Bothe Napa Valley State Park. Stroll through the towering redwoods as you hike along a creek surrounded by ferns, madrone, California redwoods, and douglas-fir. Picnic or camp at this gorgeous park located just off the highway in the heart of the Napa Valley. This park is located just five miles from Calistoga or Saint Helena.

Daytime visitors to the park can enjoy picnicking and hiking. There is a large picnic area that makes a nice break from wine tasting. Bring a bottle of wine and a lunch and spend some time relaxing in this beautiful park. There are over ten miles of trails to enjoy at this 1,900 acre park. The Ritchey Canyon trail takes you on an easy stroll along the creek. The sound of the water splashing over rocks as it flows downhill combined with the lush vegetation make this an enjoyable hike.

Click on the triangle to view this short video:

The campsites at this park are quite nice. You definitely don’t feel you are camping in a parking lot. There are 30 campsites; both RVs and tent camping are allowed here. They have a limited number of walk-in sites where you will find even more privacy. They also have 10 yurts and 5 historic cabins that are available.

Napa CampingSome of the sites are situated right next to the creek. Bothe Napa Valley State Park is open for camping throughout the year. During the spring and early summer you can listen to the sound of the water flowing in the creek as you sleep at night.

During the summer months there is a spring-fed swimming pool open for campers as well as horseback riding. Make reservations for horseback riding by calling Triple Creek Horse Outfit at (707) 887-8700.

While in the Napa Valley, you will probably want to visit some wineries. Many campers enjoy walking to the following wineries:

  • Castello di Amorosa
  • Frank Family Vineyards
  • Larkmead Vineyards
  • Madrigal Family Winery
  • Schramsberg Vineyards

Explore the many wineries located throughout the Napa Valley that are just a short drive away.
Learn about wineries in each of these Napa towns by clicking on the name of each town:

Castello di AmorosaCalistoga Wineries
Wineries in Calistoga tend to be smaller wineries; although there are exceptions. This part of the Valley tends to be more laid-back and casual. This historic town is famous for its hot mineral springs. Tourists head to Calistoga for mud baths and spa treatments.

Wineries not to be missed: Castello di Amorosa (a Medieval inspired Tuscan castle) and Sterling Vineyards (where you can ride the aerial tram to this hilltop winery).

Napa ValleySaint Helena Wineries
There are numerous outstanding wineries located in Saint Helena. This is also the place to go if you want to shop. Browse the unique shops in the downtown area or search for bargains at the St. Helena Premier Outlets, which are just two miles north of St. Helena on Hwy. 29.

Wineries not to be missed: Rombauer Vineyards (located in a scenic, wooded area just off the Silverado Trail) and V. Sattui Winery (They have a popular gourmet cheese shop and deli and a shaded picnic area. Their wines can only be purchased at the winery.)

Mumm NapaRutherford Wineries
This small community offers fabulous wineries famous for producing outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon. There is no town but there are restaurants and accommodations.

Wineries not to be missed: Cakebread Cellars (amazing award-winning Cabernets) and Mumm Cuvee Napa (delicious Sparkling Wines).

Oakville Wineries Napa ValleyOakville Wineries
Oakville is another Napa area known for producing award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon. The popular Oakville Grocery is located here. It’s a great place to stop and pick up picnic supplies.

Wineries not to be missed: Robert Mondavi Winery (founded by the iconic winemaker, Robert Mondavi) and Silver Oaks (which specializes in producing high quality Cabernet Sauvignon).

Robert Sinskey WineryYountville Wineries
Yountville is known for its world class restaurants and its outstanding wineries. Many top restaurants are located in this small town including Thomas Keller’s French Laundry, Bouchon, and Bistro Jeanty. Park in the charming downtown area and walk to a number of wine tasting rooms. There are also wineries located just a short drive away.

Wineries not to be missed: Robert Sinskey Vineyards (fabulous wines on the Silverado Trail) and Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley (where you can enjoy great wine and unique works of art).

Domaine CarnetsNapa Wineries
Napa is the largest town in the Valley. It’s the place to go for shopping, dining, and accommodations.

Wineries not to be missed: Artesia Winery (premium wines, gorgeous views, and unique works of art), Domaine Carneros (sip Sparkling Wines while enjoying one of the best views of the Napa Valley, and Hess Collection (fabulous wines with free admission into the Hess Modern Art Museum).

Bothe Napa Valley State Park Contact Information

Address: 3801 Saint Helena Hwy., Calistoga, CA
Telephone: (707) 942-4575
Day use hours: 8 AM until Sunset

The park entrance is located on Highway 29 between St. Helena and Calistoga.

After learning about Bothe Napa Valley State Park, explore other exciting things to do in the Napa Valley:

Wineries | Hotels | Art | Golf | Hot Air Balloons | Spas | Wine Train

If you have visited Bothe Npa Valley State Park, can you please share your experiences at this state park? There’s a comment section below. We would love to hear your opinion!

Hike Half Dome – Yosemite Hikes

Yosemite National Park HikesHike Half Dome in Yosemite National Park for the challenge of a lifetime. Half Dome, a 14 mile trek, is often listed as one of the top hikes in the world.

The round trip hike typically takes approximately 12 hours. The elevation gain of 4800 feet is arduous and suited only for people who are in good physical condition.

hike half dome
The scenery is truly unforgettable. Hikers are rewarded by breathtaking views of the top of Vernal Falls, Nevada Falls, Liberty Cap, and Half Dome. Once you reach the summit, you’ll have panoramic views of Yosemite Valley and the High Sierra. If you have a fear of heights, this hike is not for you.

Metal cables are installed that allow hikers to climb the last 400 feet to the summit without rock climbing equipment. These cables are usually put up the end of May and are taken down in early October. Permits are required and are limited to a certain number of hikers each day. Permits are distributed by a lottery system. Click here to apply for a permit.

Hiking Tips for Half Dome Hike

  • Arrive at the park the night before the hike. Leave for the trailhead at sunrise or even earlier.
    Most hikers arrive at Yosemite the day before the hike. There are a variety of lodging options to choose from. You could camp under the stars, stay in a tent cabin or housekeeping campsite, or splurge and stay in a hotel. There are also a variety of places to stay just outside the park. Click Here to learn more about lodging at Yosemite National Park.
  • Bring gloves (for the cables), plenty of water, a sunhat, sunglasses, snacks, a whistle, and a windbreaker. Time your return so that you are off the trail before dark, but bring a flashlight or headlamp just in case.
  • Wear hiking boots that you’ve broken in.
  • Check the weather forecast before you begin the hike. Cancel the hike if thunderstorms are predicted. The danger is not worth the risk. National Weather Channel – Yosemite Forecast

    Directions to Hike Half Dome:

    There are a variety of routes to the top of Half Dome. Most hikers begin the Half Dome hike from Happy Isle. After reaching Yosemite Valley, follow the signs toward Curry Village. Watch for signs for trailhead parking. If that lot is full, park at Curry Village.

Yosemite Waterfall

Other Yosemite Hikes

If Half Dome is not for you, there are many less strenuous, but still spectacular hikes. With over 800 miles of trails this is a hikers’ paradise. Hike through peaceful meadows, pass waterfalls, walk through quiet forests all while enjoying the breathtaking beauty of the huge granite mountains. Some Yosemite National Park hikes are just a short distance from the road, while others are remote trails through the wilderness.

  • Lower Yosemite Falls – This hike is located in the Yosemite Valley. It’s an easy hike just half of a mile roundtrip from the trailhead.
  • Bridalveil Fall – This hike is in the Yosemite Valley. Another easy hike that’s 1.2 miles roundtrip from the trailhead.
  • The Mist Trail – This trail leads to two waterfalls. Vernal Falls is a 3 mile roundtrip hike. If you want a longer hike, continue down the trail to Nevada Falls, which is a 7 mile roundtrip hike.
  • Tuolumne Grove Giant Sequoias – 2.5 mile roundtrip hike.
  • Cathedral Lakes – 8 miles roundtrip if you hike to both lakes.
  • Mariposa Grove Trail – Medium difficulty; 7 miles roundtrip. This is the largest Sequoia Grove in Yosemite and is located in Southern Yosemite.
  • The Wawona Swinging Bridge – Easy hike, .75 mile roundtrip.
  • Sentinel Dome – This 2.2 mile hike is at Glacier Point, which is 3,500 feet above Yosemite Valley. Most of the hike is easy, but the final section up to the dome is steep.
  • Taft Point – 2.2 miles roundtrip. Hikers are rewarded with a dramatic view of Yosemite Valley. Those afraid of heights will want to stay away from the edge. Moderate difficulty.
  • Wawona Meadow Loop – Choose either the 3.5 mile or 5 mile loop. This dog friendly hike is moderately difficult.

Other Great California Hikes – CLICK HERE –

Bishops Peak San Luis Obispo

Hike to the top of Bishop’s Peak

If you have hiked to the top of Half Dome, please leave a comment below about your hiking experience. Those who plan to hike Half Dome would love to hear about your hike.

California Hiking Trails – Top Hikes in the Wine Country

California Hiking TrailsCalifornia hiking trails are some of the best hikes you’ll find anywhere. Discover the top California hikes. Get detailed information on nature hikes throughout California. Access hiking trail maps, tips, and directions.

California is a large state with diverse geographic opportunities to enjoy. Enjoy hiking along the coastline with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy breathtaking mountain views hiking through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Hike through dense redwood forests or beautiful desert scenery. California has so much to offer. Plan an outdoor getaway soon!

Northern California Hiking Trails

redwood forest California
Armstrong Woods State Natural Reserve

Coastal redwoods are the tallest living thing on the Earth. This state reserve is the place to visit and enjoy these amazing trees. Experience the amazing serenity and beauty of this redwood forest. The tallest tree in this redwood grove is 310 feet high.

Hiking trails at Armstrong Woods range from easy to strenuous. This park is located in Guerneville. Hikes range from one to nine miles in length. This is the heart of the Russian River Wine Region. This region produces an abundance of outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Explore the nearby wineries of the Russian River Valley

Bothe Napa Valley State Park
Bothe Napa Valley State Park
Discover a serene redwood forest. It’s located just off the highway near the city of Calistoga, the most northern part of Napa Valley. There are 10 miles of hikes available to hikers, equestrians, and bicyclists.

The most popular hike takes you to the top. Hikers are rewarded with scenic vistas of the Napa Valley and surrounding hills.
While in the area, take time to visit historic Calistoga. Calistoga is known for being the most laid-back area of the Napa Valley. Most of the wineries are small, family owned wineries. Visitors also head to Calistoga to enjoy the hot mineral springs and the very popular mud baths.

Learn About Calistoga Wineries

CavernsCaverns in the Sierra Foothills
Discover the underground world of limestone caverns in the Sierra Foothills. You can explore the caverns on a guided walking tour. Some of the caverns have trails that let you hike outdoors in the surrounding area. If you’re really adventurous, you might want to rappel down into the cave.

Grapes were planted in the Sierra Foothills during the 1800s by Europeans who immigrated to California looking for gold. The flagship wine produced in this region is Zinfandel. Zinfandels from this regions are recognized as being full-bodied, bold wines. You will also find outstanding Sauvignon Blanc, Barbera, Sangiovese, Syrah, Ports, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Primitive.

Discover the Wineries of the Sierra Foothills

Half Dome - Yosemite National Park

Hike Half Dome – Yosemite National Park
You’ll find many hikes at Yosemite National Parks from easy to strenuous. The ultimate Yosemite hike is the iconic hike to the top of Half Dome. I’ve done this hike numerous times. Read my tips and advice on planning for this exciting hike.

Yosemite National Park is a truly awesome place. This is the reason that visitors from around the globe visit this park every year. It’s definitely worth exploring. Yosemite gets my vote for the most beautiful place in California!

Wineries are located in nearby Mariposa and Tuolumne Counties. In fact, before Prohibition more wine was produced in this area than in the Napa Valley. Wine production died off but is experiencing a rebirth in recent years. Wineries are small, family owned businesses.

Visit Wineries Near Yosemite National Park

John Muir WoodsJohn Muir Woods – Marin County
Cross the Golden Gate Bridge and drive into Marin County to enjoy a day of hiking at John Muir Woods. An amazing California Redwoods Forest is just a short drive from San Francisco. Pick up a trail map at the Visitor’s Center.Enjoy a variety of hikes beginning with a short half mile loop that begins as you enter the park.

Marin County is just north of San Francisco and borders Sonoma County on the north. They have some unique small wineries that are family owned and operated. Located in a cool climate, they primarily produce Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Experience Marin County Wineries

Van Damme State Park

Van Damme State Park – Mendocino
Find peace and serenity at Van Damme State Park near Mendocino. Hike or bike through a fern covered canyon along Little River Creek. A beautiful hike any season of the year. An easy hike on a paved trail! There are 10 miles of trails in this state park.

Mendocino is famous for its unspoiled beauty, secluded beaches, breathtaking views, and fabulous award winning wines. This is one of the leading wine regions to organically produce wines. They have many award winning wines which and are mostly known for their top quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Explore Mendocino County Wineries

Central California Hiking Trails

Point Lobos

Point Lobos State Reserve
You’ll love the dramatic ocean views at Point Lobos State Reserve near Monterey. There are a variety of hikes. They even have a few trails that are wheelchair accessible. You might spot a whale or two.

Point Lobos is home to many animals including sea lions, sea otters, seals, and a variety of birds. A spectacular place to hike!

More than 40 different varietals of wine are produced in Monterey County. You’ll find many world class wines just waiting to be enjoyed!

Learn About Monterey County Wineries

Garland Ranch

Garland Ranch Regional Park
Garland Ranch is located in the scenic Carmel Valley. It’s a dog friendly park. There are areas that allow dogs to roam off-leash.

You’ll find lots of hiking trails to choose from for beginners to experienced hikers. Gorgeous scenery!

A major attraction in the area that you should visit if you can is The Monterey Bay Aquarium They have a variety of fascinating exhibits that are worth a visit.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Hike through a redwood forest, along a creek, past lush waterfalls, and on sunny ridge tops with fabulous views. You’ll find just the hike for you at Big Basin. This was California’s first state park.

Big Basin State Park was established in 1902. This park is well known for having some of the best California hiking trails. The park is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, home also to a number of award winning wineries. This is the region to taste fabulous Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Discover San Cruz County Wineries

Bishop's Peak

Bishop’s Peak
Bishop’s Peak is a popular hike in San Luis Obispo. This 4 mile round-trip hike to the peak offers a panoramic view that includes Morro Bay, the Pacific Ocean, Cal Poly, and the surrounding hills.

The Bishop Peak’s hike takes approximately 2 hours to do this hike. Hike in the morning and head to the beach or a nearby winery in the afternoon. Check Out the Top 15 Things to Do in San Luis Obispo.

Morro Bay State ParkBlack Hill Trail at Morro Bay State Park
Black Hill Trail is a 3 mile round-trip hike located in Morro Bay State Park. Park in the marina parking lot across from the campground. The hike begins in the campground.
It’s an easy hike with an elevation gain of 600 feet. The hike can be done in approximately 2 hours. It’s often foggy during the summer months. On clear days the view at the summit is stunning.

San Luis Obispo is famous for its delicious Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. However, you will find other high quality wines produced here such as Syrah, Sparkling Wines, Port, Grenache, Merlot, Roussanne, and Viognier.

Visit the Wineries of San Luis Obispo County

Nojoqui FallsNojoqui Falls – near Solvang
This is an easy hike (.6 miles roundtrip) for all ages. Located just 1 and a half miles off of Highway 101, it would be a perfect break for travelers driving along 101.

It’s best to do this hike in the winter or early spring when the water will be at full flow. However, this picture was taken mid-summer and it’s still pretty even in the summer. One of the shorter California hiking trails!

Santa Barbara is best known for its top quality Chardonnay, Syrah, and Pinot Noir. However, many other varietals are produced here. You will find excellent wines of every varietal as you tour Santa Barbara wineries.

Learn About Santa Barbara Wineries

Southern California Hiking Trails

Torrey Pines Ocean View
Torrey Pines State Reserve
Explore eight miles of hiking trails at Torrey Pines in the La Jolla area of San Diego. This coastal park has 2000 acres of stunning scenery. Highlights include rare Torrey Pine trees, miles of gorgeous beaches, and a lagoon that is a habitat for migrating seabirds.

There are more than 60 wineries in San Diego. Some are urban wineries with tasting rooms in the city of San Diego. There are numerous wineries located away from the city either in the eastern or northern sections of the county.

Discover San Diego Wineries

Cedar Falls - San Diego Hike
Hike to Cedar Creek Falls in San Diego
Cedar Creek Falls is a scenic hike through the hills of Eastern San Diego. The falls cascade into a pool below. It’s a blast to swim in the pool beneath the falls. The 80 foot high Cedar Creek Falls is located southwest of Julian.

Spring is the best time for this hike. Wild flowers will be blooming. The falls do dry up in the summer and the extreme heat can be dangerous during those hot summer months. If you are spending some time in the area, Check out the Top 25 Things to do in San Diego.

Iron Mountain Trailhead in Poway near San Diego, California
Hike Iron Mountain
Iron Mountain is a six mile roundtrip hike that takes you to the top of Iron Mountain. On a clear day you can see all of San Diego. There’s even a magnified viewer that zooms in on the sights. It’s fun to point out the landmarks you can recognize.

Iron Mountain is located on Highway 67 near Poway in east San Diego County. The hike usually takes two to three hours, but depends on your pace and how long you linger at the top to enjoy the stunning view.

If you have hiked any of these California hiking trails, please leave a comment below to tell us about your experiences.

Why Hikers Love Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Big Basin Redwood State ParkBig Basin Redwoods State Park is truly a hiker’s paradise. Majestic redwood trees, spectacular ocean views, and cascading waterfalls are all part of Big Basin hiking.

Located 65 miles south of San Francisco, this park became California’s first state park in 1902. Its 81 miles of hiking trails makes it a popular destination for hikers.

This park offers camping, backpacking camps, hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. Big Basin tent cabins are also available, but must be reserved in advance. This park encompasses towering coastal redwood trees as well as a variety of other plants. Enjoy the wildflowers that come each spring.

Hiking is the best way to experience the wide variety of environments at Big Basin State Park. There are many waterfalls, lush canyon floors covered with ferns, creeks, and sparsely covered ridge tops. This scenic park with its diverse landscapes is just waiting to be explored.

Big Basin hikingElevation ranges from sea level to 2,000 feet. It may be cool and foggy on the canyon floors and hot and sunny on the ridge tops.

Other Places to Hike in California

Hike Half Dome Yosemite National ParkOne of my favorite all-time hikes is to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. This 14 mile round-trip hike is for people who are in good physical condition. Yosemite has such spectacular scenery. I’m always so awestruck by the beauty surrounding me whenever I hike Yosemite. I’ve done this hike numerous times. Click on this link for my tips on hiking Half Dome. You’ll be glad you chose this hike!

Point Lobos Ocean View>Experience amazing hiking with views of the Pacific Ocean at Point Lobos State Reserve near Monterey. This state park has something for all ability levels. There are short hikes. In fact, they even have a wheelchair trail. There are also longer hikes available in the park. Point Lobos is the place to explore marine life and enjoy stunning ocean views. It’s a spectacular place to visit!

Garland Park Monterey
Garland Ranch Regional Park
is a much lesser known park. It’s located near Monterey in the Carmel Valley. There’s a variety of hikes for all levels. If you are a dog lover, this is the place for you. Dogs are allowed on many of the trails. They even have off-leash areas where dogs can roam free. It’s a beautiful park to explore.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park – Contact Information

Address: 21600 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek, CA
Office Hours: Weekdays 9AM -5PM
Telephone: (838) 8860

Big Basin Redwoods State ParkDirections to Big Basin Redwoods State Park from San Jose area
1. Drive south on 880, which will become Hwy. 17
2. Watch for the sign on the freeway for Big Basin. Exit onto Mount Hermon Road. Stay right on Mount Hermon. This road will take you through the city of Scotts Valley.
3. Turn right onto Graham Hill Rd. (This intersection does have a signal light.)
4. Immediately turn right again onto Hwy. 9. Continue north on Hwy. 9 for approximately 15 miles.
5. Turn left at the stop sign in Boulder Creek onto Hwy. 236/Big Basin Way. The park will be approximately 9 miles down this road.

Note: This route is the least curvy of 3 different routes to the park.
Click here to get directions from either San Francisco or South of Santa Cruz.

Have you visited Big Basin State Park? If so, please share your Big Basin experiences with us below.

Hike Iron Mountain – Fun Hiking in San Diego

Hike Iron MountainHike Iron Mountain. It is a great place to hike in San Diego. Enjoy panoramic 360 degree views of San Diego from the mountain summit which sits almost 2,700 feet above sea level. You will be able see El Capitan Reservoir from the top of this mountain as well as other San Diego landmarks. It’s a spectacular view!

This hike is approximately 6 miles round-trip. Plan for a moderate hike with an elevation gain of 1,000 feet. The round trip hike typically takes between 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 hours. It really depends on how much time you want to spend relaxing and enjoying the views along the way.

Iron Mountain is one of the most popular hikes in the San Diego area. It is easy to access and it’s not too difficult. But, it’s long enough that you feel like you have been on a hike.

Iron Mountain San Diego HikePlan this hike for Winter, Spring, or Fall. It just gets too hot during the summer months. You pass through rows of trees to begin this hike up to top of the mountain. After that, you won’t find any shade.

The trail is definitely rocky in spots. You will need hiking shoes. When you reach a fork in the trail, go to the left for a view of Ramona and to the right for a view of Poway and San Diego. On clear days you can see all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

Enjoy a variety of wild life and fields of boulders along the way. There are a few tables at the top. Bring a picnic if you choose. Be sure to sign the journal at the top, which is stored in a mailbox. There’s also a viewfinder that is free to use. On a clear day you can see all of San Diego.

Hiking CoupleThis trail is well marked. There will be other people along the trail; even during the week. So, if you are seeking a solitary hike, this may not be the hike for you. If you don’t mind meeting fellow hikers along the way, this is a fun trail with great views.

Go early and you’ll probably be able to park in the small lot. Otherwise park on Hwy. 67. Weekends can be crowded. Apply sunscreen before you start and bring plenty of water and a few snacks.

Directions to Hike Iron Mountain:

Take I-15 North to Scripps Poway Parkway. Exit and turn right. Continue on Scripps Poway Parkway for approximately 9 miles. Turn left onto CA 67. Continue on CA 67 for approximately 2 miles. You will find the trailhead on CA 67 just south of Poway Road. It will be on the east side of the street.

Have you had a chance to hike Iron Mountain? If you have, please tell us about your experience in the comment section below.

Go Wine Tasting in San Diego

Orfilia Vineyards EscondidoThere are over 60 wineries in and around San Diego. Find great wineries in San Diego, Ramona, Escondido, Fallbrook, Carlsbad, Oceanside, and Julian. Learn everything you need to know about San Diego Wineries by Clicking Here.