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!

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.

Van Damme State Park

Van Damme State Park
Located just 3 miles south of Mendocino, Van Damme State Park is absolutely beautiful. Highway 1 divides the park in half. Turn inland off the highway to enter the campground and trail area.

Van Damme Beach is west of the highway. This rocky beach is extremely popular with abalone divers and kayakers. Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach. As you stroll or relax on the beach, you might even spot migrating whales in the Pacific Ocean.

You can meet in the parking lot to enjoy a kayak tour from a private company called Kayak Mendocino. Professional guides lead you through the sea caves in the area; letting you get up close and personal with the marine life. Reservations are required.
Click here for More Information on Kayaking.

Little River Creek

There are 10 miles of trails for hikers or bicyclists. Most come to hike or bike the lush Fern Canyon Trail. This trail winds through hills covered with ferns.

This 5-mile roundtrip trail is carpeted with ferns as well as redwoods, red alder, maple, Douglas Firs, and wild cucumber and berry bushes.

Fern Canyon Trail

It’s an easy paved trail that is well marked. It crosses the Little River creek nine times. When this trail ends, you can continue on another mile or so to the Pygmy Forest. This type of forest is something that is very rare. The trees are all dwarf-sized due to a lack of nutrients in the soil. Dogs are not allowed on any of the trails.

The Pygmy Forest is an oddity that occurs in several spots in the county. Some visitors are fascinated by the 60 year old trees that are just a few feet tall and less than an inch in diameter, while others have no interest at all in these scrawny plants. They’re caused by acidic soil with little nutrients combined with poor root penetration.

Van Damme camping

The lower campsites are located right next to the Little River Creek. Even in the summer water will be flowing close to your tent or RV. Some campsites are more spacious than others, but the surroundings are lush and green throughout the year.

If you are looking for seclusion, try one of the ten campsites that you must walk or bike to reach.

Fun Things to Do Near Van Damme State Park

Cafe Beaujolais MendocinoDefinitely visit the charming ocean side village of Mendocino. Browse the unique shops, art galleries, and wine tasting shops. Hike along the shoreline. A delightful little restaurant that we recommend for dinner in Mendocino is Cafe Beaujolais It’s a house that’s been converted into a restaurant. Great service and outstanding food!

mendocino winery

Meyer Family Cellars

There are many wonderful wineries located throughout Mendocino County. They produce award winning wines. This is one of the leading areas for organically grown grapes. 25% of the grapes grown in Mendocino are organically grown. Most of the wineries are concentrated in the Anderson Valley along Highway 128.
Guide to the Wineries of Mendocino County

Skunk Train Fort Bragg

Skunk Train Fort Bragg

Drive ten miles north to the town of Fort Bragg. This is the largest town in the area. There are many things to do in and around Fort Bragg. Board the Skunk Train for a scenic ride through the redwoods. Make reservations in advance for this approximately three to four hour excursion.

Mendocino Botanical GardensStroll through the gardens at Mendocino Botanical Gardens. Bring your walking shoes and your camera. Walk all the way through the gardens to the shore where you can sit and enjoy the view. There is a gift shop, snack bar, and a nursery where they sell plants. It’s beautiful any time of the year, but spring is the best time to see everything in bloom.

Van Damme State Park – Contact Information

Van Damme State Park

Reservations and Information
Address: Highway 1, south of Mendocino
Telephone: (707)937-5804

If you have visited Van Damme State Park, we’d love to hear from you. Please scroll down and leave a comment to share your opinions.

Redwood Forest California – Armstrong Woods State Natural Reserve

Armstrong Woods State Natural Reserve Explore a majestic redwood forest California. Armstrong Woods State Natural Reserve is an old growth redwood forest located in Guerneville. Take a break from wine tasting in Sonoma County to explore the beauty of this redwood forest. You’ll be in awe of the amazing redwoods in this tranquil setting. It’s the perfect place for quiet reflection.

This park was named after Colonel James Armstrong, a lumberman who recognized the beauty of this redwood grove in the 1870s. He set this land aside to save as a natural park. His daughter, Lizzie Armstrong, later campaigned successfully to have Sonoma County purchase the property. In the 1930s it became a state park.

Redwood Forest California
The coastal redwood is the tallest living thing on the Earth. The tallest tree in this grove measures more than 310 feet in height. It’s called the Parson Jones Tree.

The Colonel Armsrong Tree is the oldest tree in the area. It’s estimated to be over 1,400 years old. Both are just a short distance from the park entrance.

Enjoy a picnic at Armstrong Woods, hike, or horseback ride.

Redwood Forest
Hiking trails in the park range from easy to strenuous. There are horse trails that are usually open throughout the summer months.

Horse rentals are available from a private company adjacent to the park or you can bring your own horse. Call in advance to make sure the trails are open.

There’s no camping within this redwood forest. However, you can camp at Austin Creek State Recreation Area, which is adjacent to Armstrong Woods Natural Reserve.

Armstrong Woods State Natural Reserve

Address: 17000 Armstrong Woods Rd., Guerneville, CA
Telephone: (707) 869-2015

Directions from Guerneville: Turn north on Armstrong Woods Road and drive two miles to Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve.

Tip: Park in the lot just outside the park entrance and walk into the park. It’s a short walk into the park.

Have you ever been to Redwood Forest California: Armstrong Woods State Natural Reserve? If you have, please tells us about your experiences at this park. We would love to hear your comments about the redwoods.