Bothe-Napa Valley State Park Hike: Guilt-free hiking

Redwood Trail

When I think of wine country, I think of indulgence - from the famous chefs cooking seven-course meals to the wine-tasting at world-famous vineyards. Unfortunately all that indulgence comes with a lot of guilt. A quick stop and hike at the Bothe-Napa Valley State Park will let you indulge guilt-free.

At just 4.6 miles and roughly 1,000 ft in elevation gain, this rather easy hike right in the heart of wine country will help you burn some calories in under two hours. Even with a heavily packed wine-tasting agenda, you can stop here and race through the hike. That’s what we did this weekend before grabbing some gourmet pizza.

View from Coyote Peak

My favorite part about this hike was that it was almost completely shaded. Napa and Sonoma are usually much warmer than San Francisco and Point Reyes, and therefore represent a problem to those of us who are climate-control-challenged. But despite the warm temperatures in the high 70s/low 80s, this hike was quite comfortable. On the way up to Coyote Peak, the highest point in this hike, the breeze is like sangria…cools you down and makes you smile. Before we reached the top, we stopped to take a few pictures of the view and good thing we did because the views from the peak are pretty obscured (no good picture opportunities).

The creek was on the parched side in mid-August but it seems like it would be lovely when it’s full. We scrambled over rocks to cross the creek on a few occasions and had to dodge horse souvenirs on the first mile or so. Other than these small obstacles, the path was well maintained and the climb quite moderate and doable.

Wine Country Sunset

Overall, I would recommend this hike if you’re up in Napa or Sonoma and need a break from the wine-tasting, gourmet dining, hot springs-soaking lifestyle, but otherwise it’s not worth the drive from the city.

Overall rating: Flip-flops for difficulty and duration

Rating system:

  • Heels: So easy you can hike it in heels
  • Flip-flops: Too long or hard to hike in heels, but flat flip-flops would work
  • Pumas: A nice stroll not much harder than walking in the city
  • Trailblazers: If you want to be nice to your feet on this hike, they’ll need some more serious protection and support.
  • Hiking boots: Pull out the ugly shoes and summon your closet granola. This hike is going to kick your ass.

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Your pictures are gorgeous. And I absolutely love hikes that can be combined with other activities (like wine tasting). They’re great trips to take with a group who may not be die-hard hikers. Thanks for the trip idea as I definitely want to get out to the Napa regions sometime.

The thought definitely crossed our minds two years ago, but I didn’t really think about an actual park – just what looked appealing to us as we drove. Thanks, I’ll forward and tell my people about it, too.