Who says you can’t enjoy some unforgettable wines and incredible hiking in Napa Valley? There’s no shortage of irresistible Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Cabernet Sauvignons, and other world class wines to experience in Napa Valley, but there’s also miles upon miles of hiking trails and breathtakingly beautiful views along the way.
If you’re looking to see some of the best sights in wine country, check out this guide to some of the best hiking in Napa Valley!
Napa Hiking Trails
Whether you’re looking to trek miles into the wilderness to see a whole new side of Napa Valley, or you’re only looking to enjoy some outdoor time a few steps away from delicious restaurants and tasting rooms, I’ve got you covered!
This guide covers all of the best hikes in Napa Valley, and lets you know what to expect before you hit the open trail!
Skyline Wilderness Park
It’s easy to see why Skyline Wilderness Park is one of the most popular hiking spots in Napa Valley. It’s also a popular spot for horseback riding and mountain biking. You’re sure to come across plenty of other people enjoying the trails, but this little haven will still have you feeling totally at peace and one with nature. The best past? You’ll feel like you’re worlds away from all the hustle and bustle, but really, you’ll only be 10 minutes from the heart of downtown Napa.
There’s plenty of hiking trails to choose from throughout the park, but personally, I recommend Lake Marie via Skyline Trail. This 6.4 mile loop offers breathtaking views in almost every direction, and these well maintained trails are open all year long.
Some important things to know before you go; parking at Skyline Wilderness Park is $6/car and, unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed on the trails.
Length: 6.4 Miles
Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
Avg. Duration: 3.5 Hours
Napa Valley Vine Trail
The Napa Valley Vine Trail is still a work in progress, but once fully completed, it’ll stretch 47 miles from Vallejo Ferry to Calistoga. The longest, completed stretch of the paved, pedestrian pathway begins at Kennedy Park and goes all the way into Youtsville – covering 12.5 miles. It’s a popular spot for biking, running, and even dog walking – and put you in the middle of all the action. There’s so many great restaurants, tasting rooms, and shops just steps from the trail – and once it’s fully completed
Personally, I love the great outdoors and the chance to lace up my hiking boots, but it’s not everyone’s idea of a good time. If you’re planning a girls trip and you’re looking to enjoy some nice outdoors time without subjecting your friends to steep climbs up a dirt pathway, the Napa Valley Vine Trail is a nice compromise. Plus, you don’t need to “hike” the entire pathway to get a taste of what the trail has to offer.
Length: 12.5 Miles
Avg. Duration: 3.5 Hours
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
This gorgeous park has no shortage of beautiful views and exciting trails to explore. If you’re looking to tackle a more challenging hike during your time in Napa Valley, the Bay Area Ridge Trail is an excellent option. The trail is open all year, but if you’re coming during the warmer months, this route will help you beat the heat. You’ll travel alongside a scenic creek for most of the hike, and get lots of shade from the coast redwoods.
Length: 7.3 miles
Difficulty: Moderate – Challenging
Avg. Duration: 4 Hours
If you’re looking for something a little less intense, but still want to explore some of the spectacular natural beauty in Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, the Redwood Trail is a great alternative. It’s also an out-and-back trail, but less than half the distance and a fraction of elevation gain.
Some important things to know before you go; parking at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park is $10/car and, unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed on any of the trails.
Length: 3 Miles
Avg. Duration: 1.5 Hours
Las Posadas State Forest
Who doesn’t love a waterfall hike? The Linda Falls Trail is one of the hidden gems of Napa Valley. It’s a short, easy, out-and-back hike that won’t take you more than an hour, but it offers a great view. If you’re planning to hike to the falls on the weekend, though, I recommend an early start so you can get a parking spot!
Length: 1.3 Miles
Avg. Duration: 1 Hour
Napa-Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area
These gorgeous marshlands sit on the cusp of Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, only a stone throw away from San Pablo Bay. It’s not a particularly long or challenging hike, but it’s one of the best places in Napa Valley if your favorite outdoor recreational activities include bird watching or fishing. It’s also a great kids friendly hike, and you can even bring your favorite four-legged friend.
Length: 3.5 Miles
Avg. Duration: 1 Hour
Things to Know About Hiking in Napa
Getting ready to hit the trails in Napa Valley is a lot like getting ready for a hike anywhere else! Safety should always be your number one priority.
The California Department of Parks and Recreation encourages everyone to bring a friend or family member along for the adventure, and on top of that, be sure to let someone else know exactly where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone.
You’ll also want to bring plenty of drinking water with you! When I’m heading out for a long hike, I make sure to fill up a “hydration bladder” before getting to the trailhead. They typically hold 2 liters, and on average fall somewhere in the $15 to $40 range. As an extra precaution, I also bring a Lifestraw with me. It might look cool and refreshing, but drinking mountain stream water can actually make you ill if you don’t take added precautions.
A few other safety items I like to bring with me? A first aid kit is always a good idea, along with an emergency blanket and rain ponchos!
The weather in California is hard to beat, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to bring an extra layer or two with you! Always check the weather report before hitting the trail, and keep an eye out for trail reports. In the rainy, winter months, you’ll want to make sure that trails haven’t been washed out and trees haven’t come down in your path.
You’re going to find some of the best wines in the world when you visit Napa Valley, but even though we don’t advertise it, wine country also offers some equally impressive hiking trails. The views and natural beauty you’ll find here are breathtaking. If you can, try and squeeze one of these hikes into your itinerary – even if it’s one of the shorter treks!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there hikes in Napa Valley?
Yes, there’s lot of fantastic hiking opportunities in Napa Valley! We might not be as well known for our hiking trails as we are for our fantastic wine, but there’s plenty of outdoor adventures waiting to be had in Napa Valley.
Does Napa Valley have waterfalls?
There are waterfalls in Napa Valley! One of the most popular is Linda Falls – included in this guide – near the community of Angwin. You can also explore Marie Falls in Skyline Wilderness Park, which is only minutes from downtown Napa.
How long is the Napa Valley Wine Trail?
Once completed, the Napa Valley Wine Trail will stretch 47 miles from Vallejo Ferry to Calistoga. At the moment, the longest completed stretch of the paved, pedestrian pathway begins at Kennedy Park and goes all the way into Youtsville – covering 12.5 miles.
What is the best month to go to Napa?
One of the best times to visit Napa – especially if you’re looking to hit some trails while you’re here – is from August to October. The weather is fantastic, and you’ll also be here in the middle of harvesting season. Although March through May is also a popular time to visit wine country, the winter months are known for being wet. In times of excessive rainfall, it’s not unusual for trails to be closed for safety reasons.