Hiking Mt. St. Helena

by Kelli H. on May 30, 2011

Photo’s by Michelle 
Yesterday Michelle & I decided to hike Mt. St. Helena.  Neither of us had done the hike before and were both eager to reach the top and claim the reward of amazing views of Sonoma, Napa, and Lake County.  We were even lucky enough to see Mt. Shasta or Mt. Lassen.  We’re not sure which one it was or even if maybe it was both but there were 2 huge snow-covered mountains way out in the far distance.  
Made it to the top!
We started the hike around 1:30ish and were nervous about when we’d make it to the top.  We’d read the hike was considered strenuous but were confused by that description. In the very beginning of the hike there were switch-backs through a beautiful shady forest and the finally a pretty steep incline, with large rocks, but that only lasted about 10 minutes.  After that the trail was a wide fire road with trees, rocks, and steep descents lining the trail. We even ran into mountain climbers attempting to climb a very large rock.  We took a snack break and watched. 
The top was pretty cold as I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts.  Luckily, Michelle was wearing pants and didn’t need her sweater so I could use that to keep warmer.  The views were definitely the prettiest I’ve seen on a hike in our area.   It beat Mt. Hood and Armstrong Woods views by far. 
The clouds above were casting the coolest looking shadows on all the trees and valleys below us.  There were also lots of large rocks at the top to sit on and eat another snack to regain some more energy.  The drop below was so steep and made us feel wayyyy up there. 
The vista is shared with some kind of satellites and there were at least 10 guys working up there.  They didn’t distract from the view too much.  On the way back down they were all leaving and 1 stopped and asked us if we wanted a ride back down.  We politely declined as we were determined to get in all 10.2 miles of the hike.  
This was a beautiful hike that I will definitely do again.  I’m actually eager to get back up there and share the view with others.  It was the perfect weather and a perfect way to spend a Sunday. 

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Janelle May 30, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Wow, what views! Good for you guys! How long did it actually take? I’d love to do it as a warm-up pre-backpacking trip hike.


Made in Sonoma May 30, 2011 at 6:16 pm


I think we left the car around 1:30 or 1:45 and made it back to the car around 5:50.

I want to do it again too before our backpacking trip.


Janet May 30, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Nice pictures, especially the first one, could you see the ocean, I’d be lucky to hike two miles on a nice day.


Made in Sonoma May 30, 2011 at 7:56 pm


We couldn’t see the ocean… We saw Lake Berryesa though.


stevedx June 1, 2011 at 6:19 am

Thanks for sharing your hike Kelli–you guys definitely picked a nice day to go! I like hiking from Robert Louis Stevenson State Park to the lookout–even on days when it was a little windy at the top. There is another Mount St. Helena trail that I’ve wanted to try, but it will take 2 cars (or maybe a bike and a car) since it’s 11 miles one way: http://www.summitpost.org/palisades-trail/380692.


Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) June 1, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Nothing is quite as satisfying as the amazing views you get to enjoy after a long hike- gorgeous!


Made in Sonoma June 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm


That trail looks great! We should try to do it this summer.


Made in Sonoma June 1, 2011 at 2:16 pm

@Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life)

Agreed! Makes it all worth it.


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