Let's take on an evening workout hike through Skyline Wilderness Park in Napa! This will be a regularly occurring event, intended for folks looking for a fast paced hike and good company!
This is a moderately strenuous hike, for a total of 5 miles, and 1,200 feet of elevation gain. Completing this hike is typically done in about 2 hours, as long as everyone keeps a good pace (20-24 minute miles). While this is NOT a beginners hike, folks just starting out hiking are always welcome and will be encouraged to test their metal for the first 1.7 miles of fairly level trail. The uphill section of Lower Skyline Trail is pretty steep, so beginners can either choose to wait for the group to finish the uphill loop, or head back on their own.
The first segment of the River-to-Ridge Trail is 1.7 miles (3.4 miles round trip). The first .25 miles is paved until crossing Hwy 221, passing the Napa State Hospital through the hills into Skyline Wilderness Park, and reaching the Lake Marie Rd / Skyline Trail junction. There's a visible shortcut to Skyline Trail which we will take to continue on to the more challenging Lower Skyline Trail Loop. This is a good turn around spot for beginners, because it's a straight shot back even without a guide.
Lower Skyline Trail will extend the workout an additional 1.55 miles and 700 feet gain. Lower Skyline Trail is unmarked, but it's the first trail just past Buckeye trail, and just before Skyline Trail. We will take Lower Skyline all the way up until it meets up again with Skyline Trail. There's some nice vistas here just past some stone walls. It is at this junction where we will take a right on Skyline Trail, and head back down in a lollipop configuration to meet up again with Lower Skyline and Buckeye Trail junctions.
We will return the same way we came, down River-to-Ridge Trail to the Formal Garden Parking Lot (1.7 miles).
River-to-Ridge / Parking Lot to Lower Skyline Trail - 1.7 Miles
Lower Skyline / Skyline Lollipop - 1.55 Miles
River-to-Ridge / Return to Parking Lot - 1.7 Miles
We'll meet at the Formal Garden Parking Lot, next to the Napa Community College, BEFORE the Wedgewood Golf Course and JFK Memorial Park. Look for the brown sign that says "Formal Garden". It's a small dirt lot, and it has a large blue Porta-Potty towards the back. Parking here is free!
The address is approximately: 2291 Streblow Dr, Napa, CA 94559.
Map of Parking Lot
Street View of Parking Lot
Let's meet at 6pm, and start hiking by 6:10/6:15pm. PLEASE be on time. We will hit the trail on time to be respectful of everyone's schedule, so that means we won't be able to wait beyond our deadline.
GOOD TO BRING:
Water, snacks, hat, flashlight, layers, and smiles. Remember, this is an EVENING hike, so if it gets dark, that flashlight is a really good idea. On cooler evenings, that outer layer is also very nice to have. Also, BUG REPELLANT! The mosquitoes can be pesky.
Rain will NOT cancel this hike. :-) Unless there's any unexpected lightning, hail, or high winds... hiking in the rain is a LOT of fun, and I'll bring a rain layer just in case.
Keep checking the weather forecast link here:
MOUNTAIN LION WARNING:
While sightings are very rare, in April of 2014, a couple of hikers were reportedly stalked and chased for a bit by a mountain lion at Skyline Park. It's always a very good idea to stay alert, and hike with the group or with a partner for safety. If you spot a mountain lion, do not run. Stand your ground, make yourself as large as possible, make a lot of noise, and then walk in the opposite direction towards safety.