Warning: This trail is not for everyone. It is rugged and can be treacherous. It is not recommended for anyone with any type of injury that could be aggravated by hiking this trail or anyone that is not an experienced hiker. While the trail is beautiful it is steep, slippery and narrow. Due to past problems we can only accept hikers that have hiked previously with the group. No new hikers on this hike.
A description is as follows:
The rugged Palisades are precipitous volcanic cliffs that stretch southeast from Mount St. Helena. Travel through varied forests, a garden of lava rock, a meditation circle, scramble of volcanic cliffs and wander below the cliffs called the Palisades. This trail is between 11-12 miles with significant climbs and descents (appx[masked]ft). We will meet at the Robert Louis Stevenson Trailhead for Mt. St. Helena at 7 . We need to have drivers to make this hike work because we will shuttle down to the Oat Hill Mine Trail Head in Calistoga to begin our journey up. This is a must-do hike if you are physically able to do it. Bring snacks for your pocket because we will wait until Table Rock to stop for lunch. At that point we are 2-3 miles from the end which is well past half way.
An easy way to know if you would enjoy this hike is if you are able to say yes to the following:
I have been hiking 8+ in the last couple of weeks.
I have been hiking trails with an altitude gain of over 2000 feet regularly and consistently in the past few months.
I consider myself an experienced and fit hiker and can navigate rough terrain.
We will meet at the parking lot for Robert Louis Stevenson Park. From Calistoga go northeast on highway 29 up the winding mountain road until you see the sign for the park at the roads summit.
Please always check your email the night before just in case there are any necessary adjustments. This is especially important if there are any weather issues. Cancellations due to weather will be posted by 10pm the previous evening.
Give yourself time to find the trail head so that you arrive prior to the scheduled time. That is the time we head out on the trail. It would be disappointing to miss having you on the hike due to late arrival.
Wear comfortable hiking shoes with good rugged soles that are well broken in.
Duration: 6-8 hours
Dogs?: Not allowed on the top portion of the hike.
Bring plenty of water. This is a 3 liter hike. Dress in layers. There is a good chance this will be hot. Bring a lunch! Also there is a great spot across the road from the finish for a beer after!
FOR car pools ...we have a change. Please document your car pool info in your RSVP comments NOT the general comments below. That will eliminate many msgs to the hike attendees. Car pool etiquette- Come prepared to drive, be aware that there may be no others wanting to car pool from your selected location or there might be a lot of people and everyone might want to ride. We determine who gets the rider seats by who has most recently been a driver in the past. This is worked out based by who shows up at the car pool location. We can't guarantee anyone a seat because we never know until that day who will show up. We do our best to work it out and make everyone happy but we need everyone to pitch in and help make it work!
Then PLEASE if possible try to use the three locations below. The more locations we have the less effective we are and it's so much more complicated. Exceptions would be if you are not close to either location.
Car pool locations:
Healdsburg-Big John's Market at 6:05
Coddingtown Library parking lot suggested leave at 6:05
Petaluma-Lucky at the intersection of Lakeville and Caulfield Ln. Park closest to Payran St. suggested leave by 5:45
General room of thumb...$5 one hour or less to trailhead $8 over one hour to trailhead Please insist your driver accept the money. It's to cover more than gas money...it's the wear and tear on the vehicle. We like to take care of our drivers!