A lot of folks are intimidated by the strenuous nature of many of the hikes that go up the Oat Hill Mine trail.....and on across the Palisades! But for this shortened, afternoon version, we're going to take it just a little bit easier and stop our uphill journey about 3 miles into the hike at Bald Hill, a lovely place to stop, take in the views, pose for some pics, and have a snack or beverage before heading back down.
While this is a somewhat easier version of the typical Oat Hill Mine hike, and a great little introduction, please note that it does, indeed, entail (and starts out with) a steady climb for 3 miles and 1,300 feet in elevation on a trail that is sometimes a bit rough and uneven. And we will keep a nice, steady, Wanderers' pace right around 2.5 mph.
The plan is to be done with the hike in about 3 hours, bringing us back down to the bottom before dark, for a total of about 6 miles. (Please carry a headlamp, just in case. )
It is supposed to be quite a bit cooler next Monday, but if the forecast changes, and it looks as though it is going to be unmercifully hot, we will cancel. So be sure to check your email the night before.
Please do not RSVP unless you are sure you can make it. We understand that emergencies come up and you may need to change your RSVP, please do so by 5pm the evening before so others can make plans.
From Highway 29/Lincoln Ave in downtown Calistoga, drive one mile northeast on Lincoln Ave (Hwy 29) through town to the Silverado Trail. Make a sharp left onto Lake Street and either park on the street or in the dirt area under the oak trees between Lincoln and Lake Streets. (As a courtesy to the folks who have a home at the base of the trail, try to avoid parking right at the trail head....much of what looks like a parking spot just waiting for your car, is actually private property.)
Make sure to give yourself time to find the trail head so that you arrive prior to the scheduled time. We will head on up the trail at 5pm sharp. It would be disappointing to miss having you on the hike due to late arrival. If you do arrive late and are familiar with the trail, feel free to head on up after us. Chances are you will come upon us soon!
• Please, wear comfortable hiking shoes that are well broken in. (You might want the extra support of hiking boots on this one.)
• Bring plenty of water. More than one bottle PLEASE! The risk of dehydration with all this hot weather is very real.
• Dress in layers. It's likely we'll start off hot, but as the sun goes down it could chill down pretty quickly, so be sure to bring a vest or jacket.
• And don't forget to bring a snack and something to drink! We're sure to have the best seat in the house from the top of Bald Hill.....Sharing is always welcome!
• Be Prepared... There are no restroom facilities at the trailhead!
• Again, please check your email the night before just in case there are any necessary adjustments.
If you haven't been on the Oat Hill Mine trail before, I know you're going to love it. If you have, you might really enjoy the early evening ambiance for a change. This is going to be fun!