Past Meetup

New Year Sunrise Pilgrimage to St. Helena (Strenuous)


Let's start off the year with a bang! I can't think of a more inspirational way to start by being bundled up at the top of Sonoma County's highest peak to watch the sun rise! It's important to know that it will involve walking in the dark with a headlamp for the first mile and after that we turn off the headlights and hike in the starlight up to the top. You will need MANY layers, a hot toddy for the top and the realization that if the mountain is socked in we may have just climbed up there for the fun of it and have no view at all! :) The trail is an easy trail to follow but it's a work out at 11 miles with an altitude gain of 2100 feet. I set a slow but steady pace. Conversation, pictures and enjoyment of the journey is what this is all about. Mount St. Helena in Robert Louis Stevenson Park is the tallest peak in Sonoma County at 4339 feet. We start on a trail that climbs through the forest for about 1 mile which at that point we follow a fire road that climbs steadily to the top. The road is on a south facing slope that is completely in the open resulting in constant spectacular views. 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.

A great trail description with some pictures can be found at:

A simple trail map can be found at:

As always:

Please always check your email the night before just in case there are any necessary adjustments.

Give yourself time to find the trailhead 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: 5-6 hours

Facilities: None

Dogs?: None allowed

Bring plenty of water. More than one bottle is usually a good idea.

Dress in layers. The hike will be cold. Bringing some hand warmers would be a good idea!

Bring a hot drink in a thermos for the top and a snack!

Always try to car-pool if you can. If there is a noted car pool that is full or doesnt work for you it would be wonderful if posted your own on the hike’s comments spot. And car poolers if you are riding with someone other than your leader please chip in for gas and the use of their car.

Bring your smile and great attitude! Once again....this is not about finishing the hike in record's about enjoying ourselves and the outdoors!

Car Pools Healdsburg Big John's shopping center Recommended leaving time at 3:45 Calistoga and Hwy 12 at the Safeway parking lot Recommended leaving time at 4

See you on the trail!


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