Great Little Hike

We did an out-and-back to Lake Marie. Beautiful views of a scenic valley. The flora changes drastically from the rest of Napa valley which is pretty cool. The trail is an old wagon road and takes you buy some cool carved out areas in the mountain side. The first mile and a half has most of the serious elevation gain and is pretty exposed, but once you hit the wood line, it's mostly shady and very comfortable even on a hot day. Took my wife who is a pretty experienced hiker and she absolutely loved it. There's even a porta-john set up at about half way. Just watch out for mountain bikers and bring water.

Quite a View

This is a great little half day hike. I'd recommend getting a good early start on the trail if you want to beat the heat and get a good parking spot. Starting off, you get some beautiful single track switch-back trail under a lovely canopy. This takes you up to a peaceful little clearing that marks the spot of Robert Louis Stevenson's honeymoon cabin. Great spot to stop for a quick breather and to take in a little serenity. After that, it's about half a mile until you hit the fire road up to the peak. While the trail itself isn't especially interesting, the views all the way up are breathtaking. If you're vertically inclined, there's a pretty great sport climbing route about a mile from the junction of the trail and the fire road. As you make your final approach to the summit, you get that wonderful alien feeling of being at high altitude. The trees become sparce ragged, all the stones are weathered by the constant wind, you feel out of place. Just what you want from a good summit run. My only real complaint is having to share the summit with communication antennas. Really kind of ruins the feeling of isolation. But, hey, we need our internet I suppose. Despite the rather unsightly constructs, the view of Napa Valley is a hell of a pay off. We were able to see all the way out to the Pacific and get a great overhead of all the vineyards. I'd highly recommend packing a sturdy windbreaker as we were getting blown all over the place once we got above the tree line and go heavy on the water. You're going to be working and there's no refill points. Amazing hike that I would be happy to do again.