We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park Exploration

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park stands as a reminder of the natural flora and fauna of the area before the vineyards arose.

Content provided by

Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 4 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours

Overview :  A visit to Bothe-Napa Valley State Park allows hikers to make a trip back in time. The park is a still-forested hill nestled among... more »

Tips:  Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

3801 St. Helena Highway North

Calistoga, CA 94515

Phone: 707-942-4575

The park exhibits more... more »

Take this guide with you!

Save to mobile
Get this guide & thousands of others on your mobile phone
EveryTrail guides are created by travelers like you.
  1. 1. Download the EveryTrail app from the App Store
  2. 2. Search for the Bothe-Napa Valley State Park Exploration guide
  3. 3. Enjoy your self-guided tour
Get the app

Points of Interest

1. Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

Going into the park, you're greeted by a riparian woodland that gives way to mixed evergreen forest. Some visitors are surprised at the prevalence of redwoods. Like nearly all of the state's redwood groves, it's second growth, having been logged in the mid-to-late 1800s.

Tilt your head back here, look skyward and you'll see a majestic forest canopy... More

2. Colorful evidence of bird life

Bothe-Napa State Park is known for its abundant bird life. Somewhere nearby, a Steller's jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) is missing a feather. These birds, commonly found invading picnic tables, are as loud and raucous as their bright blue plumage suggests.

The park is also home to wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo). Although they primarily feed on... More

3. California Bay tree

This common western, mixed-woodland tree (Umbellularia californica) is also known as the California bay laurel. Its highly aromatic leaves have a pleasant scent similar to the familiar kitchen spice, Bay laurel. The local Wappo people roasted and ground the tree's nuts to make flour, and used other parts of the plant for medicinal purposes.

A... More

4. Sword fern

In wetter areas of the park, especially along heavily shaded stream banks and side trails, sword fern (Polystichum munitum) rise up to 8 feet high with dozens of thick evergreen fronds.

The sword fern (Polystichum munitum) found frequently in the wetter, shadier areas of the park's lower elevations, sports dramatic reddish-brown spore clusters... More

5. Dancer amongst the giants

Butterflies are familiar denizens of Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. This delicate orange-and-black creature is likely a California crescent (Phyciodes orseis) or Mylitta crescent (Phyciodes mylitta) sipping nectar from angelica (Angelica tomentosa).

Along with looking up at the forest canopy and around at the butterflies, make sure to look down at... More

6. California black oak bark

One of the great pleasures of hiking in a mixed woodland is the variety of textures and colors; The California black oak (Quercus kelloggii) has a sooty black exterior grooved with numerous reddish lines.

California black oak (Quercus kelloggii) have the classic lobed leaves associated with oaks. Growing up to 90 feet high, these quintessentially... More

7. Blue elderberry

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park abounds with plants that provided useful raw materials to the native Wappo people, and the area was an important place for plant gathering. Sometimes one plant offered a variety of resources. Blue elderberry (Sambucus caerulea), for example, provided nutritious berries, and the blossoms were used for a fever-reducing... More

8. Bark of the Pacific madrone

Madrone (Arbutus menziesii) is easy to spot by its shimmering, peeling orange bark and smooth, bare wood.
The tree, a not-so-distant relative of the blueberry (Vaccinium sp.), provided the last harvest of the year for the native people here.

Not all the bark of a Pacific madrone (Arbutus menziesii) will peel; Some remains mottled in a fashion more... More

9. 'Forward gravelly loam' soil

The earth of Napa Valley is a confluence of volcanic, alluvial, and oceanic geologies, lending the hillsides an extraordinary variety of soil types - over 60 are recorded in this valley of 300,000 acres. The type of soil pictured here, called forward gravelly loam, is highly respected by wine growers. Volcanic in origin, this soil is a fine host... More

10. Common manzanita

The lovely common manzanita (Arctostaphylos manzanita) is covered in distinctive peeling bark, more purple than that of its more coppery cousin, the Pacific madrone. Native groups in the area used manzanita leaves in a tea to cure stomach ailments, and carved the extremely tough wood into fishhooks and harpoon heads.

Napa Valley's first fermented... More

11. Caught in the act - making soil for future wine

Much of the soil in Bothe-Napa Valley State Park is the leftovers of ancient volcanic activity, making it a potentially rich mixture for grape vines. On this slope supporting the trail up to Coyote Peak, you can see welded tuff, the raw parent material to some of the Valley's prized soils.

As it weathers, this gray, volcanic dirt develops into some... More

12. exposed layers of 'Kidd Loam' soil

This stratified soil is called Kidd loam. Volcanic in origin, it's a contributor to grapevine-friendly soils. On its own, though, Kidd loam is more often the base of range land than vineyards.