As you gaze over the Napa Valley, your eyes are greeted with gently rolling hills, endless red oak forests, and abundant opportunities to immerse yourself in nature. The region’s scenic surroundings, mountain views, and lush trees envelop our vineyard and luxurious villas at Chateau De Vie — a luxury bed and breakfast in Calistoga, Napa Valley.
If you’re visiting Napa as a nature lover, explore beyond the wineries with a visit to Bothe Napa Valley State Park. This is your guide to exploring California’s farthest inland Redwoods forests at this centrally located green space.
About the Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
- Website: parks.ca.gov/bothe
- Location: 3801 St Helena Hwy, Calistoga, CA
- Entrance Price: $10 per person
- Hours of operation: 8 am to sunset
Located just five miles north of the charming town of St. Helena and a short four-mile drive south of Calistoga, Bothe-Napa State Park offers a refreshing change of pace. Set in the heart of Napa Valley, Bothe Napa Valley State Park is a lovely sanctuary spanning 1900 acres. It’s within 5 miles of both St. Helena and Calistoga.
The landscape includes mossy trees, sun-drenched oaks, majestic firs, and redwoods that are a gorgeous backdrop for nearly 10 miles of biking and hiking trails.
Since 1960, Bothe-Napa Valley SP has been a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering year-round appeal. Travelers can relish BBQs and wine across the park’s picnic grounds under the refreshing shade of towering fir and redwood trees. Spring brings an explosion of colors, with wildflowers blanketing the gentle slopes, creating a dreamy view.
In 2020, the park faced the devastation of wildfires. But nature swiftly rebounded, and the fire-ravaged areas now thrive with renewed life.
What to Do and See
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park offers a host of activities for couples, solo travelers, families, and friend groups alike. Take a morning hike, laze under the shade of lofty trees, set up a picnic, or enjoy a stroll alongside the park’s babbling creek.
Go Wildlife Spotting and Bird Watching
Bothe-Napa State Park is a phenomenal natural retreat that visitors share with abundant wildlife — especially birds. Walking through the trails always comes with a soundtrack of wispy flutters and cheerful chirps, along with impressive sights of hawks gliding across the sky.
What’s that you hear in the trees? Perhaps it’s one of the six woodpecker breeds, a colorful finch, or a vibrating hummingbird. You’ll also see bigger birds like mallards, geese, herons, and even turkey vultures if you’re lucky.
Why not gamify the experience and try to check off bird species with this helpful list?
As for other wildlife? You’re not likely to see bobcats, coyotes, or even smaller raccoons or foxes — these are nighttime creatures that retreat into the heavy forests during the day.
Hike the Scenic Trails
Get ready to indulge in over 10 miles of scenic trails at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. From easy walks to challenging treks, these trails cater to various difficulty levels and range in elevation from 300 to nearly 2,000 feet. You can also explore most trails on horseback!
These six popular trails wind through towering maples, oaks, madrones, redwoods, and historic sites. But beware of pesky poison oak brimming in the area. See any leaves of three? Let them be!
Explore trails solo, or check out the visitor’s center for any guided walks. Here are some trails for you to consider.
Fringing the southern part of Ritchey Creek, the 3-mile-long Redwood Trail draws people in droves during autumn. The juxtaposition of redwoods with the lush, vibrant green of the forest canopy makes for an inspiring walk.
Native American Garden Trail
The Native American Garden Trail starts near the Visitor Center of Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. On this ¾ acre stroll, you can learn about ancient plants used by indigenous people in rituals, medicine, and weaving.
Coyote Peak Trail
The busiest trail of all is, hands down, the Coyote Peak Trail. Our advice? Wake up early for this one. It’s worth it because once you finish your hike, expect the most incredible reward of panoramic valley views and sights of iconic landmarks like Mount Saint Helena and Upper Ritchy Canyon.
Ritchey Canyon Trail
This trail guides you along historic routes, traversing through winding paths of lush forest. The Ritchey Canyon Trail links with the Upper Ritchey Canyon Trail, through which you can touch down to the farthest point of Bothe-Napa Valley State Park.
True to its namesake, this trail meanders around a lovely local vineyard. Its fairly even ground makes it great for families and beginner adventurers.
The 1.1-mile History Trail starts near the picnic area, goes past the Pioneer Cemetery, and gently leads to the adjacent Bale Grist Mill State Park. This historic mill, powered by a waterwheel, is still functional. On weekends, visitors can get a glimpse of the bygone days by watching grains being ground old-school style. Note that bikes and horses are not allowed on this trail.
Savor a Picnic
Enjoy a delectable picnic under the sun at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. Pack a tasty charcuterie board or sandwiches with exquisite cheeses, and pair them with a silky-smooth Napa Valley wine. You won’t be able to buy one in the park, but you can order one for your lodging via Chateau de Vie’s wine service.
Our rich, blackberry-noted 2010 Cab Sauv is a great choice! The perfect pairing with sweet jams and cheeses on your charcuterie board!
Picnicking under the shade of lofty trees or alongside the creeks is a blissful way to bond with friends or family!
The park boasts a huge picnic area, complete with ample picnic tables equipped with convenient BBQ grills underneath, allowing you to enjoy a delicious cookout. Water fountains nearby provide easy hydration for your al-fresco meal. The background noise? Rustling creeks, swaying leaves, tapping woodpeckers, and positive chatter and laughter from your loved ones over a meal. Sublime!
Cool off With a Swim
If you plan to visit Bothe-Napa Valley State Park on a weekend or national holiday between Memorial Day and Labor Day, don’t forget to pack your swimsuit! Take advantage of the park’s refreshing spring pool, complete with a lifeguard on duty, open from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
After a strenuous hike on a hot summer day, there’s no better way to cool off and rejuvenate than with a cool dip. Get access to the pool for a low fee of $5 per person.
Reflect on History at Pioneer Cemetery
Cemeteries might feel a tad dreary for vacation, but the Pioneer Cemetery in this park holds significant historical value and inspires your reflection. This is the final resting place for pioneers who played a pivotal role in shaping the park and the surrounding area.
Also, you can spot the plaque demarking the site of Napa County’s first church. Walk past the cemetery’s 50 memorials and connect with history as you take in the park’s calming flora.
Explore Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
After a day crammed with action, it’s time to retreat to the luxurious comfort of Chateau de Vie, conveniently located a stone’s throw away from downtown Calistoga.
As the sun sets, you’ll retreat to your luxurious villa, filled with every detail to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Relish a deep, restful night’s sleep as your body prepares for more nature-filled fun the next day.