Monday, June 1, 2020

Oat Hill Mine

Oat Hill Mine Trail

A great hike just over the hill in Calistoga

Generally, I don't need to send people out of Sonoma County to find a good hike, but Oat Hill Mine is worth the 20-minute drive from Rincon Valley into Napa County.

The Oat Hill Mine Trailhead is on the northern border of the Town of Calistoga where Hwy 29 meets Silverado Trail Road.  To find it simply enter Oat Hill Mine Trailhead Calistoga into Waze or Google maps and it will take you right there.  

The hike is an 8.3 mile "out and back" hike.  It's mostly a moderate ascent on the original passage taking mercury miners in the 1800s from Calistoga up to the Oat Hill Mine.  There is plenty of room to pass other hikers while maintaining social distancing.  Dogs are welcome on the trail although ticks are a real problem.  The fire road is bumpy and rocky, and tripping hazards exist. Parts of the trail are exposed to the direct sun so use caution when hiking on a hot day.  No water or bathrooms are available.   

The highlight of the hike is the views of the Napa Valley.  The view is always changing as the trail twists and turns its way toward Mt St. Helena.

Oat Hill Mine operated from 1872 - 1944.  It was the 3rd largest mercury mine in the nation.

About the trail:
Fee: none
Parking: Park near the trailhead on the street or in the small parking lot
Distance: 8.25 miles
Destination: Out and back
Elevation gain: 2000'
ADA compliant: No
Dogs: yes, on a leash
More information:
Trail map: Map

Trailhead on Silverado Trail

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