Sunday, December 27, 2009


Hiking at Skyline Wilderness Park (Napa County, California, USA).

Something else to do in the Napa Valley!!

JimH and I got an early start driving to Skyline Wilderness Park. The day was cloudy with a chance of rain towards the end of the day. We hiked out on the west side of the park on the Skyline and Buckeye Trails (See Skyline Park trail map.) which provided views down to the city of Napa and to the Coast Range off in the distance to the west. Being one of the first groups on the trail may have helped us to see the flock of 17 wild turkeys and a small herd of 5 deer.

Map of Skyline Wilderness Park.

Instructions for online interactive topographic river maps and road maps.
• Click on Map button for road map, Topo button for topographic map.
Full-Screen Map - landmarks in Skyline Wilderness Park.
• Names of landmarks (A, B, etc.) - DoubleClick or point on the red markers.

      N 38.27949 W 122.24839, Skyline Wilderness Park (A)
      N 38.25860 W 122.23002, Lake Marie (B)

We had lunch at Lake Marie, then crossed the dam and returned via Lower Marie Creek Trail and Lake Marie Road. Hiking down by the trickling creek was quite a contrast from the morning when we were hiking higher up on the hillsides. In the afternoon we saw more hikers and some mountain bikers heading in as we were heading out, but the place never seemed crowded. Overall, it was really good hiking and there are more trails to explore some day when I go back there.

• Photo gallery - Hiking at Skyline Wilderness Park.

More about:
• Trailhead Maps for Napa County, CA.
California Maps - Atlas and Gazetteer by Delorme, 2008.
California Hiking Trails Directory.
Hiking & Camping Trip Reports - BRT Insights.
Olympus Stylus 720SW waterproof camera. Photos edited with IrfanView and PanoStitcher.

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The Marie Creek trail was largely in the shade under Bay and oak trees. Even the Skyline and Buckeye trails were under live and deciduous oaks more often than not. The Skyline trail parallels an old stone wall much of its length adding an interesting accent to photos. In addition to the deer and turkeys there was lots of smaller wildlife, bush tits and woodpeckers among them.
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