Seat at the Top Table

Hike to Table Rock in Napa

It just might be the best view in Napa. And it doesn’t require a hot air balloon. At 4.5 miles (round-trip) the hike to Table Rock overlook isn’t a walk in the park, but it’s well worth it, packing in plenty of highlights, especially the marquee destination: Table Rock. Get ready for valley views worth swooning over.

Winter and early spring are the best times for this hike, when temperatures are cooler and the sunlight hits the panoramic views just right.

Start at Table Rock Trail in northern Napa’s Robert Louis Stevenson State Park and get ready for all kinds of highlights. The trail rises moderately for a mile, shaded by forest, before breaking out to a first overlook with pop-up-book vistas of hills and the vineyard-latticed valley, all the way to the impressive Mayacamas Mountains.

Hike Table Rock in Napa

Savor the views and scramble over and around the overlook’s huge boulders to take in more good scenery. Keep going on the trail, which can be a bit rutted and rocky at times (wear shoes with good traction).

Hike Table Rock in Napa

You’ll come across a section with several rock labyrinths to keep you going in circles for as long as you’d like.

Hike Table Rock Labyrinth in Napa

When you’re ready, keep on to a section that is a bit of a descent before a level-off and then ascending towards Table Rock. The last stretch is a bit of a huff-and-puff climb: You’ll wander up and across massive boulder slabs that make you feel as if you could be on Mars (if Mars had rolling vineyards within view below).

Hike Table Rock in Napa

Find yourself an outcropping to enjoy this wine country vista. There’s a lot of room up here, so if you’ve brought some picnic provisions, break them out and find a slab of Table Rock that’s a feast for the eyes.

BONUS EAT: Post-hike, try to nab a firepit spot at Sam’s Social Club in Calistoga. The lounge inside this modern-farm-style hotspot is also great. Enjoy rotating creative California cuisine and tasty cocktails! (Make a reservation if you really want a guaranteed spot.)

To reach the Table Rock Trailhead: From Calistoga, travel north on Hwy. 29 for 7 miles. The turnout for parking is on the right side of the road, 0.25 mile after the Robert Louis Stevenson State Park sign. It can get extremely hot in the summer; it’s best to hike in winter. NOTE: The trail is well-trodden and there are some signs, but trail markings are sparse in spots.

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Taking the Stage: Tyler Ranch

    Hike the recently opened Tyler Ranch Staging Area in Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, with 18 miles of new trails. This 6.5-mile loop up Sunol Peak is a challenge and rewards with exceptional views of seasonal iridescent hills.

  2. Swing into Spring

    Swing into this 7.1-mile hike in the hills of Half Moon Bay! It’s got gorgeous views, fields of spring wildflowers, and a hidden rustic tree swing.

  3. The Carson Show

    Carson Falls is ready for primetime. This three-tiered, 100-foot stunner is hidden back in a canyon outside of Fairfax and reached on a 3.25-mile (round-trip) hike.

  4. woman kneeling and signing peak book at Mount Olympia in Mount Diablo State Park

    Double Up on Diablo

    Set the tone for 2024 with this twofer summit hike at Mount Diablo State Park. Embark on a 7-mile out-and-back up Mount Olympia and Diablo’s lesser-known summit, North Peak.


Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Hiker overlooking Bear Gulch Reservoir at Pinnacles National Park near Monterey

    Pinnacles of Spring

    Why hike at Pinnacles National Park? Spring's a beautiful time of year here. And you might spy the magnificent California condor soaring while you gain soaring views from the High Peaks Trail.

  2. Caves in Mojave

    No one expects to see caves when they visit the desert, and that’s part of what makes Mitchell Caverns in the Mojave Desert such an interesting place. Go on a two-hour guided adventure tour through Mitchell Caverns in Providence Mountains State Recreation Area.

  3. Sponsored

    Port of Call

    Nestled by the sea on the majestic Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, Port Townsend is for travelers who treasure small town charm and natural beauty.

  4. Lava Lava

    Once a land of volcanic activity, Mojave National Preserve shares plenty about its past via a quick yet adventurous hike to the Lava Tube in the Cima Dome Volcanic Field.