With stunning, 360-degree views of Northern California countryside, the summit of Mount Saint Helena is well worth the climb. The North Peak is the highest point in Napa County, rising 4,343 feet above sea level. On a clear day, often the best found in winter, you can see the Napa Valley, the San Francisco Bay, Mount Diablo, Mount Tamalpais, and the High Sierra.
The hike begins at the Robert Luis Stevenson (RLS) Memorial Trail from the parking lot on the west side of the road, where you’ll pass an open area with picnic tables before you reach the sign for the summit. The beginning of the hiking trail is narrow and rocky at times, and it switchbacks up the hill through a dry forest of oak, madrone, and Douglas fir. After about 0.7 miles you will see the Robert Luis Stevenson Memorial near a small clearing. This marks the location where Stevenson and his wife honeymooned in 1880. Continue a short distance up a steep, eroded trail before taking a left onto an old logging road that leads to the summit.
From here the road winds continuously up the side of the mountain. Knobcone pine and manzanita flank the road, and you'll see several rock climbing spots and viewpoints along the way. About 3 miles up the road you will reach a spur up to the South Peak, then continue straight and down before the the final climb to the North Peak (the mountain’s highest point). On the top there are a number of communication towers, but they don’t block the wonderful views. Once you’ve enjoyed some time on the summit, continue down the way you came.