This pleasant yet moderate hike in Robert Louis Stevenson State Park leads to the summit of the Bay Area’s tallest precipice and a phenomenal view overlooking Napa Valley. Located across Highway 29 from the better known Mount Saint Helena, aptly named Table Rock boasts an invitingly large, flat top that abruptly drops 300 feet to the hillside below. Explore with caution!
The Table Rock Trail begins at Highway 29 and climbs through a forest of tanoaks, madrone, and Douglas fir en route to a rocky overlook of Mount Saint Helena rising above the Napa Valley. From here you can see the trail drop in elevation to a plateau. Follow the trail downhill in an easterly direction. A nice little surprise is waiting at the bottom of this first hill: Some creative soul has taken the time to construct multiple labyrinths out of stone.
Continue down a second hill into a valley, then follow a seasonal creek bed that leads to a wooded hillside. Climb the hill and proceed up a small canyon to the signed junction for Table Rock Overlook and Palisades Trail. Hang a right and climb the lunar-like backside a short ways to the top of Table Rock. Enjoy the views, but be careful not to get too close to the edge. And keep an eye open for the peregrine falcons that are sometimes seen here.
Given the rock formations, it may not be a surprise to learn Mount Saint Helena, the Table Rock area, and The Palisades have a fair amount of established climbing routes. There are challenging routes on Table Rock itself, with many more on The Palisades and on the crags scatted around Mount Saint Helena.