Getting there was half the fun?

Numerous caves and overhangs can be seen from the trail. This one sits just off the trail.
User: Austin Explorer - 2/11/2018

Location: Oat Hill Mine Trail

Rating:
Difficulty:  Solitude:
Miles Hiked: 8.01 Miles  Elapsed Time: 3 hours, 43 minutes

Comments:

After completing the first half of the trail on the Calistoga side of the mountain Coppertone and I were eager to see what the eastern half of this trail had to offer.  The drive to the trailhead was an adventure all its own.  It's about a 1.5 hour drive from Sonoma Valley but the real adventure is the last few miles that take place on a single lane dirt road headed up the mountain.  I'm not entirely sure what we would do if we encountered a vehicle headed in the opposite direction but thankfully that did not occur.

As you would expect on the Oat Hill Mine Trail, the surface is very rocky.  However, to get to the pass that marks the halfway point there is far less elevation gain.  There's a bit of up and downs but 400 feet of elevation difference is less challenging than the west segments almost 2000 feet.

The solitude is far higher here on the eastern half of the trail.  In almost 4 hours of trail time we came across only two other people.  The canyons opening up into sparsely populated Pope Canyon meant quiet solitude for the entirety of the hike.

A surprise birthday party later in the day required us to push the pace a bit to make it back home in time.  It would have been nice to have a bit more time to take in the views, which were spectacular.



Log Photos
Trail View
Rocky path
Shelter
Rock Wall
Swartz Canyon
Headed back
Caves
Recommended Item
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Hiking California's Wine Country covers 67 hikes in the area for hikers of all abilities. Up-to-date trail information and miles and directions will be featured throughout, as well as sidebars on local culture, trivia, and wildlife. GPS coordinates are available for all trailheads.