Hiking the Burn Scar at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

The Bay Area Ridge Trail at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park parallels Ritchey Creek as it ascends steadily through the shade of mixed woodlands and redwood groves. The park’s redwoods – an unusual feature this far inland – and much of the forest in the upper elevations of the park was heavily damaged by the Glass Fire in October 2020. Watch out for poison oak.

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TRAIL MAP (date hiked)

  • Bothe-Napa State Park

Our Journal

The Ridge Trail at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park needs time and some TLC.

The lower portions of the park near the campground were largely spared from the ravages of 2020’s Glass Fire. But not far up the trail the smaller trees and underbrush beneath the redwood canopy were wiped clean. Black char encrusts the trunks of the surviving mature trees.

Meanwhile, poison oak thrives. It’s easy to avoid on the service roads that double as trails in portions of the park, but the day we hiked we had to shimmy and high-step our way up the single-track trails to avoid the noxious ground cover. The higher we hiked, the closer the poison oak encroached until it was pretty much impossible to escape.

We both hike in long pants and managed to avoid a rash by carefully bagging and segregating our trekking poles, trail clothes and boots for cleaning post-hike. But the hike wasn’t much fun.

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park has a reputation as a beautiful wooded oasis in California’s Wine Country. But like so many parks and open spaces devastated by recent fires in the region, recovery will require some patience.

A woodland gutted by fire at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. Dan Page/CoastsideSlacking

Miles we hiked


(with returns and connectors)

Elevation gain






Our Progress Hiking the Bay Area Ridge Trail – 270 out of 400 miles


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