The Bay Area Ridge Trail at Skyline Wilderness Park begins with a difficult one-mile climb through an oak-studded hillside with views of the city of Napa and neighboring vineyards. The trail continues along canyon highlands and above Lake Marie to Suscol Ridge. The view from the ridge includes vineyards, Suisin and San Pablo bays, the Carquinez Strait, and mountain peaks in all directions. On a clear day, we were told, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge.
We are hiking the 400-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. Sign up to follow our progress here.
TRAIL MAP (date hiked)
- Skyline Wilderness Park and Napa Solano Ridge Trail (Nov. 4, 2022)
We’ve hiked on clearer days, seen better views and faced tougher challenges. But this hike on of Ridge Trail ranked high in all three categories. And with partly cloudy skies and temperatures that barely topped 60, it was a great hike.
After a six-month hiatus from the Ridge Trail, we had been easing back into the adventure with easier segments and local trails near our home in Montara. This hike marked our return to more difficult trails.
We considered skipping the climb up to Suscol Ridge at the far end of the trail to save ourselves a couple of miles and several hundred feet of elevation gain. But the deeper we hiked into the park the stronger we felt, so we climbed to the top. What a view!
We hustled back down the mountain via Lake Marie Road, where we sat on a bench to enjoy our lunch. The Q Restaurant and Bar in Napa was our pub at the end of the trail.
We found lots of history in the park, located adjacent to Napa State Hospital. Look for the chimney and foundation of a dam attendant’s home, lots of rock walls, several mysterious caves and excavations, and the remnants of a 19th-century crematorium. For more detail, check out the excellent video on park history here.
Miles we hiked0
(with returns and connectors)
Our Progress Hiking the Bay Area Ridge Trail – 305 out of 405 miles75%