Hike Date: December 3, 2011
Distance: ~ 6.5 miles
Cost: $5.00 day use
Trail(s): Lake Marie Road, Marie Creek Trail, Skyline Trail
Where’s it at? Southeast Napa off Imola
Last Saturday I took a hike through a park here in Napa that I’d been to several times before, for disc golfing. I’d noticed that the Bay Area Ridge Trail has a short section through this park so I took a trip out here on a gorgeous mid-winter day in Napa.
There’s a ranger station at the entrance to Skyline Wilderness Park charging various fees for various activites. Hiking is a day-use fee of $5.00 per vehicle currently. They also have equestrian, archery, RVing, Camping and Disc Golf here, as well as a Native Habitat Garden. The trailhead you probably want is not at the immediate parking area but rather take a left after the ranger station and drive around back until you see the trailhead signs. There’s PLENTY of parking available here. There are also restroom facilities at the parking lot, but no water nor restrooms once you start out (that I found anyway).
I started of on Lake Marie Road and ascended a little way along barbed wire fences which house an area owned by Napa State Hospital. A little ways up I took a left to hike along the Marie Creek Trail for the balance of my hike to Lake Marie. The latter is a single track and pretty well maintained trail. The former is basically a fire road.
I went into this having no clue what Lake Marie was going to look like. I’m glad because this way I wasn’t disappointed when I arrived! The lake is nothing exciting. It’s a rather plain and unnatural looking lake. So boring in fact that I only took one photo of it! (below)
I took the single track trail to the right (north?) of the lake and this took me up to the Skyline Trail which is officially a section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail. I took this all the way back and it was a much more exciting trail than the ones I took up to the lake.
Great views around many corners, the Skyline Trail here was a very pleasant stroll. This must be one of the easier sections of the Ridge Trail…at least it was one of the easier ones I’d been on. I found the views to the southwest to be the best. Mount Tamalpais looked great in the distance on this super-clear day.
Glad to have tried a second activity here, this park is quickly becoming a local favorite of mine now. Try hiking it sometime!
Photos from Hike to Lake Marie (click to enlarge)
Useful Links about Skyline Wilderness Park and Trails
- SkylinePark.org Official Site
- Yelp Reviews of Skyline Wilderness Park
- Bay Area Ridge Trail – Map of Park
- Consider Disc Golf at Skyline
Directions to Skyline Wilderness Parking
View Hike Through Skyline Wilderness Park in a larger map