Hike Date: April 12, 2014
Distance: 4.46 miles round trip
Trail(s): Smittle Creek Trail
Where’s it at? Western shore of Lake Berryessa


My first hike with a group from Meetup was a ranger-led hike at Smittle Creek on Lake Berryessa. The hike is along the western shore of the lake and takes you over a few bridges as you meander right next to the lake. The trip leaders were two rangers that were from the Bureau of Reclamation. While it was a slow pace, the hike was very informative with the rangers pointing out the species of a number of wildflowers, trees (mostly Black Oaks and Digger Pines with some California Buckeye), and animal species. Mike, the ranger that ed the hike, also pointed out less obvious things such as how the density of the woodlands was thicker on the northern slopes than the southern slopes, how to tell a quail’s call (“Chicago”), the history of California grizzlies in the area (now extinct), and many other interesting topics.

We saw a few wild animals on the way including a Western Rattlesnake almost right at the beginning of the trail, a bunch of Groun Squirrels, Ringtail, a deer, a Golden Eagle, Cooper’s Hawks and Western Fence lizards, one of which was the most blue colored lizard I’ve ever seen. There were Lupines, Golden Poppies, Indian Warrior, Henderson’s Shooting Star, Elegant Brodiaea, Twining Snake Lily and Yarrow. There was plenty of Poison Oak, Buck Brush and Manzanita all along the trail.

The trail from one lot to the next that we took was 2.23 miles one way, for 4.46 miles round trip, and it an out and back trail. There was a bathroom facility at both lots and surprisingly two along the trail, each with water available to refill. The hike was almost completely flat with just a couple tiny hills.

This was a great hike made better by the fact it was led by two rangers. I’m sure early to mid spring are the best times to visit and surely it gets scorching hot in the summer. This was a great experience and I recommend attending one of their hikes.

Video from a Hike on Smittle Creek

Western Fence Lizard Video

Photos from Hiking Smittle Creek (click to enlarge)

Hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Berryessa Hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Berryessa Hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Berryessa
Hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Berryessa Hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Berryessa Hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Berryessa
http://timsartoris.com/blog/hike-on-the-smittle-creek-trail-at-berryessa http://timsartoris.com/blog/hike-on-the-smittle-creek-trail-at-berryessa http://timsartoris.com/blog/hike-on-the-smittle-creek-trail-at-berryessa
http://timsartoris.com/blog/hike-on-the-smittle-creek-trail-at-berryessa http://timsartoris.com/blog/hike-on-the-smittle-creek-trail-at-berryessa http://timsartoris.com/blog/hike-on-the-smittle-creek-trail-at-berryessa
Hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Berryessa Hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Berryessa Hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Berryessa
Hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Berryessa Hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Berryessa Hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Berryessa
Hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Berryessa Hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Berryessa Hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Berryessa
Hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Berryessa Hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Berryessa Hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Berryessa

MyTracks from hiking the Smittle Creek Trail


View Hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Berryessa in a larger map

Weather at Napa, CA (It'll be hotter at the trailhead)

Written on April 12th, 2014 in Hiking, The Whole Thing
Tags: , , , , ,