Westwood Hills Park in Napa

Heading up the hill from the parking area

Heading up the hill from the parking area into Westwood Hills Park

I wasn’t sure how I’d like the hiking opportunities in wine country USA, but now I know:  they’re pretty great.  On a trip to Napa, California with Denise for work, I took the opportunity to do a couple walks in parks around town.  The first destination was Westwood Hills Park, on the west side of town.

Jackie seemed eager to climb when we got on this singletrack.

Jackie seemed eager to climb when we got on this singletrack.

The ecosystem here is nothing like mossy western Oregon.  The dominant trees here are Eucalyptus and Oak.   So far so good.

Hillier than it looks, but  mostly easy walking

Hillier than it looks, but mostly easy walking

This is no wilderness park, as it appears popular with the earbuds and running shoes crowd.   It could give you a pretty good workout if you go directly to the top.

Near the top.  Love that sky

Near the top. Love that sky

The trails range from road-like to a smattering of tiny bushwhack herdpaths, and there is very little in the way of signage.  I don’t mind.  Not knowing makes it more adventurous.  Seeing some kind of ladies pilates-crossfit-bootcamp atop the highest hill detracted from the adventure a bit.  Nice spot to work out.  The combination of golden hills, green trees. and blue sky was just gorgeous.

This tree called to me

This tree called to me.

I wound around a few different spots, exploring.  I had to backtrack one spot where what had seemed like a legitimate trail ended up on a steep slope of hardpan and death pebbles.  It looked like an injury waiting for me.

Jackie Chan enjoying the view

Jackie Chan enjoying the view

An offshoot trail starting along a narrow ridge

An offshoot trail starting along a narrow ridge

I wound back down, finding cool spots here and there.   I was impressed by the different plants and trees in different spots.  One grove actually reminded me of Oregon in its mossy rocks.

I like the way the branches arch over the trail

I like the way the trunks and branches arch over the trail

The mossy rocks

The mossy rocks

The descent became tricky navigationally.  Herdpaths dissolved into tangential herdpaths, and I was really just guessing at routes down.   That was both good and bad.  The hillsides seemed a bit eroded and scarred by excess trails because there of the lack of signage and trail maintenance.  I tried to minimize my contribution to the issues.

 

Eucalyptus in Napa

This tree is trying to grow dreadlocks

I really enjoyed my hike at Westwood Hills Park, and I found the flora and fauna around Napa a refreshing change from home.  Considering the park is just a few minutes from downtown, it’s extremely convenient.  Now about that wine…

About Josh Baker

"The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” ― John Muir

Posted on September 5, 2013, in Flora and Fauna, General Hiking, Hiking with dogs, Outdoors, Uncategorized, vacations and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Love your pictures and your writing skills but all that be said we sure do miss you so on the Loop in Welches this community is far poorer with out you two (three sorry J.C.)

  2. I really liked the picture too of the trees arching over the trail!

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