Sep 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm #1279625
So my wife and I love wine. Every winter we go backpacking through point reyes in the cold and rain, and then drive straight to Napa and spoil ourselves there.
Does anyone else know of good places to backpack near-ish wine country? Perhaps somewhere in Napa, Russian River, Paso Robles, etc.Sep 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm #1781792
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
Henry Coe? Big Sur? Pinnacles? Big Basin? Any more it's harder to find places to backpack then to find wineries, which seem to be in every corner of the state. Not that there's anything wrong with that!
Plenty of hiking around the Napa and Sonoma valleys but I don't know whether there are overnight backpacking possibilities. If you head east to the Sierra foothills between Nevada County to the north and Calaveras County to the south, you might be able to combine some river hiking with the wineries of that region (hundreds to choose from). Often nicer there in winter than in the summer.
RickSep 21, 2011 at 5:08 pm #1781794
Christopher, Cache Creek BLM land (where we are having our annual BPL gathering) is close to Napa. As for backpacking around Napa-Sonoma, I really cannot think of many places to go. Rick is right, you could go to Coe, or Ventana Wilderneess. If you go to Ventana Wilderness you have some wonderful wine country to do wine tasting. The Santa Lucia Highlands is a fantastic AVA for Pinot and Chard. Many great wineries are in that area, namely Pesagno, Paraiso, Bernardus, Figge, Hahn, Talbott etc. All have great tasting rooms and are more in line with how Sonoma is, ie low tasting fees and a more personalized tasting experience.
If you go to Coe or Big Basin, you have the fantastic Santa Cruz Mtns. AVA…wineries include Ridge, Savannah Chavelle, David Bruce, Thomas Fogarty, Bargetto, Cinnabar, Fleming Jenkins, Burrell School, Silver Mountain, Beauregard, Hallcrest, or you can go into Santa Cruz where they have many great tasting facility that houses about 10 wineries which include Bonny Doon and many others.
If you have any questions about the wineries and areas I have mentioned, please feel free to ask. The same goes for the Napa, Sonoma, or Livermore Valley AVA's
I work in the wine business.Sep 22, 2011 at 7:29 pm #1782338
I also like the Cache Creek BLM area. There is a lot of wildlife activity down by the water. I saw pretty big bear tracks all over the place, some coyote, deer, and raccoon tracks as well. There's apparently Tule Elk there as well, which you may have seen at Point Reyes.
You can also try the Long Canyon loop, which is somewhere over an hour drive from (for example) Silverado Trail/Stags Leap area in Napa. It's off of one of these great roads to nowhere that seem to be all over the north coast ranges. There's thousands of acres on the Knoxville Ranch Department of Fish and Game land to explore here.
http://www.yolohiker.org/trails/knoxville/knoxville/index.htmlSep 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm #1782349
@cameronLocale: Midland, Texas
I spent a bit of time in the Santa Rosa area. The only backpacking trip I did was the Snow Mountain Wilderness area. I have a trip report about it if you're interested. I liked it. One thought is that it might dry up a bit later in the season (I was there in the spring).Sep 23, 2011 at 1:07 am #1782421
Cache Creek is interesting me. Any specific trail you recommend? I'd ideally like to do 25 to 30 miles there over 2 nights.
Any sites with trail maps?Sep 23, 2011 at 6:03 am #1782450
Scroll down to map links and trail descriptions.Sep 23, 2011 at 8:01 am #1782499
@balzaccomLocale: Wine Country
I'll add my voice to the Snow Mountain chorus—but you have to pick your spots. Some of that area gets heavy ATV use…Sep 23, 2011 at 9:16 am #1782538
@nickbLocale: Los Padres National Forest
Check out the Santa Barbara Wine Country and the backcountry of the Los Padres National Forest.
Santa Ynez Valley in northern Santa Barbara County is a popular wine destination (as shown in the movie Sideways); lots of great vineyards off of Hwy 154 and surround areas (Foxen Canyon Rd).
The Santa Ynez Valley is also the gateway to the San Rafael Wilderness area of the Los Padres National Forest. In fact you have to drive past lots of vineyards to even get to a lot of the trailheads. In my opinion, this area is best from the fall to spring; summers are too hot in the backcountry.
Plenty of B&Bs and such in Santa Ynez and surrounding towns; a lot of the trailheads into the San Rafael are maybe about a 45 minute drive on beautiful, but windy, 1-2 lane (total) country roads.
We often hit up a vineyard for a tasting or to pick up a bottle or two on our way to (or back) from a overnighter in the Los Padres.
There are some interesting opportunities here, like hike in to the Sisquoc River and camp at an old restored 1930s backcountry ranger station (South Fork); about 16 miles hike one way. Then hit up one of the vineyards along the same river, but farther downstream outside of the forest (Rancho Sisquoc, Foxen, etc.).
Anyway, happy to provide more info if you're interested.Sep 23, 2011 at 9:19 am #1782541
I'm still waiting for Helwig to set up a BPL trip to visit wineries. I'd walk down the highway, and camp in a vineyard.Sep 24, 2011 at 6:29 am #1782972
haha Joe, that sounds like fun actually!!!
Heading up to Napa for some educational tasting in a few weeksSep 24, 2011 at 9:28 am #1783026
@rick778Locale: NorCal - South Bay - Campbell
"I'm still waiting for Helwig to set up a BPL trip to visit wineries. I'd walk down the highway, and camp in a vineyard."
I actually might be able to get my wife to go on this trip :-)
Make it happen Ken.Sep 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm #1783811
How is the scenery in Snow Mountain? Specifically, has it recovered from the 2001 fire? I've been meaning to go there for years now.Sep 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm #1783814
Rick, even my wife would attend that one!! Stealth camp in the vineyards!Sep 26, 2011 at 5:37 pm #1783819
@cameronLocale: Midland, Texas
Heres a trip report I did on Snow Mountain. Some of the other areas might actually be better but you never know. Heres the report if you want to see what it looked like with a lot of spring snow.Sep 27, 2011 at 10:52 pm #1784282
Thanks a lot for the insightful trail report. (Also–cool setup).
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