Peak 2,031ft P500

Sat, May 20, 2023

With: Jackie Burd

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Another father/daughter outing, this one to Napa Valley where I had a trio of summits in mind that we could do with a total of less than 10mi. The only one of real consequence was Peak 2,031ft (Stags Leap Ridge on PB), and it was the only one we would do, it turned out. It is reported that there is a trail all the way to the summit, with some minor scrambling and some poison oak to avoid. Several trip reports on PB give this one high marks as one of the best in the Bay Area. It was decent, but I wouldn't put it high on a list of Napa County hikes, let alone the whole Bay Area. The trail is completely informal, having never actually been graded, maintained or otherwise drawn the attention of the various park agencies. The only thing such entities have done is put up a couple of signs at the trailhead. This isn't a complaint, by the way, just an observation. There are various threads in places, and the trail location probably changes from time to time with overgrowth and fire. The trail is pretty decent all the way to Pt. 1,740ft+, but the last portion is quite thin. There is much poison oak in the upper reaches, at least on our visit, and this is why I wouldn't recommend it as a classic hike. We had gloves and long pants/shirts, and glad we did. Our hike started out in fog, but it burned off before we got to the summit, allowing us the nice views overlooking Napa Valley to the west and Soda Canyon to the east. Some nice flowers along the way, including some yellow/orange poppies, but the grasses are quickly going to seed and we'd have to stop a few times to remove some of these. The summit rocks are a nice touch to get one out of the vegetation. We left a register tucked in a nook between the two highest summit rocks. We spent five hours on the outing, rather slow for a 6.5mi outing, even with the 2,400ft of gain in entailed. Jackie didn't hesitate to say she'd had enough when we got back, so I didn't press her to do the other two, even if they were much shorter. They would be there for a future visit. One tick was discovered on Jackie hours later when we got home, the only real surprise being that there weren't more.

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