Login with Facebook
Mount St. Helena

Select Area...
Bear, The 
Bubble, The 
Far Side, The 
Satellite Rocks 
Silverado Mine 
Table Rock 
Table Scraps Pinnacle 
Mountain Project has launched a new site: Powder Project, and we're giving away loads of gear, including skis & Oakley goggles. Check it out!

Mount St. Helena  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 2,408'
Location: 38.65267, -122.59982 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 245,932
Administrators: Aron Quiter, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Brian Quiter on Jun 17, 2002
You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [2 people like this page.]
BETA PHOTO: St. Helena overview map.


Overlooking Napa Valley, Mount St. Helena is about the most scenic climbing in the Bay Area. If you're willing to hike there's a ton of trad climbing in the area, but thus far, I've been too lazy to get anywhere but the three sport climbing areas. The rock is volcanic in origin, and ranges widely in forms, thus specific descriptions will be saved for each crag. Recently, Aron and I discovered that Forrest Shute has been hiding in the Los Angeles area. He mentioned that he had about half of all the first ascents on the Mountain, and that there's a lot more climbing past the Far Side than just that available in guidebooks. Hopefully, we'll be able to share a little more of his wisdom in the future.

Getting There 

From the majority of the Bay Area, it is quickest to take 80 East (though it goes mostly north) PAST highway 29, and take 12 west until it intersects 29 at a stop light. Here, go right and drive through wine country (buy wine too). In the town of Calistoga, 29 takes a right at a stop sign. Continue on 29 out of Calistoga where it begins to get windy. The road proceeds up the shoulder of Mount St. Helena. At the top, there will be a pedestrians crossing sign promptly followed by parking areas on both the right and left sides of the road, they're pretty easy to fly by, but that's where you park. There's a trail leading out of the left parking lot. Take this as it switches back up a hill until you're to a fire road. Go left on the fire road, the bubble is about half a mile up the road.

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.0 miles from here

176 Total Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',54],['2 Stars',70],['1 Star',47],['Bomb',2]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Mount St. Helena:
Shute-Mills Route   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Far Side
Table Scraps   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   Table Scraps Pinnacle
Kola   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   The Far Side
Old Ladder Route   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 70'   The Bubble
Face, The Bubble Mt. St. Helena   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   The Bubble
Hailstone Arete   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Satellite Rocks : Hailstone Rock
Aperitif   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Table Scraps Pinnacle
Silverado Squatters   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Bear
Rampage   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 60'   The Bear
The West Face   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   The Bubble
The Ladder   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 70'   The Bubble
Spellcaster   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   The Far Side
Solar Power   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 40'   The Bubble
Continental Drift Whiplash   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   The Far Side
Aloha Patrol   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 4 pitches, 300'   Table Rock : Iron Curtain
Uncle Tom   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   The Bear
Beast of Burden   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   The Bear
Stone Free   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Bear
Treasure Island   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Bear
Jason and the Argonauts   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   The Bear
Browse More Classics in Mount St. Helena

Featured Route For Mount St. Helena
Dave Stallard on the crux 3rd pitch of Aloha Patro...

Aloha Patrol 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c  CA : San Francisco Bay Area : ... : Iron Curtain
This is currently an anomaly in the Bay Area, a spectacular 4 pitch Sport Route! Start on either Standard Issue or White Flag as the 1st pitch.P2- 5.10b: Head up the vertical huecos/pockets on the red wall above the belay, then up easier block rock eventually heading slightly left to the anchor.P3- 5.11b: Up easy rock till the overhanging headwall on steep crimps and big moves between good pockets, sidepulls, and underclings. Clip the Leeper bolts that are painted black (line used to be an oil ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Mount St. Helena Slideshow Add Photo
Somewhere else on the Mt.  3 pitches up, and one t...
Somewhere else on the Mt. 3 pitches up, and one t...
Great views west from just about everywhere!
BETA PHOTO: Great views west from just about everywhere!
Great late afternoon light up at the Bear Crag. ph...
Great late afternoon light up at the Bear Crag. ph...
Early morning hike into the crag has the most amaz...
Early morning hike into the crag has the most amaz...
Overview of some of the crags in relationship to o...
BETA PHOTO: Overview of some of the crags in relationship to o...

Comments on Mount St. Helena Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 26, 2015
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 18, 2003
Plan for an extremely hot hike that strenuous on warm days. Our crew concluded that these climbs would be a million times better if it were a cloudy cool day. The hike took so much out of us that many were unable to climb once we got to the far side.... For those who did, it was splendid! Amazing views and fun volcanic rock with lots of little holes.
By Smitty
Mar 24, 2004
Gear Alert
We climbed up on the main rocks not to long ago in a quest for long sport routes. Was stoked to see a few two pitch routes, although the pitches we kinda short. We did Mikes Moderate and it was pretty fun. The approach was a MF and the rock was a bit chossy but all in all it was a good day. I do feel that if you are going to drive this far from the bay area you might as well go to the leap. I mean its a 1.5 hr drive and an hour approach for a handful of routes. Also beware some of the bolts up there we manky.
By Dodrill
From: Sebastopol, CA
Jan 19, 2008
Random/relevant info:
Parking Lot Elevation: 2408'
GPS: N38.39.146 W122.35.960
By Avery
Mar 30, 2009
The approach to The Bear is significantly different and easier than the description in Bay Area Climbing. The guide says to go ~1/4 mile past the bubble, and then hike up a loose steep slope toward The Bear. If you continue past 2 "trails" up the road cut that fit the description in the guide book, you will come to a good real trail in another couple hundred yards. This trail starts well past the Bear and traverses the hill to approach The Bear from climbers right.
By Giulio
From: Waterville, ME
Jun 3, 2010
What is the guide book for this area called?
I thought it was wine country rock, but i couldn't find it
By Dodrill
From: Sebastopol, CA
Jun 4, 2010
Wine Country Rocks is out of print. Not sure about the status about other books, but this site has the most accurate and current info, though lacks topos. There are rumors of a new Bay Area Climbing book from SuperTopo due out next year.
By Bob Hulsy
Jun 4, 2010
Bay Area Top Ropes is now in print. Check the touchstone gyms in the Bay, where it just landed on the shelves.
By Mark K. Howe
Jun 9, 2010
To Smitty above: That would be Marks Moderate
By Renzo
From: Davis, California
Nov 14, 2010
I used the Bay Area Topropes guide when climbing at the Far Side and didn't find it very helpful. There is one picture of the area that looks like it was taken from across the valley, making it difficult to locate specific routes. Also, many of the routes are not listed. If you are leading I would suggest the Bay Area Climbing book from Falcon.
By Jared W.
Aug 19, 2011
I would only use the Falcon book for a fairly decent topo that it provides of The Bear. However, Falcon's topo is outdated. Routes seem to have changed, and there are more now. Until a better, up-to-date guide book comes out, I'd recommend sticking only to the information found here on mountainproject.com. There's sufficient to finding the routes on The Bear and much better topos.
By Dodrill
From: Sebastopol, CA
Dec 9, 2012
Hey folks,
Conditions have been great lately and lots of people are visiting the park. Please keep in mind that there are no bathrooms at Mt. St. Helena/ R.L.S. State Park. Please poop in town before driving up. The parking lot is becoming a disaster of toilet paper behind every bush. If you really have to go when up on the mountain, bring a WAG BAG, or at least dig a deep hole out in the woods away from climbing areas and do NOT burn the paper! If you are really feeling like a rock star bring a couple trash bags and help by pick up some trash in the parking lot before driving down the hill.

Thanks a ton, and enjoy!
By andand89
From: Berkeley, CA
May 14, 2013
On the subject of guidebooks: I just picked up a new copy of "Bay Area Rock" and it has pretty good topos/route descriptions for the Far Side, Table Scraps, and Table Rock (the latter two aren't even mentioned in the Falcon guide).

Is there any chance at all of finding a copy of "Wine Country Rocks"? I'm curious if there's more info there that's not in guidebooks or on this site.
By Justin Johnsen
From: Sacramento, CA
Feb 10, 2014
Thanks Dodrill, I used your parking area coordinates as the location for main Mt St Helena page, since most first-time visitors will be looking for the parking area.

I'll work on getting the actual crag coordinates for each sub area of MSH.
By Tony L
Jan 12, 2015
Here is a Spherical panorama of the Bubble Wall on Google Maps
By Sergey Shelukhin
From: San Francisco, California
Jan 27, 2015
There's a (new?) good shortcut trail that can be taken both up and down to avoid switchbacks to the "book" clearing (much better than old shortcuts between switchbacks and around them). It goes entirely to the left of the switchbacks if facing up, and starts almost immediately off the normal trail; it's pretty obvious on the left. As you start on that trail, very soon you'll see some fallen trees that were sawed to clear it, that's the right trail.
Easily saves 15 minutes or so.
By Phil Chan
4 days ago
Thanks Sergey. Great tip.
Beyond the Guidebook:
The Definitive Climbing Resource
Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run
Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps
Backcountry, Sidecountry
and Secret Stashes
Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!