Oat Hill Mine Road

Mt. Saint Helena is on the left and The Palisades are on the right. These are part of the Sonoma Volcanic sequence of rocks formed by eruptive activity from 2.6 to 8 mllion years ago. Located on the eastern edge of the Palisades is the Oat Hill Mine complex which was one of California's major sources of mercury. A road to Calistoga from the mine was finished in the 1890's and it is now part of the trail system of the Napa County Regional Park district.

The views of the north end of the Napa Valley and surrounding mountains from the old road are spectacular.

As you get higher into the Palisades, a lot more extrusive volcanic material is exposed.

Two views of the eroded wagon road.

The grooves in the rock were made by iron tired wagon wheels on ore wagons drawn by horses or mules. These are definitely to be avoided on your descents.

This photo was taken from near the divide, the highest section of the trail. You can occasionally catch a closeup view of gliders and eagles or both. If you continue to go northeast from here you will eventually descend into Pope Valley at Aetna Springs

Links
Napa County Regional Park District
Trailside Geology
Wildflower Hike
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