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Sunday, October 18, 2009

SKYLINE WILDERNESS PARK, NAPA, CALIFORNIA

View of the campsites from a hillside trail Our Opinion: Recommend.  A rather rustic, reasonably priced campground in a large regional park in California’s premier wine-making region.

Date of Stay: Our fourth stay - mid-October, 2009

Weather During Stay:  A mix of mild weather, with sun, fog and showers.

Sites: The campground has a mix of FHU and W/E sites, all on gravel, all reasonably level.  None of the sites are very spacious, though most are long enough to (barely) accommodate a 40’ motorhome, with slides and awnings.

The campground map shows 19 FHU sites, but one appears to be unusable.  Two of the FHU sites are pull-throughs.  Eight of the FHU sites are back-to-back; the remaining 8 FHU sites are back-ins along the edge of a little cul-de-sac.  Many of the FHU sites have shared utility boxes, two sites per box - first camper in gets their choice of the 20, 30, or 50 amp outlet.

The 20 water and electric sites (30 amps) are a mix of back-ins and pull-throughs, and feel a little less crowded than the FHU sites.  Tents have a separate, very spacious, grassy area.

Back to back sites in FHU loopRoads and all sites in the campground are gravel.  Trees scattered throughout the campground and around the perimeter provide shade in some sites.  All sites have picnic tables. Restrooms and showers are available (get a key when you check in). 

Rate: $27 per night for FHU; $25 per night for W/E.  If you are a senior (age 62, I believe), ask for the senior discount - $2 off per night.

Phone/radio/TV: Strong Verizon phone and aircard signals.  Few obstacles for rooftop-mounted satellite TV.  PBS stations available on TV antenna.   NPR available on 88.5 (and probably several others).

W and E sites at Skyline Wilderness ParkElevation/Landscape/Terrain: Level parking on two tiers in a large, hilly regional park.  Lots of trees and shrubs surrounding the campground.  There is a native plant garden on one side of the campground and a dog run on another side.  Views are of other campers, huge oak trees, and forested rolling hills.  Elevation is close to sea level.

Lighting/Noise: Although there are streetlight-type lights on tall poles in several spots in the campground, they aren’t turned on at night (YAY, though it is probably for budget reasons).  Very dark and quiet at night.

Favorite Sites: No real favorites here - they are all similar except for the utilities.  If we are staying a short time, we pick a W/E site - cheaper and less crowded.

Sites 33, 32, and 31 in cul-de-sac area.Hiking/Walking: This is where Skyline Wilderness Park shines.  It is HUGE, a regional park with miles and miles of trails for hiking, biking, or horseback riding.  Don’t like hiking?  Take a lovely, easy stroll through the large, fenced native plant garden, or find a seat at a picnic table under the huge oak trees.  A frisbee golf course seems to get lots of play, too. 

Comments: The Napa Valley is a “world-class” destination, and this park is a relaxing, mellow base camp.  A reasonably priced municipal golf course is a few miles away, as are Target, Raley’s, etc.  Chain and independent restaurants abound.  Call 707-252-0481 to reserve a site (no specific site reservations can be made – but you are guaranteed a site with a reservation).

2 comments:

brthomas said...

I agree, Skyline Wilderness Park hiking "shines" even when the sun doesn't. We had a cloudy day for our hike, but the hiking was still very fine. It was a challenging day for photography, but we got some pretty good landscape photos at Skyline Wilderness Park.

intrepid-decrepit-traveler said...

Really enjoyed our stay at Skyline Wilderness Park in May 2009. The hiking and birding were terrific, and I still have and use the bay leaves I picked from the trees there! Fine place to stay.