Hiking is the main activity at this undeveloped park. A trail to the west climbs to the summit of Mount St. Helena, while trails to the east lead hikers below the volcanic cliffs of the Palisades.
The view from the summit includes the nearby geyser country and when weather permits distant mountains such as Lassen, Shasta and the Sierra Nevada can be seen. The Park retains the wilderness aspect believed to have inspired some scenes in Treasure Island. It also was the setting for the Silverado Squatters, an autobiographical account of Robert Louis Stevenson’s stay there in 1880 while on his honeymoon. Although nothing remains of Stevenson’s cabin, the site is identified by a stone monument on the trail to the summit.
The Stevenson Memorial Trail takes you from the parking lot on Highway 29 to the summit of 4,343-foot Mt. Saint Helena. The first mile of the trail switchbacks through a shady single track trail, the latter 4 miles are on well-graded fire roads with very little shade. The last push to the summit is the steepest part of the hike, but offers the best views from the mountain south to the prominent Bay Area peaks, Mounts Diablo and Tamalpais. The steep climb is over quickly, and at 5.6 miles you’ll reach the top. This is a great trail to take on a cooler day as it can be very hot during the summer. The hike to the summit is 10 miles round trip with a 1,800-foot elevation gain. The views are well worth the hike, for a true top-of-the-world experience.